How to Navigate the Perils of PCB Design Review

December 21, 2016 Charley Yap

PCB design review

 

Whether you’re a first-time designer or a hardened veteran, the integrity of your designs relies heavily on inspecting a product for potential issues before production. What can be done to minimize design flaws while increasing productivity in your design process?  

No matter how sophisticated a design may appear to the naked eye, you really can’t judge the quality of your design until you test it.

Issues that arise late in the design process can be detrimental and seriously hurt your budget. And as designs get more complex each year, the perils of design review aren’t getting any less stressful. What can be done to mitigate these risks and ensure that your designs are free of flaws before heading to manufacturing?

 

PCB Design Review and The Power of Filtering

Finding a component in your layout is quite cumbersome, especially if you don’t know what other components should be connected with that specific component. Altium provides a solution where users can easily customize the view filtering options to only show necessary components on the PCB. This makes the entire design review process easy to view and navigate.

 

pcb-design-review-filter-search-by-specific-components
Filtering Search by Specific Components

 

The advantage of using unified data models is that it does not limit anyone from finding objects in the PCB environment only. The cross probing feature allows users to select groups of components from the schematic and then automatically select its footprint counterparts in the PCB environment.

 

cross-probe-components-between-schematic-and-pcb
Dynamically Cross-Probing Components Between Schematic and PCB

 

As the design gets closer to completion, it becomes more challenging to make connections on the PCB due to space constraint resulting from copper traces running throughout the board. It is essential that unnecessary information be hidden, masked, or filtered out from view. RF designs are a good example of this since there are certain nets that must be taken with extra precaution.

Identifying nets that are part of the communication device is a top priority and filtering these nets can determine the success and reliability of your product. A designer should have full control on which nets must be displayed, the overall length of the trace, and if there are other pads that are unrouted.

 

Minimize Flaws with Advanced Filtering Options

PCB design may be complex, but it’s quite possible to overcome challenges with the help of search and filter panels. Using these features, whether you’re a beginner or a veteran in PCB design, the only path is to move forward. The Native 3D capabilities in Altium Designer also allow you to explore the inner working of the design to analyze traces and ensure proper connectivity. This is how your PCB design tool should help minimize flaws in the design and increase productivity by automating its environment.

Want to learn more about how the advanced search and filtering options in Altium Designer can help you minimize flaws in your design? Download the free white paper Navigating the Perils of Design Review today.

 

About the Author

Charley Yap

Charley currently serves as a Field Application Engineer at Altium and is responsible for providing technical assistance to Corporate Strategic Account Managers, Sales Managers, Resellers, and Application Engineers. He is also in charge on establishing and managing technical relationships with clients, partners and industry leader. Charley graduated from University of California San Diego majoring in Electrical Engineering, specializing in Power Engineering. However, he's been focusing in the EDA industry for 7 years.

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