Tips For Improving Your PCB Layout

In the technology industry, PCBs are obviously very important. Printed circuit boards can be found in almost every single gadget that you own – even your TV remote. Printed circuit boards make using these things a lot easier, and less cumbersome, but making the boards themselves is not so easy. One of the major issues is keeping the footprint to a minimum, so whatever happens, that should be a consideration too.

PCBs are generally made by a team, spending their time designing the layout, creating the design and then, finally, actually creating the finished PBC. The layout is possibly the trickiest part of this so here are a few tips to help improve yours.

Component Spacing

First of all, you should make sure that your components are properly spaced. A lot of people try to group their components together, presuming that this is the best approach. This can actually cause other issues further down the line. Keeping everything properly spaced can make the wiring and soldering processes a lot easier later.

Make Use Of Top Layout Software

Have you been using the best design software that you are able to? Software for PCB layout, including the packages that Altium offers, is always better when using the latest version as it can make design a lot easier. Using the latest version of any software package is always the better option, so make sure everything is up to date regardless of what package you use.

Avoid 90-Degree Angle Traces

A very common mistake that people make when designing a printed circuit board is creating traces that turn on 90-degrees. This kind of angle can create issues so it’s something to avoid. If you look at professionally designed boards, where a trace turns it’s at an angle of 45-degrees. This improves transfer speeds and avoids issues of overcrowding with components.

Make Use Of A Ground Plane

Wherever possible, you should create a ground plane to improve your printed circuit board layout. In any PCB, the ground is important, and it is important that it is constant throughout the whole plane. Doing this is very often much more effective than having traces with a high voltage drop because of resistance.

If you always remember to add a ground plane to your designs, you will find that the printed circuit board layout is much improved overall.

In the end, the layout of any printed circuit board is very important and if it falls to you to design one yourself then you have to make sure that you are properly prepared for the task at hand. Take on board the tips above and you should find that the process goes smoother in the future. Avoid 90-degree angle traces, always go for 45-degrees where you can, keep the proper spacing between your components and always use the latest printed circuit board design software wherever possible.

Before you know it, you’ll be designing PCBs the correct way without even having to think about it.


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