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18 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2019 Deciding on the class of the final product will determine what files are needed for fabri- cation and assembly. It is critical to note that for a product to be built to any class level, it must be designed to that class level from its inception. Standards and Specifications Let's review the various PCB classes as de- fined by IPC—Association Connecting Elec- tronics Industries. IPC is the trade association for the electronics industry that provides stan- dards, training and certification, market re- search, education, and public policy advoca- cy to support all facets of the industry, includ- ing design, PCB manufacturing, and electron- ics assembly. First, understand that IPC has different speci- fications depending on the PCB type. This book will address rigid and rigid-flex PCBs. The in- dustry standards for these PCB types are: • IPC-6012: Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards • IPC-6013: Qualification and Performance Specification for Flexible Printed Boards • IPC-6018: Qualification & Performance Specification for High Frequency (Microwave) Printed Boards • IPC-6012DS: Space and Military Avionics Applications Addendum to IPC-6012D: Qualification and Performance Specification for Rigid Printed Boards There are three different board classes as de- fined by IPC-6012 and IPC-6013. The appropri- ate class will be defined by the criticality of the product the PCB will be integrated with. Classes Class 1 is for "general electronic products" and is the lowest reliability class. Therefore, it requires the least amount of additional infor- mation in a fabrication package to meet prod- uct reliability. For instance, a Class 1 or Class 2 PCB does not require a netlist compare, where- as Class 3 and Class 3A do require it. Thus, for Identifying Product Board Class and Pre-quote Software Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Printed Circuit Designer's Guide to... Producing the Perfect Data Package written by Mark Thompson of Prototron Circuits.

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