PCB Design Challenges
It is clear that printed circuit board design is much more complex and challenging than ever. In this article, EPCB list some challenges that faced by many PCB designers.
By the mid-90s, experts said that the use of conductive copper interconnections would be replaced to improve signal speeds. Nowadays, PCB industry has found ways to increase the copper interconnection capability. Some of ways are to use better material, such as high-speed laminates, smooth copper foil, and high-speed connectors. But many are still determined by PCB design strategies to improve performance and reduce cost, covering the use of back-drilling, reference planes, differential pairs, length matching, hole, pad and anti-pad shapes and sizes.
To design an advanced printed circuit board, a PCB designer is required to command the following skills: use CAD software skillfully, familiar with PCBA and PCB fabrication process, have a good command of electronics and component functionality, and signal and power integrity, and know PCB industry specification well.
Except the above challenges, PCB designers have to shorten their design cycle, because time-to-market is still a vitally important objective. So how do designers balance the technical and timing demand? Actually, there is no one answer. It requires efficient use of the CAD tools, floor planning and effective communication with all parties involved. Fortunately, PCB CAD software developers devote themselves to improve the capabilities of PCB layout tools, which made it much faster to route differential pairs or create shapes.