Designing Your Electronic Products’ PCB: 6 Important Factors

The design electronics products have is a very complex process to get done for new product, particular with respect to the PCB. It requires extensive electronics knowledge and you must have the adept skill to foresee the electronic product design even before it comes to fruition. Once the PCB is not designed the right way, the product will surely encounter issues later on and the electronic product design and development process will be further stalled. Here are the important factors to consider when designing PCB for new electronic products. Function is commonly seen as more important than form, as for many modern approaches to overall electronics design.


1. PCB stack-up

The stack-up is the main component of the PCB. The number of stacks and layers are defined in this component and it helps the electronics engineer to assess the characteristic impedances on each stack or layer. Obviously, as the number of layers increases and so is the cost of the PCB. The PCB stack-up is also necessary for the engineering team to assess reliability, yield and cost of the electronic product design.


2. Design schematics

This factor addresses all aspects of the PCB design such as placement of electrical components, layers, stacks, crosstalk budget, length matching etc. It will also cover DFM (design for manufacture) rules to ensure the final electronic product design is achievable in the production line.


3. Vias

Different types of vias are used to design electronics products and they are necessary to enable interconnections between electrical components in different layers. Through, Blind, Single-Layer Micro, Stacked Micro, Buried and Multi-Layer Micro are the most commonly used vias in circuit boards. The best PCB electronic device designs are the ones who use the least number of vias. Having minimal vias shows efficiency in being able to function with limited components.

Another thing you have to ensure with vias is their capacity to carry required current. Different vias also have different current capabilities. Make sure you pick the right vias you need with your current requirements and you can choose to parallel up to accommodate higher currency.


4. Breakout pattern

A breakout pattern is a strategy you implement to verify whether you can breakout and route all signals on high pin-count devices. This strategy is prerequisite to signal verification and power integrity. The breakout strategy or pattern is also instrumental for you to decide whether to use micro-via bracket and choose its depth which is crucial to the PCB stack-up.

Without the breakout pattern, you cannot decide on a routing strategy whether you use a layer-based breakout, hybrid pattern or the common one which us the directional (North, South, East & West) pattern. You cannot proceed on to this process without having a pre-defined stack.


5. Power integrity

Modern electronic product designs may require high currents at low voltage. This is due to the fact most new electronic products perform at a high level such as the ASICs and FPGAs. Monitoring the AC and DC performance of the circuit is very important as this is vital to the power distribution network of the system.


6. Signal integrity

Designing electronic products always prioritize signal integrity in order to build an excellent electronic device design. The engineering team will consider the rise and fall of the signal, track lengths and characteristic impedances for signal integrity. Other factors covered are drive strength and slew rates of terminations and drivers. Signal integrity simulations are always performed pre and post-layout phase to ensure the PCB has an excellent electronic device design. Topics such as crosstalk budget may inevitable be covered as an effect of the signal integrity simulation process.

There could be a lot more factors to designing electronic product’ PCBs but the ones mentioned above are the most important. These six factors are common starting points of the electronic product design and development process. Keep in mind creating a PCB design is a complex process and there will be a lot of afterthoughts even after having these factors put into consideration. China is incredible flexible and affordable when it comes to design electronics products along with the PCB.

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