Six Habits That Will Make Your PCB Design Easy

- Aug 18, 2018-

PCB layout engineers walk on the boards thousands of times a day, all kinds of packages, and repeat the work of pulling the wires. Many people may think the work is boring and boring.It seems like a software operator. In fact, designers should make a choice between various design rules in the process, taking into account the performance, cost, process and other aspects. They should also pay attention to the reasonable and neat layout of the boards.Good work habits will benefit you, making your design more reasonable, production easier and performance better.Here's a list of six great habits that will benefit you.

Details determine success or failure

PCB design is a meticulous work that requires care and patience.The mistake that the novice designer often makes is a few detail mistakes.The device pin is wrong, the device package is wrong, the pin sequence is wrong, and so on. Some can be solved by flying wire, and some may turn a board into a waste product.When drawing the package, check it again. Before throwing the board, print the package out and compare it with the actual device.Otherwise design again good-looking board, top is full of fly line, also far from excellent.

Learn to set rules

In fact, not only do advanced PCB design software need to set wiring rules, some simple and easy to use PCB tools can also set rules.After all, the human brain is not a machine.So put some easy-to-miss problems into the rules, and let the computer help us check, as far as possible to avoid making some silly mistakes.In addition, perfect rule setting can better regulate later work.So - called sharpening not the wrong woodcutters, the more complex size of the board rules set the importance of the more prominent.Many EDA tools now have automatic wiring, but wouldn't it be more satisfying to have a cup of coffee on the side if the rules were detailed enough to allow the tool to design for you?

The more you think about others, the less you work

When designing a PCB, consider as many end-user requirements as possible.For example, if the design is a development board, more screen printing information should be considered in the PCB design, so that it is more convenient to use it without having to look back and forth for schematics or designers.If the design is a mass production product, more attention should be paid to the problems encountered in the production line, as far as possible, the direction of the same type of device should be the same, the spacing of the device should be appropriate, and the width of the technological edge of the board, etc.The sooner these issues are considered, the less they affect the design behind them, and the less work they support and the number of board changes.It looks like the amount of time it takes to start designing has actually decreased the amount of work it's going to do.If the board subspace signal allows, try to put more test points and improve the testability of the board. In this way, more time will be saved in the subsequent debugging phase and more ideas will be provided for the problem discovery.

Draw the schematic diagram

Many engineers think layout is more important. The schematic diagram is used to generate network tables for PCB inspection.In fact, in the subsequent circuit debugging process schematic will be more important.Whether it's finding problems or communicating with colleagues, or schematics are more intuitive and convenient.In addition, I have developed the habit of marking in the schematic diagram. The problems that should be noticed in the circuit of each part should be marked on the schematic diagram, which is a good reminder for myself or others.Hierarchical schematic diagram, which divides the circuits of different functional modules into different pages, can significantly reduce the workload whether reading the diagram or reusing it later.Using mature designs is always less risky than designing new ones.Every time you see all the circuits on a piece of paper, a dense piece of device, the brain can be big.

Make a good circuit layout

When the eager engineer finished drawing the schematic diagram and imported the network diagram into the PCB, he could not wait to put the device in place and start pulling.In fact, a good PCB layout will make it easier to pull the cable behind you and make your PCB work better.Each board will have a signal path, and the PCB layout should also follow this signal path, so that the signal can be transmitted smoothly on the board. People do not like to go through mazes, and the signal should also be followed.If the schematic is modular, so is the PCB.The board can be divided into several areas according to different functional modules.Analog and digital separation, power signal separation, thermal and susceptible parts separation, large parts should not be too close to the plate edge, attention to radio frequency signal shielding and so on..Spending one more minute optimizing the PCB layout will save more time when pulling the cable.

Try to simulate

Emulation is often something that PCB design engineers don't want to touch.Someone might say, even if I did the simulation, there would still be a difference between the actual PCB and the simulation, so why would I waste my time doing the simulation?I don't make the boards exactly the same, right?I was very frustrated with the idea.Design once or twice is no problem, it does not mean that it will not go wrong in the future.Although the simulation results are different from the actual results, the simulation can show the correct trend of change, and we can make our own judgment according to the trend.It may be difficult at first, and it is normal to be confused about the simulation parameters.Just start, do it slowly, accumulate slowly, and you will realize the importance of simulation.Determine the location of the problem in advance before the board is completed, solve it in advance and avoid the problem.If the simulation is done more, the cause of the problem will be understood fundamentally, which will be of great help to the improvement of my design ability.