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Reducing PCB Emissions Low-Noise Design Practices

Reducing PCB Emissions Low-Noise Design Practices It is generally desirable to have reduced emissions with your printed circuit boards. Reducing emissions comes down to having the right design approach. Some manufacturers may not realize they are not stuck with the level of emissions their printed circuit boards currently register. If you are looking to improve printed circuit board performance, you should always start with a proper approach to design. It may be possible to reduce PCB emissions with low-noise design practices. Here are some ideas for low-noise PCB design, which you may wish to integrate into your own board designs in order to reduce emissions. Use an Adjacent Pair Stack-up Design One low-noise circuit layout option that may be useful relates to how you design your stack up. A more desirable design plan may be to stack up the layers with signal pairs adjacent to their respective image planes. If

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Interconnect Defects — Debris-Based and Copper Bond Failure

Interconnect Defects — Debris-Based and Copper Bond Failure One concern you may have with respect to your circuit boards concerns interconnect defects, or ICDs. What exactly are interconnect defects, and what can you do about them? Here is the basic information you need to know regarding this troublesome issue. What Are Interconnect Defects (ICDs)? An interconnect defect is a problem in your printed circuit board that could lead to circuit failure. There are internal connections in your printed circuit board, typically called vias, in which the manufacturer drills through the inner-layer circuit. When the manufacturer processes the PCB, they put copper into the drilled hole to connect the inner-layer circuits to each other and to the surface of the printed circuit board. This allows you to place connectors or components to the board’s surface, and allows the circuit to connect between layers. Problems can occur when the manufacturer fails to

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PCB Insulation Materials

PCB Insulation Materials A printed circuit board consists of an insulated substrate, the board itself, and printed wires or copper traces, which provide the medium for electricity to travel through the circuits. The materials of the substrate also serve as PCB insulation materials that provide electrical insulation between the conductive parts. Multilayer boards will have more than one substrate separating the various layers. What are typical PCB substrates made of? PCB Substrate Materials PCB substrate materials must be made of substances that do not conduct electric currents, as this will interfere with the path of electricity as it travels through the printed wires. In fact, the substrate materials are PCB insulation that functions as a laminated electrical insulator for the circuitry of the board. Each layer of circuitry connects through holes that are plated through the board when connecting traces on opposite layers. Materials that serve as effective substrates include

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RF and Microwave Design

Guidelines for RF and Microwave Design RF and microwave circuits are now some of the most common PCB designs across the electronics industry, recognized for their abilities to capture higher frequencies than normal circuits. Formerly too costly to make for anything outside of the military and aerospace industries, RF and microwave circuits are now integral parts in a wide range of commercial and professional products, specifically wireless communication devices like cell phones, satellite broadcasters and wireless networks. With higher frequencies, however, come more design challenges.   To ensure these high frequency RF and microwave circuits are successful, suppliers must consider several RF and microwave design techniques for PCBs. RF and Microwave PCB Basics The simplest way to describe RF and microwave PCBs is that they contain components that carry RF or microwave signals. These signals vary in frequency, and the differences in frequency define the differences in components between RF

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Solder Mask Discoloration on PCBs

Guide to Solder Mask Discoloration Careful inspection of your printed circuit boards (PCB) may be second nature in your industry, and the first time you saw solder mask discoloration on a circuit board, you may well have been alarmed. Whether you observed white patches on a PCB, dark stripe PCB solder mask discoloration or some other type of solder mask discoloration, it’s natural to immediately want to know if the PCB is still good, if the discoloration will cause some kind of problem, what caused it and how to prevent it from happening again. Here is a quick guide to solder mask discoloration. Dangers of Solder Mask Discoloration on a Circuit Board The reality is that in most cases, any kind of PCB solder mask discoloration is probably cosmetic and does not represent any damage to the board that will affect its functioning. However, it is possible that whatever caused

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Signal Integrity & PCB – Issues and Design Considerations

