Analysis of the top ten misunderstandings in PCB design

Analysis of the top ten misunderstandings in PCB design points out that common misunderstandings that designers may fall into during the PCB design process include: ignoring EMC/EMI issues, random layout, irregular wiring, improper ground wire handling, improper power supply design, improper thermal design, failure to consider Designing for maintainability, not designing for manufacturability, not designing for reliability, and insufficient communication and collaboration.

These misunderstandings may lead to signal integrity problems, electromagnetic interference, increased production difficulty, increased costs and other issues. By avoiding these misunderstandings, designers can improve the reliability and performance of PCB designs.

What are the misunderstandings in PCB design? Below we will explain a brief analysis framework and key points of the top ten misunderstandings in PCB design for your reference:

Misunderstanding 1: Ignoring EMC/EMI

  • Electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) issues were not fully considered during PCB design, resulting in signal integrity and electromagnetic radiation problems.
  • Solution: Add EMC/EMI rules and inspection tools during the PCB design stage, optimize layout and routing, and add appropriate filtering and decoupling capacitors.

Misunderstanding 2: Not paying attention to layout

  • Failure to arrange component locations appropriately, resulting in wiring difficulties and increased signal transmission distance.
  • Solution: Carry out component layout according to circuit function, signal flow and thermal design requirements, and follow the “3W principle” and “even distribution principle”.

Misunderstanding 3: Wiring at will

  • Irregular wiring and arbitrary changes lead to signal integrity and reliability problems.
  • Solution: Follow the basic principles of wiring, such as avoiding loops, reducing crossovers, etc., and optimize key lines.

Misunderstanding 4: Improper handling of ground wires

  • The ground wire design is unreasonable, causing signal interference and circuit stability problems.
  • Solution: Use an appropriate ground wire topology to ensure continuity and low impedance of the ground wire, and carry out separate ground wire return design for key signals.

Misunderstanding 5: Improper power supply design

  • The power supply design does not fully consider issues such as power supply noise, power planes, and decoupling capacitors.
  • Solution: Optimize the design of the power plane and decoupling capacitors, and reasonably arrange the location of the power inlet.

Misunderstanding 6: Improper thermal design

  • Failure to fully consider component heating and dissipation issues, resulting in component performance degradation or damage.
  • Solution: Carry out thermal design according to the component data sheet, and arrange heat dissipation paths and heat sinks reasonably.

Misunderstanding 7: Failure to design for maintainability

  • PCB design does not consider the convenience of subsequent repair and maintenance.
  • Solution: Reserve enough maintenance space and interfaces during design to facilitate subsequent maintenance and upgrades.

Misunderstanding 8: Not considering design for manufacturability (DFM)

  • PCB design does not consider the manufacturing process and manufacturing costs, resulting in manufacturing difficulties or increased costs.
  • Solution: Follow the design principles for manufacturability, optimize PCB design and process flow, and reduce manufacturing difficulty and cost.

Misunderstanding 9: Failure to design for reliability

  • PCB design does not consider long-term reliability and stability issues.
  • Solution: Use appropriate components and materials, conduct aging testing and reliability analysis, and optimize PCB design and process flow.

Misunderstanding 10: Insufficient communication and collaboration

  • Insufficient communication between designers and production, testing, maintenance and other links leads to inconsistency between design and actual needs.
  • Solution: Strengthen communication and collaboration in all aspects, ensure that PCB design meets actual needs, and conduct sufficient verification and testing.

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