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PCB Design Blog

15 Sep, 2014

Andre Mosley It’s like moving furniture around and then finding out later you don’t like the sofa. Much of the your end PCB product costs can be directly influenced by the parts selected up front during the schematic capture phase of the design process.  When you incorporate information into the designer’s part selection interface such as preferred part status, compliance, and/or obsolescence; you can reduce the … Read More

9 Sep, 2014

The Future of Integrity

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier I have recently been blogging about signal and power integrity, how the two are related, and how they can cross over.  This was prompted by an article I recently wrote for the DesignCon branch of EDN.  Twenty years ago, one of the biggest barriers to designing high-speed PCBs was ensuring signal integrity.  About ten years ago, power integrity started becoming a serious issue.  So what is next?  Is … Read More

8 Sep, 2014

An Integrity Cocktail - Mixing SI and PI

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier There are a lot of reasons to mix SI and PI analysis – trying to figure out a worst-case stimuli to determine PDN performance, trying to see the effect of a poor PDN on signals due to SSN issues, or just being able to properly analyze a single-ended via.  In fact, to get an accurate model of a single-ended via, you have to mix SI and PI.  The reason is that the power distribution network, or PDN … Read More

3 Sep, 2014

SI and PI - two flavors of Integrity

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier Power integrity (PI) is an analysis discipline that has been around for years.  Signal integrity (SI) has been around for a few more years.  Basically, they both deal with the proper analog operation of digital circuits.  So why these specific realms of analysis?  The main issue is that there is no such thing as “digital” – what we call “digital” data transmission is really … Read More

25 Aug, 2014

Charles Pfeil I’m taking a brief break from the routing series to share this upcoming event with you because it’s a great opportunity for you to learn more about the new release of Xpedition. Mentor Graphics is sponsoring a U2U conference for the automotive community at the Adoba Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan on Wednesday, September 10 from 8am to 5pm. If you are able to attend, share your feedback and questions in … Read More

13 Aug, 2014

The Myth of the Pretty Design

Posted by Vern Wnek

Vern Wnek I often talk with friends and colleagues in the PCB design community about trends. A subject that comes up often, and has probably been beaten to death, is the use of auto routers in today’s PCB designs. The answer I hear more often than anything else is, “We don’t use auto routing on our designs.”  Why is this? Is there something that auto routers are not providing? Is there something more they could … Read More

4 Aug, 2014

Charles Pfeil What comes to mind when you are ready to tune the routing on a design? Among many thoughts, I seriously doubt that exclamations of joy are running through your head. Sure, after completing the routing of a circuit there is some excitement that a new phase of the process is starting; yet it doesn’t take too long for the fun coupons to run out as you have to deal with the tuning complexity and lack of … Read More

28 Jul, 2014

Back side cap mounting

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier Earlier this year I wrote an article on maximizing capacitor effectiveness.  I have since received a number of inquiries on mounting capacitors directly to a power via on the opposite side of the board from the IC.  This is actually a fairly common design practice that I have seen on many boards.  And, the question is, is this better than mounting the capacitors around the outside of the IC on the top … Read More

22 Jul, 2014

Taking a new Route

Posted by Gary Lameris

Gary Lameris The weather has been warm in Colorado this week, so that means the windows and doors are now off the jeep. When I’m enjoying the open air I prefer to go on the less used roads, even if my journey is longer. This means I have to turn off the automatic mindless driving mode and think about the journey.  For example, I don’t automatically turn left to get on the main road, I want to go forward … Read More

21 Jul, 2014

Vern Wnek This is the third post in this series. View the first and second one. In this series we have talked about the placement challenges that occur when we, as PCB designers, do not get complete information from the engineers. Without enough information, we can’t move forward independently. So, how do we correct the issue? Training. But, in order to create a “rock star” design team, training must be a two … Read More

23 Jun, 2014

Charles Pfeil This is the third post in this routing series. View the first and second post. Board fabricators will tell everyone that spacing is king. If the traces can be spread apart and centered between via and/or pin pads, then it will result in higher yields during the fabrication process. Fewer shorts will be created and less work will be required to remove them. In Expedition PCB and Xpedition PCB Layout, … Read More

17 Jun, 2014

Jay Gorajia Tired of entering the same recommendations and descriptions for design DFM issues found over and over again!!! You are not alone. If you are one of the hundreds out there that are responsible for providing feedback for PCB Design issues, read on! As the manufacturing expertise moves away from the design organizations and into the manufacturing organizations, effective collaboration tools are needed … Read More

DFx, DFMA, Design for Manufacturing, Design Quality

16 Jun, 2014

Vern Wnek This is the second post in this series. View the first one here. A placement challenge that I had to endure reminds me of the Rolling Stones song, ‘Get Off of My Cloud.’ I imagine that many of you still endure a similar challenge today… I was placing a design that I knew was going to take weeks to complete, after reviewing the schematic, I contacted the engineer with a list of concerns. I asked for … Read More

5 May, 2014

Does trace width matter much?

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier I guess that all depends on what you are talking about… for Signal Integrity, trace width is very important, as it is one of the main factors in determining the characteristic impedance of a trace.  For Power Integrity, trace width becomes important the longer your traces are.  But in general, when you say “long traces” and “power integrity” in the same sentence, you are headed … Read More

23 Apr, 2014

Applause - for PCB schematic entry ?

Posted by Gary Lameris

Gary Lameris The introduction to the VX release of schematic capture is a hit!  At several early presentations the audience has broke out in applause for the innovation and ease of use enhancements added to xDX Designer (formerly DxDesigner).  To find out what’s new in Mentor Graphics PCB schematic capture look for a Mentor PCB Forum near you! http://www.mentor.com/events/pcb-forum Don’t miss the Mentor PCB … Read More

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