5 Basic Steps to a Successful PCB Layout - Part 4

This is the fourth of five parts from guest blogger, Stilwell Baker, covering successful PCB layout. Last week they covered layer count.

Know your PCB Fabricator: Every PCB fabricator has their preferred design guideline

  • Be sure the fabricator that you are using is capable of producing the type(technology) of design that you are creating. For example, if the fabricator you've chosen can't do the rigid flex that you need, you will need to find a set of cables and connectors or go find a fabricator that can build rigid flex.
  • Work with the fabricator to build a stackup. This is especially important on many of the high speed designs. Although it is easy to download one of the free impedance calculators out there and punch in what you think are the correct numbers. Give you fabricator a call and verify the number that you are assuming. In all of cases they may be able to work out a stackup for you.
  • Get there fabricators design capabilities and design to their standard where possible. Know what advanced means.
  • If you are creating a design for R&D at a prototype fabricator and plan to send the completed R&D design to a different volume fabricator, be sure that the R&D design has been created to accommodate either fabricators guideline

Next week: Know your assembler

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