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36 The PCB Design Magazine • October 2015 Many people understand the value of a PCB, but do not understand the best way to inter- act with PCB manufacturers. Poor planning and communication with fabricators slows down the design cycle and increases overall costs for your project. In this column, I will attempt to help streamline the design cycle through fabrica- tion. Following my tips will minimize the need for future revisions and ensure you get quality boards on time. 10. Eliminate Conflicting Information It is essential that you eliminate any conflict- ing information from your drawings or read-me files. Make sure that all documentation is the same. If one document says half-ounce and an- other says one-ounce copper, you may expect a call asking which it is to be. If you need the part expedited, remember that this takes valuable time away from the build and from you getting your part. 9. Provide an IPC Netlist An IPC netlist will allow the fabricator to check your design against your exported data. Make sure any known or intentional netlist mismatches are noted again so your CAM group does not waste time calling you to check on things you are already aware of. Be careful with castellated pads where plated half-holes at the board's edge will make a con- nection to a post at some point after fabrication. These typically come up as "broken" or open nets because when the bare boards are fabricat- ed, no post exists to connect these castellations. Known A-gnd to D-gnd shorts should also be noted. Make sure no non-plated holes have been specified as test points on the IPC netlist. If you are specifying net-compare on your docu- mentation, be sure to include it! 8. Check for Discrepancies on NC Drill File Double-check to ensure there are no discrep- ancies of count, size or plating status on the NC Feature column by Mark Thompson PrOTOTrOn CirCuiTS THE BARE (BOARD) TRuTH Speeding up the Design Cycle: 10 Things to Remember

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