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High-Frequency PC Board

High-Frequency PC Board Applications, Specifications, and Challenges

Some electronic products need special signals for which you have to make a high-frequency PC Board. Such a circuit board can provide 500 MHz to 2 GHz frequency that is ideal for microwaves, a radio frequency, and certain mobile applications that involve high-speed designs.

Several electronic components and switches are complex and need to transfer signals at a fast speed which is provided by high-frequency PCBs. Such boards need special materials because ordinary materials can affect signal transmission due to a poor Er value. Designers have to consider certain factors while designing the high-frequency Printed Circuit Board that we will discuss below.

Understanding a High-Frequency PCB

PCB involves connections of different components through conductive paths to run a specific electronic item. Designers use copper to develop a conductive path in a PCB. Circuit boards also help in signal transmission in the case of Wi-Fi and other satellite systems. In other words, you need a high-frequency circuit board to connect multiple objects through signals.

High-Frequency PC Board
High-Frequency PC Board Applications, Specifications, and Challenges

Which Factors Affect The High-Frequency PCB?

The design of a high-frequency PCB is not that easy because certain factors influence it and you have to consider them. Such boards have complex fabrication due to high-frequency laminates. Besides, the circuit board has to manage different applications’ thermal heat transfer.
You can’t use any material for high-frequency PCBs because it influences signal transmission that can be fast or slow, depending on the material. Moreover, the change in a material’s Er value also affects a PCB’s impedance.
Similarly, the dielectric material also plays a role in the design of high-frequency boards. Manufacturers use different dielectric materials as mentioned below:
1. Roger’s
2. Teflon
3. FR4.
The Roger’s is not expensive, and its DF and DK values are also less than other materials. Besides, it is ideal for prototyping manufacturing and applications. Moreover, there is a minimum chance of signal loss due to this material.
Whereas Teflon is used due to its high frequency that is up to 5 GHz that enhances the speed of signals between different parts and objects.
On the other hand, the FR4 is ideal for RF applications that need a frequency from 1GHz to 10 GHz. But, the electric products having FR4 have certain drawbacks due to their limitations.
The best material for high-frequency PCBs is Teflon due to factors like water absorption, DK, and DF. Teflon is more expensive than other materials, but it is ideal for products that need more than 10 GHz frequency of signals.
What Are The Standard Specifications Of a High-Frequency PCB?
You have to consider certain materials to have a high-frequency board as mentioned above. Moreover, the change in a material’s Er value also affects a PCB’s impedance. PCBs are available in different frequencies and have certain specifications that we will discuss below.
PCB Size: It should be at least 6 mm x 6 mm, and can go up to 457 mm x 610 mm.
PCB Thickness: It ranges from 4 mm to 5 mm.
Type of Material. Generally, it should be RO4003C, Ro3003, RT5880, and Ro3010
Weight of Copper: It ranges from 0.5 oz. to 2 oz.
PP: It includes Domestic-25FR, Domestic-6700, and Roger’s 4450F.
Min Spacing: It should be at least 3 mils.
Solder Mask Colors: Some common colors, in this case, are yellow, red, white, green, and blue.
Sides of Solder Mask. They are according to the design files.
Silkscreen Colors and Size: The colors are mostly white, black, and yellow, whereas the sides are according to the files.
Impedance Clearance: It is either plus 10% or minus 10%, depending on the design.
High-Frequency PCB Finish: It can be immersion tin, gold, silver, or electroless nickel. All these finishes should be RoHS certified.
Annular Ring: It should be min 4 mil.
Diameter of Drilling Hole: It is a minimum of 6 mils.

All the above species are standard and may change according to the board design. Besides, most circuit boards are customized and designed according to your needs. It is hard to recognize the best high-frequency circuit board, however, the material and specifications can help you in this case. You can also get professional help from a qualified PCB designer and/or a circuit board manufacturer.

Top Tips To Develop The Best High-Frequency PCB

As you know high-frequency PCBs have a high density and integration than other PCBs, they need a thoughtful design and fabrication. Such boards are more scientific than traditional circuit boards, and we have some tips to help you create a reliable PCB.

1. The pins that exist between various layers of a high-frequency PCB should have minimal leads as an alternate. Besides, the lead between different pins should be small.
2. When it comes to high-frequency devices, there should not be more bends between their pins.
3. Make sure that loops don’t develop while wiring.
4. The impedance of signals should be compatible.
5. The power pins of an integrated PCB should have a high-speed decoupling.

Meeting the Challenges of A High-Frequency PCB

No matter how well-designed is your high-frequency circuit board, you have to face some challenges during its fabrication and assembly. Let’s discuss some common issues in this case.

Consider Scaling

A professional fabricator knows that the thickness of internal layers decreases during the lamination of a multi-layered PCB made if FR4. So, the manufacturer should evaluate the percentage of such a loss. This helps printed circuit boards manufacturers get the right dimensions after the lamination process is over.
Besides, the laminate material is not hard like FR4, so it reacts differently. You should know the behavior of each material. Besides, you should scale each thickness separately or it will affect the registration from drill to pad and layer to layer. The fabricator should know all the statistics in this regard.

Preparing Different Layers

A board with several layers is complex, as you have to prepare each layer to have a strong bond, especially in the case of Teflon. Soft material can get deformed during the aggressive preparation of a surface. Such a deformation results in wrong registration, turning a PCB into a scrap.
Replacing the Teflon becomes expensive and causes delays in fabrication. So, you must prepare the surfaces carefully to avoid such challenges.

