Explore content from blog posts to technical white papers gathered together for your convenience. All written by Altium's community of PCB design experts.
What to do With Unused Pins on a Microcontroller I must admit that I’m not exactly the right person to turn to for cleaning tips. I dread the annual spring cleaning as there are always surprises in the storerooms to deal with. Occasionally, I stumble upon items that I barely even recognize but eventually decide to hold on to. While my indecisiveness with unused items results in some nagging from my wife and loss of additional space, failing to deal with unused pins on a microcontroller can have Read Article
A Complete Bill of Materials and Other Suggestions for Error Free PCB Manufacturing Long before my youngest son became a teenager, we already knew that in everything that he did he worked at turning the situation around to best benefit himself. At one point he was doing something that he shouldn’t be doing, and I told him that if he continued down that path that I would ground him. Instead of backing off as I expected, he instead had a contemplative look on his face as he asked me; “for how long would I be grounded?” I couldn’t Read Article
Don't Undervalue Ease of User Interface You know how cooking can get complicated when you aren’t in your own kitchen? Since they aren’t “right where you left them”, you have to hunt for a pan or utensil that will work for what you are doing. It takes more time and possibly burning some eggs while you are looking for a spatula. And that’s just cooking something simple for breakfast; imagine trying to prepare a complicated meal. Situations like this are what help the restaurant business Read Article
Checklist for Systematically Testing PCB Prototypes During my teenage years, I spent fifteen whole minutes perfecting my hairstyle before walking out of the house. Looking back, I’m pretty sure the mirror was tired of my vanity. These days, I walk to work without putting a single drop of gel on my hair. My unkempt appearance sometimes amuses strangers but my close friends know that I’m just being myself. Although I no longer obsess over my physical appearance, my perfectionist attitude comes into Read Article
Impedance Management through PCB Stackup Design with Reference Planes My first PCB was far from a high-speed digital device. It was just an amplifier circuit on a single layer PCB, and controlling the impedance was not even an afterthought. Once I started working on electro-optics systems that required high sampling rates, controlling impedance was always a critical design issue. Controlled impedance on a circuit board is a PCB layout issue that I didn’t feel completely comfortable in handling as a PCB designer for Read Article
Count the Cost With Rigid Flex PCB Cost Comparison When my oldest boy bought his first car I was worried that he might have made a mistake. Sadly my worries turned out to be true and he was stuck with a lemon. I believe that his exact words were; “It seemed like such a good deal at the time”. He thought that paying less money for an older car would be a benefit, and of course, his actual experience was the exact opposite. The old expression of “count the cost” before you buy applies to everything Read Article