Screaming Circuits: Layout

PROTOTYPE AND SMALL VOLUME
PCB ASSEMBLY MADE EASY

VTP - Very Tiny Parts

A while back, I wrote about a new ARM Cortex M0+ chip from Freescale. It's not the first M0+, but I do believe that it's the smallest. I've been checking stock off and on and finally found the smallest package... Read more

Cost Reduction in Design - More Advice for Makers

As a Maker, you really need a decent price, with good quality, and good service. Contrary to what many people think, you don't need to look outside of North America for this. You can keep your gaze West of the... Read more

Choose Your Package Wisely

As I mentioned in my prior blog, there are reasons to consider different packages than just physical size. Sometimes it is just space available on the PC board, but there may be other considerations as well. One of the first... Read more

QFN? QFP? QFwhat?

The QFN (quad flat pack, no leads) has become my favorite integrated circuit package. It's very compact, yet is easier to use than a micro BGA. Micro BGAs of 0.5mm and smaller pitch become a bit more difficult and costly... Read more

Warped PC boards

So... You just got a nice big PC board back from the fab shop. You set one on your desk to admire only to discover that it's warped. What do you do? There are two primary types of causes of... Read more

0.4mm Pitch BGA is Awesome

I recently had a conversation with a friend about 0.4mm pitch BGAs. The specific part is the Freescale KL03 ARM Coretex-M0+ microcontroller in a 1.6mm x 2mm, 04.mm pitch package. That's a 20 ball wafer scale BGA form factor. I... Read more

VLV - Very Large Vias

I recently received a question over on Twitter. Tomaž Šolc, AKA avian2 asked: "@pcbassembly What is your opinion on the "one big plated drill in QFN ground pad" pattern? pic.twitter.com/M9ZLftpuo0" I answered back: "Bad for machine assembly, okay for hand... Read more

Pads on Ground Plane

Generally, small pads for passive parts are connected with a single PCB trace of equal size to each pad. That's the right way to do it. However, sometimes, circumstances dictate a little different approach. The illustration on the upper right... Read more

Super Small Via In Pad

Via in pad is an old issue that still pops up now and then. Our standard answer hasn't changed: No open vias in pads. But one of the questions we get related to the subject is: "What if we make... Read more

Push-me Pull-you LEDs

I may never get tired of talking about LED and diode polarities. It's so much fun. Not long ago, I wrote about two LEDs from the same manufacturer, marked with opposite polarities. I recently ran into another one, but at... Read more