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86 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2020 Introduction A few months ago, at the height of the global shutdowns due to COVID-19, I highlighted how working from home gave IPC volunteers more time to focus on standards development activities. For the superstitious readers out there, don't worry; while typing "the height of the global shutdowns" with one hand, I was knocking on wood with the other! Regardless of the unfortunate circumstances that enabled it, the labor of the past few months has started to bear fruit, and there are new document revisions being prepared for industry review throughout the IPC standards development ecosystem. This month, I would like to focus on one such document: the IPC-2231 DFX Guidelines, which is currently being revised into IPC-2231A. IPC-2231 Captures Board Design Best Practices DFX Guidelines The IPC-2231 DFX Guidelines establish best practice methodology for use in developing a formal design for excellence (DFX) process for laying out printed board assemblies that uti- lize surface-mount and through-hole devices. But the X in DFX means so much more than a catchy way to stylize "eXcellence." It is a vari- able that can represent the many factors for a robust board design, including design for man- ufacturing, fabrication, assembly, testability, cost, reliability, environment, and reuse. If you have not used IPC-2231 before, then think of it as a compendium of best practices to consider while designing your boards. For example, if your board includes any vias in thermal pads, then you might want to read the IPC-2231 section on thermal pad outgas- Design Circuit by Patrick Crawford, IPC–ASSOCIATION CONNECTING ELECTRONICS INDUSTRIES

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