Designing a Printed Circuit Board

A printed circuit board electronically and mechanically connects electrical components using special conductive tracks. These features are etched into copper and laminated onto or in between sheet layers of nonconductive substrates. Printed circuit board layouts are extremely important in circuit design processes because the layout determines how a circuit will work— including its reliability and performance. 

There are several computer development programs that aid with printed circuit board designs, streamlining the design process. These types of programs increase the ease of the design process not just for experts, but also for students. Previously, the design was created using tape and a master drawing sheet, a technique that is long gone. Software for printed circuit boards vary in function and must be selected based on the requirements of the circuit board.

The first step in creating a design for a printed circuit board is to capture the schematic of the circuit. This can be done by using a special tool included in your package or by purchasing an external package whose output can be expressed and formatted to match. This creates a “netlist” which allows for interconnectivity between circuit nodes, electrical pins and nets. Before a netlist is created, it is imperative to know where to place the components to confirm circuitry. Roughly knowing the placement of all components beforehand will make it easier to determine the required space between layers for future electrical placements. Once all placements are placed in the correct position, routing will take place. The connections will need to be routed to the components on all layers. Routing is the most complicated process of printed circuit board design.  This design will be used several times during the manufacturing process.

Aerospace Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your circuit board needs.  Aerospace Unlimited is a premier supplier of printed circuit board assembly parts. Whether new, old, or hard-to-find, we can help you find all the parts you need. Aerospace Unlimited has a wide selection of parts to choose from and is fully equipped with a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and we will always help you find what you’re looking for, 24/7x365. If you’re interested in a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aerospaceunlimited.com or call us at +1-412-212-0606.

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