At 05:51 PM 3/16/01 -0500, Mike Reagan wrote:
>[I had written:]
> > I don't call those medium to large designs, I call them very large
> > The largest design I've ever encountered in my entire career -- so far --
> > was 8000 pins. Pins, not nets. I didn't do it -- impossible with Tango --
> > but I vaguely recall that some company did the job for about $20,000. An
> > 8000 net board is at least twice as large as that.

>When I started doing design
>work independently, I would take on  really small jobs but soon after
>loosing money on small jobs, I decided not to bid or waste my time on small
>designs because that translated in to small customers paying small amounts
>of  $$$ which in turn made my already small operation even smaller.

Well, I'm certainly happy when we get a large design, because it means we 
work steadily for a good length of time, but I also do well with small 
designs. Other things being equal, I'd rather have twenty small designs at 
$500 each than one large design at $10K. Twenty small designs means many 
different clients which translates to more stability. If we were to pour 
everything into one client for a month or two, the business, in my 
experience, tends to collapse after that client is finished with the design 
cycle. So the monthly income is spectacular but the yearly income is dismal.

But the key is in "other things being equal." Obviously, quoting accurately 
or at least conservatively is very important. Small designs have a bit more 
overhead so the price must reflect that. If we are working by the hour we 
don't care, large or small....

But small designs can be much less of a headache. For one thing, they don't 
strain the resources!

>   8000
>pins aint a whole lot...maybe I am still under bidding because I could never
>command 20K for 8000 pins.  I could probably turn a design like that in 2- 3
>weeks most, closer to 2 which would be hard to justify 20 K to customer for
>2 weeks of work.

Of course. This was about ten years ago. And that price is remembered 
through a bit of a fog. I do remember thinking that I could have done the 
design manually with tape and mylar for much less. So, yes, the price is high.

8000 pins I would now price at $8,000 minimum up to about $16,000 maximum. 
Depends on things liked density, single sided components vs. double-sided, 
etc., etc. We look for perhaps $3500 per week at 40 hours. (Those of you 
who might fall off your swivel chairs at the number, remember that service 
bureaus can have a lot of overhead, and may not be running at full 
capacity. And when they are running at full capacity, there are the 
psychiatry and medication costs to consider....)

I'm running my business differently than I used to. I've networked a few 
designers and am cautiously expanding the circle.

>I think the guys writing code are chasing more internal wrinkles in the
>program than user stuff.   They outdid themselves, but I still would like to
>see a netlist load so fast that I don't have time to take a sip of coffee.

Loading a netlist to the pads should be a very fast operation, so something 
is wrong, for sure. Updating the primitives I expect to take quite a bit 
longer; there is a lot more data and a lot more complexity to consider.

Abdulrahman Lomax
P.O. Box 690
El Verano, CA 95433

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