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Picking The Right Trace Width for Your Next PCB Design

A factor to consider when designing single-layer and multi-layer PCBs is trace width. As with other design factors for PCBs, requirements for a good trace width can impact the size and layout of a PCB. Reducing PCB size may reduce costs, but there’s still a need to ensure you have sufficient...
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Are You Providing Your PCB Manufacturer With the Correct Files?

You’ve completed a PCB design and are ready to send the design to be manufactured. But the file export process isn’t always straightforward, and, depending on the PCB manufacturer, specific requirements may vary. Here are some helpful design file guidelines...
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HASL or ENIG? A Comparison Guide for the Surface Finishes

If you’ve ever had a circuit board professionally manufactured, you have likely been asked your choice between HASL and ENIG surface finishes. From solderability to cost, these two finishes can’t possibly be more different. While some engineers have a tried and true favorite, you may be left...
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Single-sided or Double-sided PCBs?

Fundamentally, single-sided and double-sided printed circuit boards serve the same purpose. Both serve as catalysts for electrical connections between components, however there are some key differences that set them apart from each other. More specifically, they differ in the costs associated with production and development processes, as well as ampacity differences.
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Building a Successful Multi-Layer Printed Circuit Board

Printed Circuit Boards today face an ever-increasing demand in capabilities including high speed, low weight, higher component density, miniaturization, and more. Multi-layer PCBs can help meet those increased demands. A multi-layer PCB is created from two or more PCBs stacked together, although they are not simply laid one on top of the other.
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Tips for Including Fonts & Graphics on a PCB

As PCB aesthetics continue to grow in importance, we’re manufacturing more designs with specific fonts and graphics as a part of the PCB’s silkscreen layer. But if you’re not following the process we’re about to describe, don’t be surprised if things don’t turn out quite the way you expect!
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ITAR Compliance and the Manufacture of Printed Circuit Boards

The U.S. Government requires all manufacturers, exporters, and brokers of defense articles, defense services or related technical data to be ITAR compliant. An increasing number of companies are requiring their supply chain to be ITAR compliant based on the use of the end product even though they may not be engaged in the “export” of the product or its technical information.
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Secrets of a Fabrication Drawing

Essential to the success of any printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing project are the detailed notes included in the fabrication drawing. While the design files (typically Gerber or ODB++) contain the most basic structure and outline of the board design, it is the fabrication drawing that tells the manufacturer the specific details about a board that make it unique.
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Rogers Material: Right For Your Next RF Project?

With the increase in mobile communications from cellular phones, IoT devices and more, the demand for special materials in circuit board manufacturing has increased as well. To help you understand your options, we put together a Q&A with Rogers Corporation, a leading manufacturer of engineered materials.
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Don’t Be Surprised By Markings on a PCB

In the days of the old Model T Ford, you could get any color you wanted – as long as it was black.  Not that long ago it was the same way for printed circuit boards, of course, the only …
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V-Scoring for Printed Circuit Boards

Bay Area Circuits recently installed a new Accu-Score AS-100-MAX V-scoring machine in our Silicon Valley facility. This new scoring machine will not only improve the quality of the printed circuit boards scoring process, but also shortens manufacturing process time.  Both big wins for our customers.  …
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Printed Circuit Board Laminate Material Trends

Recently, we at Bay Area Circuits, have seen an increase in demand for Ventec’s laminate materials in part because of the proliferation of LED lighting and IoT (Internet of Things) products which often have greater than normal requirements for thermal …
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Cross Section Analysis: Inside a PCB

Cross-Section Analysis How can the internal quality of a printed circuit board be inspected and verified using cross section analysis? We previously published an article that talked about IPC Inspection guidelines that provides an overview of the standards used in …
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Introduction to IPC Inspection Guidelines

Acceptable Quality Level Before discussing IPC Inspection Guidelines, it’s important to understand the meaning of the term Acceptable Quality Level (AQL), also referred to as Acceptance Quality Limit. It is an inspection standard that prescribes the range of the number …
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What is Controlled Impedance and How Is It Measured?

One of the most common examples of controlled impedance is the cable that connects the antenna to your television. That cable may be a coaxial cable consisting of a round, inner conductor, separated from the outer cylindrical conductor commonly called …
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Bare Printed Circuit Board Electrical Test

Visual inspections are performed following the manufacturing process of a printed circuit board to identify any potential problems. While that may work fine for a two-layer PCB, for multi-layer PCBs, it is almost impossible to visually inspect the internal layers …
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