A Short History of PCB Design

The death of PADS Software founder Gene Marsh last Friday has prompted me to — at long last — update the PCB design industry timeline on the PCD&F website.

From the 1800s, when photosensitive coatings were perfected, enabling use of photoengraving and setting the stage for future copper etching processes, to the present day, we’ve tried to fill in all the blanks, from the start of companies like Scicards and Racal, who were the pathfinders, to the ingenuity of John Cooper and Dave Chyan, the autorouter specialists, to the rapid merger and acquisition activity that turned almost everyone into a one-time colleague or coworker.

Are there omissions or — gasp! — errors? Most certainly. But that’s where you come in. Please feel free to email me at [email protected] about anything you see that’s amiss. We want this to be complete, and we want it to be accurate.