How Fast is Fast? I Mean, Really?

We talk a lot about speed here at Screaming Circuits. Back in 2003, one of the main reasons our parent company started us up was because their customers were telling them that they needed prototypes faster.

So, I know that getting everything built is faster these days – we can ship fully built boards as fast as 24 hours after we receive a kit, and you can get the raw fabbed PCBs in a day too. Certainly, everyone knows that you can place an order with Digi-Key and have the parts on your desk (or in our shop) the next morning. But has the rest of the process gotten faster too? (See if you can find the shameless plug in there. Sorry.)

Whether you’re using Sunstone PCB123, Ultiboard, Eagle, Pads, Altium, Allegro, or any of the common Bb input pwr sect CAD packaged, you’ll probably spend most of your prototyping time in the software. It’s also probably the least predictable segment of the process.

What takes longer? The schematic capture or the layout? Or are both completely variable and totally unpredictable? If your boss came running into your office and said:

Bob! Quick! We just spilled something. We need an underwater temperature sensor with a video camera that can send a real-time temperature data stream and live video feed a mile back a cable to a host computer. And we need it NOW!

How long would “NOW” take for you?

Duane Benson
Changing your reaction to the duration of time since 2003…

2 thoughts on “How Fast is Fast? I Mean, Really?

  1. Classic!
    Sooo many in marketing, management or just simple “customers”.. can’t (really) define what they need or want…
    They come in with a vague idea of what they want.. (what no size, cost, depth, temperature range, resolution/accuracy of temp, resolution of images, etc…for this project?)

    and expect engineers ( or procurement, or someone?) to know what they want.

    The Customer .. is rarely right.
    They rarely can answer the questions you shoot back at them .. with any real knowledge.

    The question is .. How Long does it take you (or your design team) to figure out what is being requested?
    How many prototypes before you “get it right”?

    Definition of Airplane…
    Group of compromises flying in close formation…

    Time to design = time to decide on the compromises.

  2. forgot to answer question…..

    How long?

    My answer: 32 minutes.. but it will cost ya $23 Trillion

    Answer a stupid question…. with a stupid answer
    Obviously they still believe in the concept of a “Man hour” of effort.

    1 man day = 712 people working till noon.

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