pcb design cycle

Accelerating PCB Design Cycle

A PCB (Printed Circuit Board) provides mechanical support and electrical connections to the electronic components by use of pads, conductive tracks and some other features that are etched from the copper sheets that are laminated onto a substrate. The PCBs may be single sided (having a single copper layer), double sided (having two copper layers) or multi-layered (having inner and outer layers). The multiple conductors located on different layers, in the case of multi-layered PCBs, are joined using plated-through holes. These holes are known as vias. More advanced PCBs have the electronic components embedded in the substrate. As experts (RUSHPCB) in PCB design and manufacturing, we are aware that knowledge is power and that is why we came up with this article discussing the various ways of accelerating the PCB design cycle. You can learn more about PCB design and manufacturing at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/blog

In the modern advanced electronic industry a lot of PCBs are needed to accommodate the highly dense and complex circuits that have a large number and variety of components and have complex routing spaces. Regardless of the increase in complexity, there is a decrease in the time-to-market. In such cases, the only option is reduction of the design time by making use of innovative advanced editing options and making the designsperfect-by-construction for the manufacturing process so as to eliminate the cycles between the manufacturing process and the design.


Traditionally, PCBs were manually designed by developing a photomask. After developing the schematic diagram, the components’ pin pads were then established on a Mylar and traces were then routed so as to connect the pads.

Currently the design of PCBs is achieved by use of layout software. This is achieved via the following steps:

  • Development of a schematic captures using the Electronic Design Automation tool.
  • Coming up with the template and card dimensions based on the required circuitry.
  • Determining the positions of the electronic components as well as the heat sinks.
  • Deciding on the layer stack of PCB depending on its complexity.
  • Determining the line impedances by use of the thickness of the dielectric layers, thickness of the routing copper and the width of the trace.
  • Placement of components. Geometry and thermal considerations are also considered. The lands and Vias are then marked.
  • Routing the signal traces.
  • Generating the Gerber files for use during manufacturing.


In the design process, time is always a major challenge and constraint. Two determine ways of accelerating the design process; we must first have knowledge of the challenges in the process. More often than not, the design is always released late due to a number of bottlenecks that include; the design is often not ready for the layout process when it is relayed, customer unknowns, schematic finalizations, changes in Engineering, library updates, slow procurement process of equipment and the samples, footprint validation and the designer him/herself.

Accelerating the PCB design cycle is important since the design reaches the market on time among other benefits. There are a wide range of methods and tools that can aid in accelerating the PCB design process. These include; doing it the right way the first time, mentoring expedition, reusing existing designs, Cadence Allegro, PADS, use of inside tools, Hyper Lynx, using apps and trying to stay updated with the current app improvements, avoiding unnecessary meetings that serve as a waste of time, using third-party enhancements to the CAD software tools, script automation, working for longer, 3D printers.

The design process is concerned with satisfying the requirements of an item into multiple distinct design threads that the prototype. No systematic methods for these disciplines to share their work with the other disciplines. A lack of communication leads to inconsistent decisions on design

Over the past few decades, there have been rapid changes and advancements in the electronic design industry. These advances have taken root in the entire electronic ecosystem that includes transistor design, semiconductor technology, IC/SoC design, system design andPCB. Currently, PCB sare very complex and connect multiple heterogeneous components that operate at distinct clocks and voltages, hence giving rise to a lot of constraints in complex designs. The selection of the components can also prove to be a complex and tedious task since there are numerous suppliers for a single type of component. In such a scenario, the designer will be forced to go through all the catalogues for quite a number of them.


  1. Elimination of Conflicting Information

Any conflicting or inconsistent information should be eliminated from the drawings or files. All documentation should be the same.

  1. Provide an IPC Net list

The IPC net list allows the designer to check the design against the exported data. Any known net list mismatches should be noted. Castellated pads should be noted. These are pads where the plated half-holes, at the edge of the board will create a connection to the post at a point after the fabrication.

  1. Checking for any Discrepancies on the NC Drill File

Check clearly to make sure there are no inconsistencies of size, plating status or count on the drill file. Any of these might cause a lot of communication delays.

  1. Communicating With the Fabricator

Ensure effective communication with the fabricator and check for any validation of the materials or parts to be used.

  1. Annular Ring must be Adequate and Communicated in Plans

All pads for the plated through-hole should have the sufficient annular ring.

  1. Check Your Edges

No metal should be poured closer to any part edge. It should not be less than 0.015” in the case ofa0.062” board.

  1. Check Your Drill Aspect Ratio

The drill aspect ratio should be communicated to the fabricator.

  1. Communicate uncommon Materials

If any uncommon materials are to be used, the fabricator should be informed to ensure they stock the materials or can get them quickly.

  1. File Naming

Avoid using control characters in naming the files while exporting any Image files.

  1. Consulting the Fabricator

Consult the fabricator to discuss the deviations that may arise. Specify any other special requirements for this part. These may include additional edits necessary or extremely tight tolerances.

We are experts in PCB manufacturing, assembly, design, and fabrication. Serving customers from all over the world, we never compromise the quality of our products and services. You can try our uniquely perfect services today by placing your quote at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/quote/