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20 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2022 ere are numerous ways to improve the PCB design and production processes and thereby reduce costs, from fundamental improvements involving a standard form fac- tor and reducing the board size and complex- ity, to technology choices and simulation to reduce iterations. A good starting point would be the IPC standards developed by the elec- tronics industry to enhance manufacturability, testability, and assembly. Anyone new to PCB development should initially begin with these standards and then fine-tune them to capture the essence of their design style. e adoption of surface mount technology (SMT) and the increased use of high-density interconnects (HDIs) has enabled more func- tionality per unit area than conventional plated through-hole (PTH) PCBs. e semi-additive process (SAP) takes this one step further by reducing the size of wearable devices. ese technologies are also ideal for high-speed design as they reduce transmission line length, hence, reflections and lower inductance of the power/ground system. With no component leads the assembly can be automated, dramati- cally reducing production time and cost. Via technology is another consideration. Plated through-hole vias are the most afford- able and should be used whenever possible. Blind and buried vias will increase your costs. PCB Design Strategies to Reduce Costs Beyond Design Feature Column by Barry Olney, IN-CIRCUIT DESIGN PTY LTD / AUSTRALIA

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