Designing an effective printed circuit board is a difficult and a challenging task requiring sufficient amount of endeavors from the PCB designer. After designing the printed circuit board; comes the task of selecting components for your PCB. Choosing components is a highly essential part and must be done carefully as your components only decide between life and death for your printed circuit board. As a printed circuit board designer, you would know that the list of available components, for a printed circuit board, is tremendously huge and it becomes extremely endeavoring to select the needed components for your design. To make your task a little easier following are certain essential tips which will come in handy when selecting components for your printed circuit board.
- Think about Footprint or Land Pattern Decisions
It is essential that you think about the footprint or land pattern decisions which might be required to make while setting up the layout of your printed circuit board; in the schematic designing phase itself. The body, as well as pins of the part, is included in footprints. It is always recommended to start with a basic design and place some critical components first so as to get an effective virtual look and feel of the printed circuit board. Such type of virtual rendering is pretty essential to ensure a smooth and seamless placement of components as and when the PCB is assembled.
Talking about land patterns; they are responsible to display the pads or holes on which a particular component of the printed circuit board will be soldered. It is obvious; that if land patterns are not sized correctly; there can be an issue of improper soldering as well as the mechanical and thermal integrity of the parts will be at risk. Hence, considering the manufacturing process in the design phase itself helps to determine the exact size of the land patterns.
It is recommended to think about the cost of the parts, their availability and other vital statistics like power dissipation; early in the design process itself. A complete PCB designing tool provides you with a unified design environment that compiles your entire component information into a single library which is extremely easy to access and seamlessly integrates with your other design tools as well; giving you the much-needed speed and quickness in accessing vital component information.
- Grounding Must be Efficient
If your PCB design is not having enough bypass capacitors or ground planes; it is bound to have reliability issues in the long run. Decoupling capacitors must be put up near the supply, to a ground plane. The technology of the capacitor and the frequency will help you determine the size of the capacitors that you require in your design.
Good amount of efforts must be put in setting up efficient grounding for your printed circuit board to ensure long life and dependability.
- Set up Footprints for the Virtual Parts
A bill of materials or BOM is highly helpful to check for virtual parts. It permits you to review the virtual parts in the designing section. Power and ground signals are included with the virtual parts. However, virtual parts don’t have footprints attached to them and hence will not be moved to the layout. These parts that are visible in the virtual section, unless exclusively employed for simulation tasks, must be assigned footprints.
Moreover, once you have run BOM report it is essential that you check and review the same for complete information. In case if any part is not present or the associated vendor or manufacturer data is not present; please go ahead and populate the same.
Reference designators help in sorting and reviewing the BOM report.
- Check for floating unwired inputs
Unwired inputs or floating inputs may cause malfunctioning of the entire system or the loss of the desired level of functionality. Hence, it is essential that you check all the spare gates on your printed circuit board. All of their inputs must be connected to a signal as this doesn’t allow the inputs to float and an optimum or expected level of functionality is retained in the system.
It is essential that as a PCB designer, you must take out few minutes from your busy schedule to prepare a good plan before actually starting out on things – particularly when it comes to the selection of components as it plays an essential role when your PCB is in the production phase.