Master the art of PCB Design with these 10 Golden Rules
Looking to design a top-quality print circuit board (PCB)? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with our 10 Golden Rules for PCB Design. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a novice, these guidelines will ensure your PCB design project is a success.
Rule 1: Choose the Appropriate Grid Set
Maximize your board’s potential by selecting a grid spacing that works for most of your components. Avoid spacing issues and optimize board usage by using different package sizes to your advantage.
Rule 2: Keep the Path Shortest and Most Direct
For optimal system performance, keep the wiring length as short and direct as possible. This is especially critical for analog and high-speed digital circuits, where parasitics and impedance play a crucial role.
Rule 3: Power Layer for Line Distribution
To ensure efficient current flow and an adequate ground return channel, connect many wires together in common on the copper power supply layer. Run multiple power lines in the same area of the board for better interaction between running lines on neighboring layers.
Rule 4: Group Associated Elements Together
Facilitate testing and fault-finding by grouping related elements together, such as putting the discrete parts of an opamp adjacent to it, including the bypass capacitors and resistors.
Rule 5: Copy the Required Circuit Board Multiple Times
Select a size that works best with the manufacturer’s machinery to reduce development and production costs. After correcting your design rules, repeat your design numerous times within the preferred panel size.
Rule 6: Integrate Component Values
Simplify your bill of materials and lower prices by integrating into a narrower standard value range. This will make inventory management easier in the long run.
Rule 7: Design Rule Check (DRC) Often
Save time by using the DRC function in your PCB software frequently, checking as you go to catch potential errors and avoid hours of rework.
Rule 8: Use the Silkscreen Wisely
Maximize the usefulness of your silkscreen by showing a plethora of information, including clear labels that show functions and test points. Annotation is still important, even if it ends up under your components during board assembly.
Rule 9: Decoupling Capacitors are Not Optional
Don’t skip power cord decoupling and rely solely on component datasheets. Take the time to assemble and abide by the rule, as capacitors are affordable and reliable.
Rule 10: Generate Your Own PCB Manufacturing Data and Verify It
Produce your own Gerber file and use a free viewer to check it before sending it out to be fabricated. This can prevent mistakes and avoid costly errors during manufacturing.
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