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PCB Design Blog

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

DxDesigner

11 Apr, 2014

Charles Pfeil This is the second post in this routing series. View the introduction post here. To increase fabrication yield, it is important to center the traces between the fanout vias inside the BGA area. Large BGAs are usually 1mm pitch and medium sized ones are 0.8mm. Then we go down to 0.65, 0.5, 0.45 and 0.4. Is anybody designing with even finer pitch BGAs? In any case, it is important to center the traces … Read More

2 Apr, 2014

Vern Wnek Long before video games, children had simpler means of entertainment. Boys had their army men and marbles. Girls had their coloring books and paper dolls. As a young boy, I used to watch my sister carefully cut out dolls and clothes to glue on them, and thought yuck! 15 years later I found myself doing the same thing…well kind of. If you have been in the PCB design industry for as long as I have, you … Read More

28 Mar, 2014

John McMillan

Successful PCB designs start with your library. You can’t afford to spend hours in library development and management!  With the VX release, you’ll start your design faster and have better quality at completion. Let us show you how. Join PADS Product Marketing Manager Jim Martens as he presents this Webinar on How PADS Advanced Library Capabilities Accelerate the PCB Design Cycle. In this webinar

Read More

26 Mar, 2014

Vern Wnek You’ve likely heard that there has been a new release of the product formerly known as Expedition Enterprise, called Xpedition. So, what’s this release all about? How does the new functionality compare to the tools you use today and what’s in it for you? I’m Vern Wnek, Technical Marketing Engineer for the Xpedition software group. But, before I lose you with that let me explain my background and why … Read More

21 Mar, 2014

PCB and Routing Solutions: Introduction

Posted by Charles Pfeil

Charles Pfeil This is the first of a series of blog topics related to routing PCBs My name is Charles Pfeil and my role at Mentor Graphics is one in which I always have a primary focus on routing technology and methods – although I do get involved in numerous other projects. I began in this industry working my summers in high school inspecting Ruby-Lithe designs for scratches and repairing them. Sounds rather antiquated? … Read More

13 Jan, 2014

How to connect a capacitor?

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier Capacitors are the backbone of a board power distribution network, or PDN.  However, just as important as having the capacitors connected to the PDN is how they are connected.  If you think that connecting them with inch-long 5-mil traces is a good idea, you might want to reconsider (or maybe you are still living in the ’70s?).  Obviously that is an extreme example, but there are a number of nuances … Read More

9 Jan, 2014

What capacitor values do I use?

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier A common question when designing a PDN (power distribution network) for a printed circuit board is which capacitor values to use.  A common practice is to use values in each decade – values like 10uF, 1uF, 0.1uF, and 0.01uF… and there is some reasoning behind that, but a little knowledge of decoupling capacitors can help you pick values that make more sense.  There is a great deal of information … Read More

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