5 Common Problems Associated with Printed Circuit Board Design

Written by Wall Street News on June 27, 2017. Posted in Pcb design and layout, Pcb design services, Prototype printed circuit boards

Prototype pcb assembly

Different electronic components are connected using an electronic circuit known as a Printed Circuit Board. The process of designing a PCB is often complex as it requires utmost precision and this is where major mistakes are likely to occur. Before you go into circuit board prototyping, it is recommended to get a design review from a reliable engineer. This will avoid all those faulty loopholes associated with faulty PCBs.

What are these costly errors and what can you do to avoid them? The following are common mistakes that occur during PCB design stage.

1. Inappropriate Designing Tool
In order to have a successful PCB design process, you need to have the right kind of tool to do the job. While engineers may seem to have the knowledge on PCB best practices, it’s common to find few circuit board prototyping processes that have gone wrong due to an inefficient designing tool. Choosing the wrong tool may lead to unnecessary delay time as well as high cost of designing. However, PCB design and layout differ and each design has its specific requirement. With numerous PCB design software, it’s important you select a tool that best serves its purpose.

2. Poor Layout Design
If you are going to design a PCB from scratch you need to carefully analyze its layout. A PCB layout is what determines the complexity and speed of a device. Therefore PCB designers are required to come up with simple layout techniques that feature smaller components with minimal footprints. This is important because it helps reduce chances of misconnections and functionality of the device.

3. Copper Weight and Size
Another common problem that happens during Printed Circuit Board Prototyping is choosing the right copper thickness to use. With most PCB designers using copper weights of 1 ounce, the thickness of the copper often fails to support high current transmission. For you to have a successful design, trace width calculator is highly recommended. This may help you get your calculations correctly considering how specific parameters can get. For instance, a standard copper with a finished thickness of 0.5 to 2.5 ounce per square ft is recommended for a successful PCB design.

4. Improper Placement of Decoupling Capacitors
A printed circuit board prototype of any device needs to have stable voltage. This is a function of decoupling capacitors and they are found on the power supply rail. The capacitors are supposed to be fitted close to the pin requiring the stable voltage.

5. Too Long High-Speed Traces
The speed of any component is determined by the signal path. In order to have a fast performing component, high -speed signals need shortest and straight routing. In addition, a trace path is necessary if your device is using a high-speed microprocessor.

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