Practical PCB Layout Tips
Hobbyists, students, even engineers tend to pay more attention to circuits, the latest components, and code as important parts of an electronics project, but sometimes ignore a critical component of electronics --- the PCB layout. As a Chinese saying goes, well begun is half done. Good PCB layout plays a great important role in your PCB projects, because poor PCB layout can cause function and reliability problems.
Thermal Vias: Vias can be used to move heat from one side of a PCB to the other. This is especially useful when a PCB is mounted on a heatsink on a chassis that can further dissipate heat. Large vias transfer heat more efficiently than small vias. Many vias transfer heat more efficiently than one via, and lower the operating temperature of components to help PCB perform higher reliability.
Heat Sensitive Components: Keep heat sensitive components (e.g.: thermocouples, electrolytic capacitors) away from those that generate heat. Placing thermocouples close to heat sources may throw off temperature measurements. Placing electrolytic capacitors close to heat generating components will reduce their operating life. Components that generate heat may include bridge rectifiers, diodes, inductors, and resistors. The heat depends on current flowing through the components.