Understanding the Basics of Printed Circuit Boards Design

When it comes to designing printed circuit boards, there are some important factors to consider. PCBs are manually designed to create photomask using the patent mylar sheet. Through the help of schematic diagram, circuit boards are carefully produced to meet certain standards. Hence, our main goal here is to help you understand the basics of PCB design so that you will know how it really works. Due to the complexity of circuit connections, caution is needed to achieve the ideal output in the best possible way.

Initially, printed circuit boards are created using a mylar sheet to produce the photomask which is typically 2 to 4 times the original size. The entire process is guided by the schematic chart so that the manufacturer will accurately connect all components in the circuit board. Pin pads are positioned on the mylar sheet while tracing the pads to ensure electric connections. Common module footprints on rub-on, dry transfers are responsible for increasing PCB efficiency.

Steps in PCB Design and Assembly

The traces are created using self-adhesive tape while the pre-printed, non-producing lattices on the sheet support the layout. In fabricating the PCB, the completed photomask is photo-lithographically replicated onto the photoresist coating through the blank, copper clad boards. Hence, modern printed circuit boards are manufactured with devoted layout software. The following are the basic steps to follow:

  1. Schematic diagram capture using the electronic design automation or EDA tool.
  2. Card size as well as template is selected according to the required PCB case and circuitry.
  3. The heat sinks and component positioning techniques are established.
  4. PCB layer stack is determined along with the layers based on the complexity of the printed circuit boards. Power and ground planes are also identified. The power plane serves as the matching part of the ground plane, while the AC signal provides DC power required in the circuit connections. Signal interconnections will trace the signal planes included in the inner and outer layers.
  5. Line impedance will be determined through the use of dielectric layer width while routing the copper thickness as well as the trace width. The separation of traces is also important in handling differential signals. Stripline, dual stripline, and microstrip are used in routing signals within the circuit board.
  6. Components are positioned. Geometry and thermal considerations are done to secure operation. Lands and vias are marked as well.
  7. Signal traces will be directed while the automation tools take care of the electrical design. This will create connections and clearances in ground and power planes automatically.
  8. Gerber files will also be produced to manufacture PCBs.

 PCB Assembly When it comes to PCB fabrication, there are several steps to follow that will guarantee quality boards such as PCB CAM, panelization, copper patterning, subtractive-additive-semi-additive processing, chemical etching, inner layer automated optical inspection, lamination, drilling, plating and coating, solder resist application, legend printing, bare board testing, assembly, and protection and packaging. For PCB characteristics, most of the electrical PCB designs in the industry follow certain standards before they are released in the market.

In the early days, the first circuit boards utilized through-hole technology with mounted electrical components via leads inserted in the holes. On each side, they are soldered onto the copper traces to ensure operation. The boards can be single-sided with unplated components, or compact, double-sided boards with parts soldered on each side. Through-hole components horizontal installation may use 2-axial leads like diodes, capacitors, and resistors. It’s done through bended lead in a 90-degree orientation.

Other Features to Consider when Choosing a PCB Supplier

Through-hole PCBs almost totally substituted the earlier electrical assembly methods like the point to point construction. This type of fabrication also adds to the cost by involving many holes accurately drilled in the board. However, it limits the availability of routing areas needed in signal traces. After the surface-mounting is done, small sized SMD parts are used to mount necessary components. Thorough assembly techniques are needed in the production of circuit boards to properly manufacture quality PCBs in the market.

PCB Design

On the other hand, surface mount technology is used in mechanically redesigning the meta tabs for direct soldering purposes. Components are made smaller to provide convenient PCBs generally used in portable devices. Hence, this type has been more popularly used by manufacturers than the through-hole mounting technique. This ideally allows much smaller assemblies of PCBs while providing higher circuit density. Components may be supplied-mounted through carrier tapes. Some wire ended components are significantly more affordable compared to SMD equivalents.

If you have questions and other related concerns regarding PCB fabrication and design, you can check out our website. We also encourage you to do some research before you choose a PCB company that will supply for you. In fact, it’s a huge investment to buy circuit boards so making a well-informed decision is a must.

 Author Bio

If you want to know more about printed circuit boards basics design and fabrication, so can visit our website pcbnet.com. We offers high quality printed circuit board fabrication and assembly.