PCB design is NOT easy!

This is my fourteen week in AESTE with Schematic done proceeding to PCB design about 50% done.

The PCB design is a Four-layer board, signal -ground – power – signal. I am pretty thankful and grateful to be able to do PCB design, the main reason is because to me, I initially reckon PCB design is the easiest job/task, and since during my studies I already done a decent amount of PCB drawing so I was pretty confident I will get this shit done properly however the moment I start this project, I was mind blown because I realized that the method or concept I known for PCB is totally wrong, below are the issues about PCB design that I never consider before during my studies:

My 2Cents about PCB design

  • High-Speed layout Guidline is a good link to understand the ‘rules’ about PCB design
  • Routing for Clock is very important and many things must be put into consideration for this particular component during routing
  • Decoupling Capacitor, typically 100nF capacitor is a good candidate for decoupling 3.3V MCU, but the issue for this is regarding the design use for decoupling capacitor. (The placement of capacitor, vias to route, distance of capacitor from MCU)
  • Never route any trace close to clock signal! This particular issue was pointed out by my supervisor, the reasoning is because any two wire/trace that are close together separated from each other by a small gap (air) could become a capacitor!
  • Imagination and planning is really important, with Schematic done it is quite unlikely to route the component to the wrong pin/connection, therefore question would be where should the component be placed to allow easier routing and looks-nice design.

To be a good PCB designer is not that simple, there are many theory and explanation behind every single vias, trace, component, board and etc. Because of this great misconception of mine, I realized there are still many things to learn about PCB design!

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