by Marvin Mallon
This month’s spotlight is on
Schmartboard™, a California
organization located in the city
of Fremont, situated north of San Jose.
The principal product of the company
is a cleverly designed prototyping
board. Although electronic componen-try made a great leap forward in the
21st century, prototype technology
lagged far behind. Hence, the creation
and marketing of the Schmartboard.
Two friends joined forces to produce this new concept. Andrew Yaung,
co-founder, President and CEO, began
by founding Intellect Lab, an electronic
engineering service firm and, prior to
that, Shark Multimedia Inc. He holds a
BS in Electrical Engineering from San
Jose State University and an MS from
Santa Clara University.
Schmartboard was spun off in
2005 from Intellect Lab where the concept of this high-tech prototyping board
was invented in 2003. This privately
owned corporation has five full-time
employees in a manufacturing facility
that they have outgrown. A search is
underway for a bigger building to house
and better serve their growth plans.
Andrew’s partner at Schmartboard
is Neal Greenberg. Neal also cofound-ed the company and serves now as
Vice-President of Sales and Marketing.
He is a graduate of William Rainey
Harper College having obtained an
AA degree in Applied Science.
Additionally, he has a BS in Marketing
from California Coast University.
In an interview with Neal, he
responded to our questions about
the present and future plans for
Marvin: Neal, what are your most
popular products and when were they
Neal: The SchmartBoard|ez™ family of
products was released in September
2005 at the Demofall show. Demo is a
show in which the most innovative
products are launched. Previous
products launched at Demo
include Java 1.0, Tivo, and Palm.
The SchmartBoard|ez is innovative
because for the first time, anyone can
hand solder SMT (Surface Mount
Technology) parts. Whether it is a part
with a tiny pitch such as 0.4 mm or has
200 legs, SchmartBoard|ez has made
it possible for people to easily, quickly,
and flawlessly hand solder the parts.
M: What gave rise to the creation of
this line of products?
N: With increasing time-to-market issues
and cost concerns in our fast moving
world, we knew that there had to be a
better way. We also realized that in the
past, a prototyping board could save the
engineer valuable time and money by
allowing changes to be made quickly
and inexpensively. But prototyping
boards had not kept up with technology.
Prototyping boards have existed for a
long time, but as surface mount components have become smaller and smaller,
these boards have not kept up with the
technology and have not remained a
practical tool for most applications.
M: Is there a newly developed product
ready for release?
N: We have a new product called the
Power SchmartModule that was
released in mid-April. SchmartModules
are functional circuits (such as RS-232)
that one can add to a SchmartBoard
circuit so that they don’t have to
“reinvent the wheel.” The Power
SchmartModule will allow one to add
power in one of seven voltage options
to a circuit. The suggested retail is $15.
Equally exciting is a contest to be
announced on June 1st. The Second
Annual Schmartie Awards is a contest
to create schematics with bills of
material that include SchmartBoards.
The first prize will be $1,000. In
addition, the winning circuit will be
turned into an SchmartModule and
the winner will receive a commission
on every unit sold worldwide. Nuts &
Volts and SERVO Magazine are our
M: Finally, what are the principal
advantages of working with the
N: As more and more components
have gone from through hole to surface mount, great advances have been
made in the ability to make smaller
and more advanced electronic devices.
The problem though is while circuit
assembly of these parts for robots is
easy, it has made hand soldering for
prototypes and projects almost impossible. The SchmartBoard|ez has
changed this. We can put a soldering
iron in the hands of a 10 year old who
has never even heard of a soldering
iron ... in less than a minute the 10 year
old will hand solder a 0.5 mm QFP
(Quad Flat Pack) device as good as an
experienced technician. SchmartBoard|ez
has made it possible for everyone
from a rocket scientist to the weekend
hobbyist to hand solder SMT parts.
Nuts & Volts readers can request
a free sample of SchmartBoard|ez
technology at our website at www.
44081 Old Warm Springs Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94538
Tel: 510-659-1549 Fax: 510-659-1644
June 2007 67