Month: April 2018

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How to design a good PCB Layout

Information It's important to have everything necessary to make the perfect PCB Layout. A good engineer would foresee any complications that may crop up; problems with sourcing datasheets, lack of available space on the design to avoid manufacturing headaches. Three types of information are crucial for a successful PCB design. DXF or mechanical drawing, BOM (parts list) and a schematic. A layout guide provided by the design engineer and necessary reference designs is also useful for a successful PCB layout. Mechanics Today's PCB designs are very complicated with limited space. Some projects may involve multiple layouts fitted together in a box. The best way to ensure the PCBs fitted together correctly without complications is with a CAD package such as solid works. The PCB design import the CAD drawings. This saves a lot of time, we place the parts on the imported locations. This is the most accurate and cost-effective way of placing components in specified areas.   Design Rules This is a crucial stage and makes up the backbone of any PCB layout. Accurate placement is essential, there could be major flaws with the functionality of the circuit board. The rules basically control any clearance and track thickness on the design. For more complicated layouts; rules for impedance controlled signals, extra clearances for noisy tracks, implementation for relative propagation delays and constraint regions are necessary.   Component stage It is crucial to start and maintain a parts library during the PCB layout stage. Most of the PCB design errors come from incorrect footprints. Using a standard footprint name such as IPC can help design engineers and colleagues select the correct part without recreating the same footprint over again. Part generators are useful tools to create parts. Entering part sizes into the generator,  the software calculates the optimum size for pads, including the paste (reducing this by 30% to prevent excessive solder shorting pads together). Other useful information such as component and placement outlines, component heights and keepouts simplify and aid the PCB layout. All components must be double checked before added to the library and updating the PCB design. Time and money's saved when using a library with reliable components. Placement stage Each PCB layout is unique, there are many questions that are asked to make sure the design meets the customer or engineer's needs. Failing to resolve these queries, could end up with the placement reworked multiple times. Is there…