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Browse our library of resources to learn more about pcb design and pcb manufacturing.
Increasing PCB Prototype Iteration Speed in the Cloud
Stay productive and increase PCB prototype iteration speed with the right set of design collaboration utilities in your PCB design software.
Altium 365 Getting Started User Guide - Available Now
Hi Everyone, A month ago, I announced the release of the Altium Designer Getting Started User Guide. This week we are following up with the release of another helpful guide: Altium 365 Getting Started User Guide. The Altium 365 cloud platform offers the most connected experience for PCB design and realization with direct access from Altium Designer or any web browser. All active subscribers can access Altium 365 to unlock powerful functionality
Communicating Design Intent with Manufacturing Outputs
No one wants to do a board respin because of inaccurate or incomplete manufacturing outputs confusing design intent. This webinar
Are Fiducial Marker Placements on PCBs Still Necessary with Modern Manufacturing Capabilities?
About 10 years ago, I stopped watching horror movies. In my younger days I really enjoyed being scared silly, but when I started my engineering career I became more interested in action and sci-fi genres. This is likely because I was getting my fair share of horror stories at work when simple mistakes resulted in catastrophic post-production nightmares. Sign up and try Altium Designer today. When I started my electronics design career, through
Working with Customer PCB Fabrication Data Through the Cloud
Manufacturing won’t begin until you can receive and inspect PCB fabrication data from customers. Here’s how Altium 365 helps by bringing design and fab data into Altium Designer.
Gerber Compare in Altium 365's Online Platform
The moment you push your Gerbers to a manufacturer for a DFM inspection, it can be a nerve-wracking experience waiting for a response. Once I push a totally new design to manufacturing, I spend a few sleepless nights waiting for a pro forma quote to come through and the design to pass qualification. It’s not until I get working boards that I breathe a sigh of relief. But before you receive your working boards, there will likely be some back-and
Best Design Practices for Double-Sided PCB Soldering with SMD Parts
Read our guidelines for designers who want to ensure successful double-sided PCB soldering.
The History and Use of Cross-Hatched Planes
Read to learn all about hatch ground in your PCB instead of using ground planes. You'll learn about how this type of ground region impacts signal integrity.
PCB Conformal Coating Types: Which is Best for Your New Board?
There are many PCB conformal coating types that can be used to protect your board from excess moisture and corrosion.
How to Create a PCB Manufacturing Cost Estimation
Unless I receive a layout job directly from a manufacturer, my clients will usually ask if I’m a manufacturer. My company doesn’t manufacture boards, but I think it’s important to keep clients informed of the manufacturing costs for new PCBs. Once I started gathering estimates for some of my first projects, I started to better understand the primary cost drivers of PCB manufacturing and how to properly structure a comprehensive estimate for my
Take the Risk Out of Prototype PCB Assembly (PCBA)
Take the risk out of your PCB assembly (PCBA) with supply chain management. There is a special feeling one gets when polishing off a Rev A design and ordering the first set of PCBs from a board house. While designers everywhere would likely not trade that feeling for anything, taking some of the uneasiness off the table would probably be a welcome change. Here are review steps that should prove more effective at settling nerves than an after-work
What is Burn-in Testing for Electronics?
Once you’re planning for production of any new board, you’ll likely be planning a battery of tests for your new product. These tests often focus on functionality and, for high speed/high frequency boards, signal/power integrity. However, you may intend for your product to operate for an extreme period of time, and you’ll need some data to reliably place a lower limit on your product’s lifetime. In addition to in-circuit tests, functional tests
PCB Via Current-Carrying Capacity: How Hot is Too Hot?
One common question from designers, particularly new designers that are learning about industry standards, is regarding the current-carrying capacity of conductors in a PCB. Trace and via current-carrying capacity are legitimate design points to focus on when designing a new board that will carry high current. The goal is to keep conductor temperatures below some appropriate limit, which then helps keep components on the board cool. While the
PCB Trace and Pad Clearance: Low vs. High Voltage
High voltage/high current designs carry safety requirements which need to be met by designers. Similarly, high speed designs need to have suppressed crosstalk in order to ensure signal integrity. The key design aspects that relate to both areas are your PCB trace clearance and pad clearance values. These design choices are critical for balancing safety, noise suppression, and manufacturability. The IPC 2221 standards provide guidance for
PCB Via Current-Carrying Capacity: How Hot is Too Hot?
One common question from designers, particularly new designers that are learning about industry standards, is current-carrying capacity of conductors in a PCB. Trace and via current-carrying capacity are legitimate design points to focus on when designing a new board that will carry high current. The goal is to keep conductor temperatures below some appropriate limit, which then helps keep components on the board cool. While the recommended
Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, and IoT in Manufacturing
When it comes to electronics, consumer devices like smartphones and Alexa tend to get all the attention. However, according to Alun Morgan at Ventec International Group, “about 23% of PCBs produced worldwide are used in electronics equipment for manufacturing applications.” The numbers only go up when you include other non-consumer categories that support manufacturing operations, such as automotive, telecom, power generation/distribution, and
Production-Grade Battery Modules for Raspberry Pi Zero
I’ll admit, I’m a big fan of Raspberry Pi. This set of inexpensive boards packs plenty of general purpose computing power into a small form factor, it easily connects to a LAN/WiFi and is accessible via SSH, and its memory is easily expandable with a micro SD card. It’s also easy to get a new prototype embedded application up and running directly from your laptop. The one aspect that prevents its application as a production-grade embedded system