Newsletter - April 2016



We are introducing this newsletter to keep you up to date on the latest developments at USA Firmware.  You will learn about our people, our services, technology and business issues, and more.  We hope you enjoy this newsletter and we welcome your feedback!

Featured Article


Dealing with EOL, End of Life in Electronics  

by Bob Scaccia

Welcome back to my series on using intelligent electronics into your product portfolio for the first time.  Today, I discuss the problem of end-of-life (EOL) electronic components.

To the un-familiar what I show in this picture may be what you think of when you visualize an electronic PCB Assembly. Just to give you a flavor of how much things have changed, this design is probably around 20 years old.


Click here to

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Fine print:  All entries become the sole property of USA Firmware. Entrants will not be compensated except for the gift card for a winning entry.

USA Firmware Service Spotlight


PCB Layout

Laying out a printed circuit board is a task best left in the hands of an experienced professional PCB designer.  Why?


  • PCB layout isn't a core competency of most EEs.  It's a specialized technician's skill.
  • In high-speed electronic designs, the PCB itself is a nuanced component.  In days of old, one could sometimes get away a simple "connect the dots" exercise, but no longer.
  • PCB design tools are complex.  Forgetting to toggle a checkbox several menus deep on a form can result in a board that doesn't work.  A professional PCB designer lives in the tool all day every day and knows it well.  
  • A professional PCB designer can complete the design faster, with higher quality and at a lower cost than most EEs can.
  • Engineers often see PCB layout as tedious work that keeps them from the fun of being creative.

Most companies only use PCB layout 1 to 4 times per year and don’t need a full time technician.  That's where USA Firmware can help.  We'll turn your design around quickly and affordably, providing you with a design documentation package your board and assembly houses will love. 

USA Firmware Can Help You Get The Job Done

Talent Profile


Roger Chaplin

Principal Firmware Engineer

With over 30 years of experience, Roger epitomizes the elite talent on staff at USA Firmware.  Roger's background includes development of microprocessor and digital circuits, real-time embedded firmware, object-oriented design, GUI applications for Windows, and database architectures.

Roger, why do you like working at USA Firmware?

I do a variety of work for a variety of clients, and the opportunity that creates for learning is very rewarding.

Talk about your favorite project during your time at USA Firmware.

My favorite project was the <customer redacted> heat wire control board. I got to do all of the firmware work, from architecture development through coding and testing. I had some influence on the hardware design. I got to write a test program in C# to communicate with the control via Ethernet, and did it in such a way that it was very easy to extend the design to work with a similar control already in use by the customer. Plus, I got to learn about a whole new problem domain.

Want To Be A Featured Client?


If you're a USA Firmware client and you would like some free publicity in a future issue of this newsletter, drop your friendly editor a line to start a conversation.  If you would like to offer a testamonial, that would be greatly appreciated!

Tell Us What You Think

Is there a topic you would like to see covered in a future issue?  Tell us what like or don't like.  Send your feedback to

About USA Firmware

USA Firmware specializes in custom-engineered embedded systems solutions. Its client base includes companies in the medical device (Class I, II and III), industrial automation, aftermarket automotive, LED lighting, packaging machinery, electrical control systems, consumer, wireless, AC/DC motors and instrumentation industries. The company is a recognized thought leader in IoT, helping clients understand how this technology can help them create new products and features for their own customers. 


USA Firmware engineers maintain expertise in embedded systems, digital and analog electronics, complex PCB design, firmware and software design. A combination of highly-experienced managers and elite engineering talent delivers the highest value and ROI to clients who need to outsource a product development, to supplement their own staff, or to create an on-demand engineering department.