Reading time ( words)
This month, in addition to publishing feature articles by well-known experts in the field, we decided to collect feedback from the readers—PCB designers and engineers working in the trenches each day. We asked our readers to provide their favorite tips, tricks, and techniques for speeding up the PCB design cycle. Here are 10 tips for cutting your design time, courtesy of designers just like you.
PCB group leader, Slovenia
“Bang on the electrical engineers to squeeze out of them all constraint upfront before starting a design, so that you can put them into rules in the design tool, and then hold them accountable for changes. The rest is easy, in comparison.”
CID+, San Diego
“Know the system the PCB integrates into.”
President of ConnectPCB, Chicago
“Use both hands (i.e., one hand on the mouse, other using shortcut keys or function keys). Type without looking at your hands (they should know where the keys are).”
PCB designer, Aalborg, Denmark
“Learn the limitations of the PCB fabrication process and set up your PCB CAD system accordingly.”
Felipe Lopez Rendon
Packaging design engineer with Intel, Guadalajara, Mexico
“Keep the DRC on most of the time.”
To read this entire article, which appeared in the October 2015 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.
Ralf Bruening, Zuken
Using powerful constraint techniques can be a double-edged sword. While the design process is made much safer by including constraints, it is all too easy to over-constrain the design and make it impossible to complete routing and placement. Even paper design guidelines can make products uneconomic to produce unless a great deal of engineering knowledge is applied during the design.
John Coonrod, Rogers Corporation
Ready or not, 5G is coming, and it will require the right circuit materials for many different types of high-frequency circuits, including power amplifiers. 5G represents the latest and greatest in wireless technology, and it will be challenging to design and fabricate, starting with the circuit board materials, because it will operate across many different frequencies, such as 6 GHz and below, as well as at millimeter-wave frequencies (typically 30 GHz and above).
Kelly Dack, CID+, EPTAC
While I was teaching my CID class for EPTAC in Santa Clara, I learned that we were only a block away from Streamline Circuits. Streamline does a lot of military and aerospace work, as well as communications and industrial electronics. The company manufactures quite a bit of multilayer flex and rigid-flex circuits, in addition to rigid boards. This would make a great field trip for my CID class!