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Navigating Instant DFM

Instant DFM is a revolutionary tool that makes quoting Printed Circuit Boards easier and quicker.  Our automated quoting service helps quote PCBs quicker than ever before. Here are the steps to receiving a quote for your PCB.  You will also …
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PCB soldermask

LPI Soldermask & PCB Manufacturing – Bay Area Circuits

Liquid Photoimageable (LPI) Soldermask For many years the only color you would see on a printed circuit board was green.  Maybe a military influence?  The color of the printed circuit board is only a small part of the consideration for …
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Voltage testing equipment

An Introduction to Controlled Impedance for PCBs

What is Controlled Impedance? Electrical impedance is the measure of the opposition (resistance) that a circuit presents to the passage of a current when a voltage is applied in an alternating current circuit.   It is represented by Zo:   Electrical …
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pcb xsection - Bay Area Circuits

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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quick turn pcb

An Expert’s Guide to PCB Surface Finishes

Applying the surface finish is one of the last steps of manufacturing a printed circuit board. The surface finish on a PCB is typically applied after the soldermask process and is designed to prevent oxidation of the remaining exposed copper, …
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Understanding Controlled Impedance: Measurement Techniques

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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Cost Determining Factors When Quoting PCBs

Customers and/or buyers who are relatively new to the printed circuit board (PCB) industry may sometimes be confused as to how a particular project is priced by the fabricator.  In this post we’ll demystify the factors used by fabricators to …
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Choosing Optimal Trace Width: Guide for The 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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Optimizing the PCB Manufacturing: Ensure 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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ENIG or HASL? A Guide to Surface Finish Comparisons

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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Creating a Successful Multilayer 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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pcb-lightbulb-2

Guide to Manufacturing The Best Printed Circuit Boards

We’ve written extensively on topics related to ensuring that the PCB manufacturing process goes smoothly, but today, we’re going to take a higher-level view of the process, from idea to ready for manufacturing, and offer up our recommendations on steps to follow to ensure the desired outcome is achieved.
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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 Printed Circuit Board Production

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 Circuit Board

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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PCB Multilayer Circuit Board

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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