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30 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2023 PCB prototyping is a critical juncture during an electronic device's journey from concept to reality. Regardless of a project's complex- ity, the process of transforming a design into a working board is oen enlightening in terms of how a design can be improved before a PCB is ready for full production. But the PCB design needs to be carefully created and thoroughly tested before mov- ing to prototype. Initial board testing usually happens with CAD tools and circuit simula- tor soware. ese tools tend to focus on high speed, high frequency, mixed signals, and even RF designs. Many of them represent a sizable investment for a startup or smaller electron- ics manufacturer hoping to take advantage of their testing features. ere are numerous cost-effective testing tools, so it makes sense to do your research and find one that meets your needs and means. ere are a few different approaches to pro- totyping. ey range from simple DIY options to partnering with a commercial prototype fabricator. Criteria for Choosing Your Prototyping Approach Since no two projects are the same, your approach to prototyping should be flexible. Your needs will be different every time depend- ing on project complexity and timeline. Do you need a quick turnaround time? Will it be faster Best Practices for Prototyping Connect the Dots by Matt Stevenson, SUNSTONE CIRCUITS

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