Engineer’s Guide to High-Quality PCB Design and Routing
Did you know that almost every electronic product contains at least one printed circuit board? Printed circuit boards hold components together and implement interconnections between them. There are lots of these created for portable electronics, computers and entertainment equipment and it is up to PCB designers to create high-quality PCBs that will suit every and any purpose. They also need to be completed on time and to a schedule, whilst still meeting the budget and design requirements. This is no easy task!
Here, we are taking you through some of the top points you need to take into consideration as a PCB designer involved in PCB design and routing in particular.
The Basic Design Process
When you start the design process of creating PCBs, you will need to first determine exactly why you are creating this PCB and what its purpose is. The final concept should include the design features, the PCB functions, what it has to perform, interconnection with other circuits, placement and a rough guide as to what its final dimensions will be. You must address any concerns that relate to its surrounding environment and specify what the materials are that have been chosen for the PCB design. This can be a difficult task as you will need the different materials and components to all operate under expected and potential forms of duress that this board may potentially be exposed to over its lifetime.
Based on the concept, the circuit will then be drawn on the concept and this detailed design will show where the electrical implementation of each PCB function will be. This is necessary as it shows the inaccurate drawing of what the concluding PCB dimensions should be with areas designed for each of the circuit’s schematic blocks.
How to Fine Tune the Component Placement
With a PCB board, your components need to be placed in the correct order which is connectors, power circuits, sensitive and precision circuits, then critical circuit components. Around the PCB the schematic is built and this is all connected to each other. One of the main priorities for any PCB is the PCB routing guidelines and this should be picked based on the power levels, noise predisposition or generation and routing competence.
As the lead designer of this type of project, it is important that you carefully review the layout and physical location and routing paths as these should be changed iteratively until the circuit is augmented for every design limitation. The number of power levels that you have and their complexity will decide how many layers you need and you should always add these layers in pairs. When routing power signals and planes, the grounding scheme and the board ability should be used to influence the operation.
PCB design can be extremely complex, however, with technique, practice and using the right software, you will be able to design great PCBs that are extremely high-quality.