Words of Advice: First Steps in the Design Process


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In a recent survey, we asked the following question: What are the first steps you take in the PCB design process? Here are some of the answers, edited slightly for clarity.

  1. At some point, before I get very far in the process, I try to guess how many routing layers and plane layers I will need and if there are any trace width limitations. Then I contact the fab shop that will be making the board (if I know who it is) to get a stackup.
  2. It all depends on the situation and the type of project.
  3. Preparation, understanding and planning a complete PCB design solution up front, and then executing to plan, is what makes the difference between a designer and a hook-up artist.
  4. From concept to production. I’m too lazy to write anything wordy.

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