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PCB Design Strategies For Survivability
Face it; we’re hard on our equipment, especially our favorite gadgets. They get squashed to the point of deformation in our pockets. They get bounced around...
Real World (Unexpected) Examples of a Multi-Board PCB System
What do reusable rockets, self-driving cars, and the blockchain have in common? Besides breaching major milestones in the last 3-5 years, they are all stellar examples of how advancements...
What Role do PCB Designers Play in Product Field Service?
At the end of the day, your products are only as good as their in-the-field performance. It doesn’t matter how well they performed in a controlled environment.
Making the Little Things Count on Your PCB Design
Even as everything related to electronics shrinks in size, a few small areas that we have been able to ignore so far remain. Along with the physical reduction, we also encounter reductions in our...
Keeping High-Tech Weaponry Safe from Hackers
When many modern high-tech weapons were developed, such as nuclear weapon systems, computer capabilities were a fraction of what they are now. Few could have predicted the strides that...
PCB Analysis Considerations for Every Designer
Printed-circuit board (PCB) complexity mandates performing different analysis types to ensure robust board performance. This complexity is brought on by the ever-increasing ...
A Guide to PCB Material Selection
A material selection guide is as good a place as any to start. Your typical PCB consists of one or more layers of copper laminated between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate.
Time to go to the Library
The PCB can be no better than the underlying footprints and symbols. A lot of boards end up as scrap or are only partially useful due to improper footprints. Extra design cycles to fix these preventab
Why Do Cell Phones Get Hot?
How many times have you noticed your mobile device getting a little warm to the touch? Most of the time, it’s not a big deal. But sometimes it is: A few models of phones have gotten so hot that they h
How Do I Keep My Data Cool?
In 1965, Gordon Moore predicted that computing power would double every two years at the same cost. This model is known as Moore’s Law. In theory, Moore’s Law is the very definition of rapid progress—
Thermal Challenges for Industrial Machinery
A single failure of a machine due to heat can bring down an entire assembly line to halt. At the printed circuit board level, we designers need to provide the most robust solutions to keep the wheels
Make Reliable Designs That Won’t Fail In The Real World!- Use Smoke Analysis In PSpice (Part 3 of 4)
Heard about the ongoing recalls in the Automotive and Cellphone industry? Let's address the important issue of Circuit Reliability!
Know How Your Circuit Works!- Using Sensitivity Analysis In PSpice (Part 1 of 4)
When in college, books tell you everything about your circuit. You already know which components are critical in your designs. But, what about when you enter an industry? Sensitivity Analysis helps yo
So, You Want to be a CAD PCB Layout-er
Knowledge workers are of the variety that knows and does something that their manager probably doesn't. Even the schematic capture experts struggle with the layout software. It has always been a...
The sun rises every day. It is reliable. In practical terms, it has always risen and will continue to do so. On a long enough timeline, however, our star will burn out. That's what the...
Notes from the Board Room - on Checklists
Not just one, there should be a sanity check at every major step in the life of a layout. Some of us fondly remember the Apollo program on the grainy black-and-white TVs of the day. The whole...
How Do Manufacturing Tolerances Work?
In July 2017, a rollercoaster ride in Ohio failed dramatically, killing one person and injuring seven others. The cause of the accident? Corrosion. Roller coasters must operate and withstand...
Notes from the Board Room - A day in the life of a Googler
In my quest to become a world famous PCB designer, (stop laughing!) I've taken to putting my own words on the screen and sharing them here. My job is to enable design wins, period. It's a cruel...
What is the Cost of Field Failures?