A print circuit board is the fundamental component of all electronics. It is a support system, one of the most flexible electronic parts, carrying all elements that make up the final circuit board. The ultimate role of the PCB is to combine components with software and peripheral hardware to produce new and cutting edge products. This article introduces the most practical and effective golden rules of PCB design, widely applicable to make PCB design projects successful.
Rule #1: Appropriate Grid Set
Utilize grid spacing that is in tune with most components. Choosing the right grid helps avoid any complications and maximize circuit board applications. Also, since every device might have different package sizes, the products used must be favourable for the design.
Rule #2: Short & Direct Path
The idea must always be to optimise track length and keep the path direct and short at all stages and at all times. It is especially suitable for high-speed digital circuits as their performance stands partially restricted by impedance.
Rule #3: Power Layer for Line Distribution
The copper-coated power layer is an appropriate choice for connecting multiple wires together. It guarantees minimum voltage drop, a high-efficiency current, and an adequate grounding return path.
Rule #4: Reasonable Direction
Have a reasonable direction, be it AC/DC, high/low frequency, weak/strong signals, input/output, or high/low voltage PCB design requirement. Usually, a straight direction is suggested and not a ring or intertwined, which also helps prevent interferences.
Rule #5: Design Rule Check (DRC)
Such a physical check ensures the schematic and is a practice worth maintaining. Running the DRC function test is even more beneficial in complex design environments. Thus, perform as many DRC tests as possible since every routing decision is critical, plus these are quick and helpful.
Rule #6: Screen Printing
Marking functional and test points, component/ connector orientation, and other helpful information helps circuit board manufacturers, engineers, installers, and commissioning personnel. It simplifies the production process and leaves minimal scope for mistakes. Thus, the flexible use of screen printing technology on either upper or lower surfaces or elements used by the circuit board streamlines production processes.
Rule #7: Decoupling Capacitance
Do not just rely on the component datasheet limits and avoid power cord decoupling altogether. Capacitors come in at low costs and perform durably, so take the time to assemble the same and follow the next rule.
Rule #8: Integrate Component Values
Since you might want to choose discreet components with varying values but similar performances, you can integrate values within a standard range to simplify BOM (Bill of Materials) while keeping expenses low. Also, if you have a series of products depending on device values, you can easily make more conducive, long-term inventory management decisions.
Rule #9: Good Grounding Point
Choosing a good grounding point is crucial for the electromagnetic waves to travel and be complete the circuit without interruption. This can be difficult to follow at times due to various restrictions. However, the problem is flexible in practice, with a unique set of solutions for specific boards.
Rule #10: Generate & Verify Manufacturing Parameters
Develop and confirm all parameters before submitting the board for production. It helps avoid misinterpretations and makes sure the output is as expected. You might also come across some inadvertent blunders at this stage and thus avoid producing products with the wrong parameters.
All these essential features make a critical aspect of print circuit board design. With the basics set clearly from the beginning, there remains the flexibility to produce safe and high-performing products and get the most out of the board. If you are looking to outsource PCB manufacturing, Advanced Technology & Manufacturing (AT&M) in Western Australia is the name you can count on. We can be your trusted electronic assembly partner offering unparalleled services in taking the product from prototype to production effortlessly regardless of the size of your project. Contact us today for better assistance.