Introduction to PCB Design

With the development of the electronic industry, the production of electronic products is increasing, and the demand for the production of electronic products is also increasing.How to make the PCB quickly and well has become an important issue for many PCB designers.Only the rapid production of PCB with high precision, high performance and cost savings  can have a stronger competitive strength.

A Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) is a rugged, copper and non-conductive substrate based structure to connect electrical components (for example the green board inside a common electrical appliance is a PCB). The PCB is the backbone of electrical devices, allowing you to connect passive (resistor, inductor, capacitors etc…), active (operational amplifiers etc…) and embedded devices together, into specific form factors to fit the design need. Connections between the components are made through copper connections (routes) which become passageways for electrical signals.

At present a large number of work traditionally done by the electronic engineer is becoming the work of software engineers, it is mainly because that they have excess capacity in terms of hardware processing. General-purpose hardware will gradually replace the dedicated hardware, and gradually use the software.

PCB Design

Understanding the Terminology

Schematic capture and simulation tools – A schematic capture program allows the user to draw a document representing the electrical component symbols and the interconnections between them in a graphical way.   Before generating a PCB, the symbols are mapped to component footprints and the symbol interconnections are converted to a netlist that specifies the connections between the component footprints in the layout process. A schematic tool that allows the user to do interactive circuit simulation with the same schematic circuit representation used for layout is advantageous. Circuit simulation can be useful for both initial design analysis and testing the design (i.e. verification testing and troubleshooting) once complete.

PCB layout tools – A PCB layout program generates the mechanical and wiring connection structure of the PCB from the netlist.  The layout program allows the wiring connection structure to be placed on multiple layers and, once complete, allows the user to generate the computer aided design (CAD) files needed to manufacture a PCB. 

Gerber files – The CAD files that need to be sent to a PCB manufacturer so it can build the PCB layer structure are called Gerber files.  The RS-274X is the most commonly supported Gerber file format.

NC drill files – The numerically controlled (NC) drill files indicate the size and position of holes used for unplated holes, plated through-holes, or holes for vias.  Some quick-turn PCB manufacturers have only select hole sizes available.

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