Signal Integrity A major issue when it comes to high-speed PCB layout guidelines is signal integrity. Loss of signal integrity with PCB units has long been an ongoing concern, so it’s important to keep signal integrity PCB layout considerations in mind when manufacturing, selling or purchasing printed circuit boards. Signal Integrity Issues and Printed Circuit Boards Frequency At low frequencies, you should not experience any major problems with signal integrity. However, with increasing signal speeds, you get higher frequencies, which can affect both the analog and digital properties of the system. You may experience reflections, ground bounce, crosstalk and ringing at higher frequencies, which can seriously damage the integrity of your signal. If you anticipate higher frequencies, you need to consider transmission line effects on the I/O signaling in your board design. Speed Naturally, the relationship between speed and frequency is one you need to keep in mind. Lower speeds

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Bow & Twist Issues with PCBS

Bow & Twist Circuit Board Issue and Prevention The bow and twist issue on Printed Circuit Board can cause components and parts to shift in the PCB assembly process, if the surface mount and through hole components x/y and z coordinate does not match the pcb, then it will make the PCB assembly process very time consuming and difficult. IPC-6012 defines the maximum bow and twist 0.75% on circuit boards, however some strict designs only allow bow and twist not to exceed 0.5%.  See below for IPC guidelines on how to measure bow and twist. Prevention of bow and twist on electronic circuit boards: 1. PCB Design: PCB designers should use copper thieving if necessary to balance the design from layer to layer to distribute the copper evenly. 2. Lamination: Prepreg between PCB layers must be symmetrical unless there is specific impedance requirements. 3. Multi-layer pcbs should use the same material manufacturer’s

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SMT Component Placement for PCBs

PCB: SMT Component Placement PCBs have conductive traces that allow electricity to flow through the board. Each SMT component on the board is placed in a specific location on the conductive pathway so the specific component can receive sufficient power to function. When considering the placement of components that use surface mount technology on a printed circuit boards (PCB), there are special considerations to be made. CTE Considerations There are a number of factors you must consider when establishing SMT component placement tolerance and spacing. One of the most important factors with regard to SMT component spacing and placement is CTE, or coefficient of thermal expansion. Many printed circuit boards are made of glass epoxy substrates with leadless ceramic chip carriers. When the CTE differential between the ceramic carriers and the epoxy substrate becomes too great, you may experience solder joint cracking, which happens after about 100 cycles. The solution

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PCBs for the Automotive Industry

Automotive Industry Printed Circuit Boards  These PCBs have revolutionized the way we drive and use our vehicles, from engine controls and airbag sensors to anti-lock brake management and even GPS support. Almost every modern convenience in the car in your driveway or the fleet in your business’ yard relies on automotive PCBs. And as we add more heads-up displays, windshield overlays, in-cab navigation systems and other electronics to help us drive or relax as we drive, the demand for reliable PCBs that don’t interfere with other systems is going to continue to rise. Automotive printed circuit boards from MCL are designed specifically to support each individual application and work in the real-world environments they will experience, whether they’re in the dashboard, under the hood or in areas of significant motion. That’s why, as a privately owned and ISO-9001 certified company, we engineer precision solutions custom tailored to your application. Creating

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UL, ISO and ITAR: Important Information About PCB Certifications

small circuit boards

UL, ISO & ITAR When it comes to printed circuit boards, there are certain standards in place that buyers look for. Experts may tell you to be sure to work with a UL PCB supplier, an ITAR registered supplier or an ISO PCB supplier. But what do these things really mean, and what exactly should you be looking for when seeking out quality printed circuit boards for your business? Here is some basic, useful information about these terms. UL PCB Standards Those seeking quality printed circuit boards may look for boards that are UL approved, such as a UL 796 PCB. Why? UL is short for Underwriters Laboratories, a global independent safety science company with over 100 years of expertise innovating safety solutions. UL is an accepted leader worldwide in testing, certification and standards development, with a goal to use safety science and safety engineering to promote safe living and

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PCB Glossary

  • Scoring

    A technique in which grooves are machined on opposite sides of a panel to a depth that permits individual boards to be separated from the panel after component assembly.

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