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  • First Things First- Getting Your PCB Layout Off to a Good Start

    First Things First- Getting Your PCB Layout Off to a Good Start

    We've all been there, or we will be someday. A new concept has emerged and, the team is given a chance to own that niche. To save time, we're going to leverage an existing design. Yep, the good old d

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  • How To: HDMI

    How To: HDMI

    High Definition Media Interface is a beautiful thing. Back when 1080P meant something, the HDMI spec entered the scene as an upgrade on the legacy trio or quintet of RCA cables. The number of...

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  • Flex Circuit Cheat Sheet

    Flex Circuit Cheat Sheet

    So, you think you might want to do some Flexible Printed Circuit layouts? Pull up a chair; there's a lot to talk about. The first thing to know about FPCs is that they are almost entirely...

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  • Steering the PCB from Prototype to Production

    Steering the PCB from Prototype to Production

    Our last topic was about getting off to a good start and touched lightly on placement aspects. We're going to get a little bit of solder paste under our fingernails this time around. Move the scenario

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  • So, You Want to be a CAD PCB Layout-er

    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...

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  • Manufacturing Matters

    Manufacturing Matters

    No two board designs are the same. We could run a thought experiment. Given a token complexity level of a generic board that mixes a bit of digital with a slice of analog, every PCB designer would...

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  • Thermal Challenges for Industrial Machinery

    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

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  • Notes from the Board Room - On Concurrent PCB Design

    Notes from the Board Room - On Concurrent PCB Design

    You can't finish the board before the schematic, but you want it done pretty much right away, before marketing changes their minds again!

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  • Making the Most of a Design Win

    Making the Most of a Design Win

    It is a wonderful time to be a maker of products. Find an underserved niche and give the world a tangible solution. Famous movie quote, “If you build it, they will come.” The hard part becomes finding

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  • My Favorite Stackup

    My Favorite Stackup

    We shouldn't play favorites, the best stack for the job is the one we should be using. If a four-layer, through-hole board will cut it, that's the way to go. If the "mother of all devices" demands...

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  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to PCB Design

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to PCB Design

    over 100 pages of real-world, actionable PCB design tips from experienced industry professionals including checklists, detailed graphics, best practices, and links to additional resources.

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  • Design Reliability

    Design Reliability

    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...

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  • Notes from the Board Room - on Checklists

    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...

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  • How Do Manufacturing Tolerances Work?

    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...

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  • Notes from the Board Room - A day in the life of a Googler

    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...

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  • Design Strategies - WiFi 802.11

    Design Strategies - WiFi 802.11

    Of course, you know what WiFi is. You can get it wherever money changes hands. Being WiFi-enabled is a low-risk strategy when it comes to the number of hot-spots you're likely to pass through on a...

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  • How (and Why) to Embrace Design Constraints

    How (and Why) to Embrace Design Constraints

    Design rules are nothing new. Our ability to create specific and concrete rules to govern the results should not be overlooked. From the first placement study to the final result, capturing a...

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  • Working with Ball Grid Arrays or... Why I see Spots All the Time

    Working with Ball Grid Arrays or... Why I see Spots All the Time

    The little four-pin FETs (that give everyone fits!) on up to the system on a chip, it is getting harder and harder to find a product without some BGAs on board. So let's jump in with both feet.

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  • 3D Printing’s Impact in the Real World: Medicine, Food Production, and Automotive

    3D Printing’s Impact in the Real World: Medicine, Food Production, and Automotive

    Though 3D printing technology was introduced more than three decades ago, it’s only recently gained traction with a wider market. 3D printers were one of Amazon’s most popular holiday gifts for...

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  • Notes on Impedance - Part 2

    Notes on Impedance - Part 2

    If one is good, then two should be even better. That's not really the principle behind differential pairs, but it's a place to start. Each line has resistance/impedance, so two of them would have...

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