The goal of PCB design is to create a fully functional circuit board. However, the first goal-post during PCB layout is to get the board 100% routed. A layout begins first by setting up the design parameters and then placing the components to satisfy their electrical, mechanical, and manufacturing requirements. The only thing left after that is to connect all of the nets with traces. That sounds like it should be pretty easy, doesn’t it? Well sometimes it is, but most of the time it’s much more complex than people realize.
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Although it may look like the components on a circuit board are arranged haphazardly, there really is order and intent in their layout. They have to be located to not only provide the best performance of the circuits but also so that the board can be manufactured as easily as possible without any errors. Here in this second of four parts on circuit board design, we will look at some of the PCB layout best practices to help engineers create a superior design.
Before a circuit board is manufactured, it goes through a very involved design process. This includes creating an electronic schematic, setting up and placing component footprints in the physical PCB layout, routing the nets in the layout, and then finally preparing and sending out the layout data for manufacturing. In this first of a four-part series, we are going to give you an overview of the entire PCB design process and discuss some of the PCB design best practices for creating an electronic schematic.
Regardless of the PCBA design, it always seems there is a sense of urgency attached to the board development process. That is, bringing the design to the production phase as soon as possible is always the goal. However, this must be done with a view towards avoidance of common PCB quality issues that may result in extended time for bring up, redesigns, and additional manufacturing costs. And although successfully reaching and executing board production is a primary objective, it is not the final one.
Current is a vital part of the operation of any circuit board, but as the current in a fast-moving river, it can also be unforgiving if not treated with the care that it deserves. When you are working with high current applications, you need to exercise an even greater amount of caution in your design. Let’s take a look at some via stitching guidelines and other tactics that are helpful in designing high current printed circuit boards.
Designers, builders and suppliers of electrical and electronic products bear the responsibility of minimizing the probability of these fears manifesting and posing a threat to anyone’s safety. For circuit boards, that means following good design tips for high current and when incorporating high voltage PCB design considerations that will aid your CM in building safe, reliable boards and avoiding potential dangers. Before laying out the essential considerations to include, let’s define a high voltage PCB and the potential threats laying in wait that you want to avoid.
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