Free Trials

Download a free trial to find out which Altium software best suits your needs

How to Buy

Contact your local sales office to get started on improving your design environment

Downloads

Download the latest in PCB design and EDA software

  • PCB DESIGN SOFTWARE
  • Altium Designer

    Complete Environment for Schematic + Layout

  • CircuitStudio

    Entry Level, Professional PCB Design Tool

  • CircuitMaker

    Community Based PCB Design Tool

  • NEXUS

    Agile PCB Design For Teams

  • CLOUD PLATFORM
  • Altium 365

    Connecting PCB Design to the Manufacturing Floor

  • COMPONENT MANAGEMENT
  • Altium Concord Pro

    Complete Solution for Library Management

  • Octopart

    Extensive, Easy-to-Use Component Database

  • PRODUCT EXTENSIONS
  • PDN Analyzer

    Natural and Effortless Power Distribution Network Analysis

  • See All Extensions
  • EMBEDDED
  • TASKING

    World-Renowned Technology for Embedded Systems Development

  • TRAININGS
  • Live Courses

    Learn best practices with instructional training available worldwide

  • On-Demand Courses

    Gain comprehensive knowledge without leaving your home or office

  • ONLINE VIEWER
  • Altium 365 Viewer

    View & Share electronic designs in your browser

  • Altium Designer 20

    The most powerful, modern and easy-to-use PCB design tool for professional use

    ALTIUMLIVE

    Annual PCB Design Summit

    • Forum

      Where Altium users and enthusiasts can interact with each other

    • Blog

      Our blog about things that interest us and hopefully you too

    • Ideas

      Submit ideas and vote for new features you want in Altium tools

    • Bug Crunch

      Help make the software better by submitting bugs and voting on what's important

    • Wall

      A stream of events on AltiumLive you follow by participating in or subscribing to

    • Beta Program

      Information about participating in our Beta program and getting early access to Altium tools

    All Resources

    Explore the latest content from blog posts to social media and technical white papers gathered together for your convenience

    Downloads

    Take a look at what download options are available to best suit your needs

    How to Buy

    Contact your local sales office to get started improving your design environment

    • Documentation

      The documentation area is where you can find extensive, versioned information about our software online, for free.

    • Training & Events

      View the schedule and register for training events all around the world and online

    • Design Content

      Browse our vast library of free design content including components, templates and reference designs

    • Webinars

      Attend a live webinar online or get instant access to our on demand series of webinars

    • Support

      Get your questions answered with our variety of direct support and self-service options

    • Technical Papers

      Stay up to date with the latest technology and industry trends with our complete collection of technical white papers.

    • Video Library

      Quick and to-the-point video tutorials to get you started with Altium Designer

    Board Fabrication Tips and Myths

    Judy Warner
    |  June 26, 2019

    Amit Bahl, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Sierra Circuits, is here today to discuss a more holistic view of not only board fabrication, but also assembly as Sierra Circuits does both. He’s going to teach you ways to think more about your total cost of ownership. We also do some fun myth busting around PCB fabrication and assembly.

    Listen to the Podcast:

    Download this episode (right click and save)

    Watch the video:

    Show Highlights:

    • Amit says his story is pretty simple: he’s here to service PCB Designers, whatever they want or need, Sierra Circuits makes it happen and have been doing so for 30 years in Sunnyvale, California. Amit spent his high school years setting up drill machines and packaging circuit boards and got his training very early on. His father started the business in 1986. 

    • Their business is quick-turn and they do PCB fabrication, assembly, component procurement, all really quickly from a few buildings on Evelyn Avenue.

    • Tips on looking at fab and assembly more holistically: The number one mistake is a failure to send boards in, in an array; customers tend to forget to send the array panelized drawings but Sierra takes care of that for their customers. 

    • What data do you really need upfront? Two types of data, first for the quote and also for manufacturing.

    • For quotes: Gerber or ODB data or IPC 2581 data. Then there’s everything else for fab that has to be perfect: material, surface finish, any special requirements, PCB stackup; all detailed out in a fab drawing including impedance and dielectric control.

    • It’s imperative to communicate with the fabricator and visit your board shop. It helps designers understand what happens on the floor, to see where variations can come in on different machinery and to design keeping in mind that each process is in a different department.

    • Some myths surrounding fab and assembly. Websites are not always updated regularly, you cannot design based merely according to what’s on the website. Pick up the phone! 

    • PCB materials only hold up for a maximum of three to four laminations because of thermal stress. 

    • Don’t trust the data sheets, even for electrical properties - every material behaves differently. Isola 370HR is very reliable and consistent.

    • Price and value are not equal - look at the total cost of ownership. Do you hire supply chain first and put pricing pressure on vendors, or are you hiring a quality department first and putting quality pressures on the vendors? Focus on quality and attention to detail is essential.

    • Trust begins with relationships and with trust, specific aspects can be left to the fab house.

    • Sierra will be at AltiumLive 2019, October 9 - 11 in San Diego, where face to face relationships can begin.

    • Sierra is launching a Google Maps Street View for their facility, where designers can ‘walk through’ the shop virtually. This should be ready within the next three weeks.

    • Trends: HDI, laser drilling, flex & rigid flex.


    Links and Resources:

    Sierra Circuits Website

    Amit LinkedIn

    What is Design? Podcast with Kelly Dack

    AltiumLive, San Diego, October 2019

    Sierra Circuit’s HDI Design Guide

       

    Trade In Your Outdated PCB Design Tool & Unlock 45% OFF Altium Designer today.

     

    About Author

    About Author

    Judy Warner has held a unique variety of roles in the electronics industry since 1984. She has a deep background in PCB Manufacturing, RF and Microwave PCBs and Contract Manufacturing with a focus on Mil/Aero applications in technical sales and marketing.
    She has been a writer, contributor and journalist for several industry publications such as Microwave Journal, The PCB Magazine, The PCB Design Magazine, PDCF&A and IEEE Microwave Magazine and is an active member of multiple IPC Designers Council chapters. In March 2017, Warner became the Director of Community Engagement for Altium and immediately launched Altium’s OnTrack Newsletter. She led the launch of AltiumLive: Annual PCB Design Summit, a new and annual Altium User Conference. Judy's passion is to provide resources, support and to advocate for PCB Designers around the world.

    most recent articles

    Back to Home