The printed circuit board (PCB) is the beating heart of an electronic circuit, as it determines the connection between the device and its components. A small design mistake can cause faults to arise, manufacturing delays, and even a circuit failure. Also, choosing the wrong components could have serious consequences for a company’s mass production and sales.
To avoid putting a step wrong when creating a device, you should learn about the five most common mistakes in PCB design.
Mistake #1: Choosing the Wrong Microcontroller
A microcontroller and PCB work in harmony to control and monitor a device, which is why you must buy the correct components for a design.A microcontroller might sound ideal for your needs, but you must learn about its availability and order requirements.For example, some might have low stock levelsor areonly available for bulk purchases.
As thousands of options are available, you must narrow down your search by learning how to choose the right microcontroller to avoid a big mistake.
Mistake #2: A Poor Landing Pattern
As you may know, PCB design software tools will contain libraries of electronic components and will feature schematic symbols and the PCB landing pattern.
Unfortunately, issues can arise when you add components outside of the libraries, as it will require an engineer to draw both the PCB landing pattern and schematic symbol.
As a result, mistakes are more likely to occur when manually drawing the PCB landing pattern, as a millimeter difference in the pin-pin spacing may make it difficult or impossible to solder a part.
Mistake #3: An Inadequate Layout
Many PCB designers must now create smaller PCBs using components with tiny footprints while slashing the distance between the parts.
Mastering the layout is a challenge, and an inadequate design can cause connection issues and lead to non-compliance. A designer must choose a layout tactic that best suits the required circuit and must provide enough space to add extra components onto the PCB if needed in the future.
Mistake #4: Unnecessary Trace Lengths
PCB designers must make it their mission to keep the traces as short and straight as humanely possible. Excessive length could cause big issues down the road, such as:
- Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) sensitivity
- Signal reflection
- Higher production costs
If a PCB design adds a trace length larger than a tenth of its signal wavelength, it could lead to a loss of signal power, which, of course, is something you don’t want to happen.
Mistake #5: A Lack of Revisions
Due to the demands to produce a PCB, many designers might overlook periodic revisions, despite it being one of the most crucial elements in the PCB design process. Routine reviews will ensure the PCB functions effectively, has successful interconnections between its circuits, and matches the project’s requirements. Also, the reviews could help a designer pinpoint a common mistake, and peer reviews should be completed to spot errors that a designer might have missed. It’s a quick and easy way to avoid issues and create a safe and reliable electronic device.