Preparation of Holes

You need to prepare the hole before plating. Like, it should be free from debris or epoxy attached to its walls. A smooth surface helps have a well intact copper plating. However, ceramic or Teflon involves a different kind of hole preparation.
This process involves a lot of care like you should consider various parameters of the drill machine to avoid the smearing of the substrate. After drilling, the hole is treated through plasma that involves gases. Poor preparation of the hole before copper plating might result in poor signal transmission. Hence, a PCB should have clean holes to perform better.

Considering the CTE Rate

The designer also has to consider the CTE or coefficient of thermal expansion of different materials. Different materials have different expansion rates, besides this expansion can occur in any direction like x, y, or z, depending on the heat. You can have well-finished holes if the CTE is less.
The factor of CTE can cause issues during a hybrid PCB of several layers when you join the high-frequency materials with FR4. So, the CTE of the materials should be compatible, or different layers or materials will expand differently, creating an issue.
Other than layers, vias also have to face this issue. Hence, the plugging material of the vias should be compatible with other materials.


Some FR laminates are similar to the RF materials in terms of behavior, and you should understand it. For example, the ceramic impregnated boards are hard when you drill through the drill bits. The hit counts should be less, besides, the RPM and spindle settings should be customized.
Sometimes the holes have fingers, which are hard to remove, so the adjustment of drilling parameters is essential to reduce fiber.
So, you can meet all the above challenges if you design and fabricate a PCB carefully by approaching a prototype pcb manufacturer to verify your design.

Importance of a High-Frequency PCB

A high-frequency PCB is widely used in different industries, such as military, interchanges, gadgets, vehicles, PC, instrumentation, clinical, and other such fields. These circuit boards are more in demand than before, and 15% of circuit boards in the market come up with high frequency.

Final Words

Sometimes the electronic components and switches are complex and need to transfer signals at a fast speed which is provided by high-frequency PCBs. Such boards need special materials because ordinary materials can affect signal transmission due to a poor Er value.
You can’t use any material for high-frequency PCBs because it influences signal transmission that can be fast or slow, depending on the material. Moreover, the change in a material’s Er value also affects a PCB’s impedance. PCBs are available in different frequencies and have certain specifications.
Would like to know more about high-frequency PCB applications or pcb assembly services? Email us at: sales@pnconline.com

What is High TG In PC Board Fabrication?

The making of PCB involves different steps, technologies, and terms, and TG is one such term that refers to the Glass Transition Temperature. High TG PCB is the board made at a high temperature. We will discuss this topic in detail, including the TG value, features, applications, materials, parameters, and much more.

What is High TG PCB?

If a PCB’s temperature goes beyond a set TG value, its condition will change. Like, the solid board will turn rubbery, affecting a PCB’s function. Depending on where you use a PCB, the temperature of the application should be at least 10 to 20C less than the PCB temperature.

Understanding TG Value

TG means Glass Transition Temperature like there is a certain limit of this temperature for PCB and that specific temperature is the TG value. TG value helps in understanding the PCB material, and you can find which temperature is required for its service.

Secondly, it helps you to find the condition of the PCB material, like if it’s solid, flexible, or solid-flex.

High TG PCB and Its Features

You have to choose a high TG Printed Circuit Board for your application carefully, because it involves multiple features, including thermal, electrical, mechanical, and chemical features.

Thermal Features: they include the TG or Glass Transition Temperature, thermal conductivity, thermal temperature’s coefficient, and decomposition temperature. TG is the temperature at which the state of the PCB material changes. But, when the board cools down, it gets back to its initial condition.

Electrical Features: they include the surface resistance, electrical power, volume relativity, and the dielectric constant and loss tangent.

Chemical Features: the chemical properties of a high TG PCB include the moisture absorption and the methylene chloride resistance of the PCB material. The TG PCB should be able to resist moisture if it’s near water.
Mechanical Features: the mechanical features are also important to know regarding the TG PCB. They include the flexural and peel strength, and the young’s module.

Suitable Materials for High TG PCB

A PCB has two materials, including laminate and substrate. The substrate includes epoxy resin, glass, or paper weave. The substrate should be compatible with the TG. Some common substrates that we use for a high TG PCB are;

  • CEM-1, 2, 3,4, and CEM-5
  • G-10 and 11, FR-1 to FR-6
  • Aluminum
  • Knapton
  • Pyralux

The last three materials are flexible.

The laminates should also be compatible with your TG PCB in terms of strength and temperature. Some common laminates are:

  • FR-1, and FR-4
  • CEM-1, CCEM-3
  • Teflon

Criteria for High TG PCBs

Printed circuit boards with a high TG value are based on certain criteria as described below:

  • The selection of a PCB, depending on the components like it can be single or double-sided PCB or embedded.
  • The stack-up PCB with a single layer or several layers
  • The design of such boards can be based on a module or it can be custom
  • The strength of the board also matters, like it should be robust either electrically or mechanically
  • PCB’s bendability also helps to classify the TG PCB, like if it’s hard, flexible, or hard-flexible
  • The electrical strength also helps classify the TG PC Board

Generally, manufacturers use bendability and strength to classify a TG PCB‘s physical properties.

Where Can You Use The High TG PCBs?

You can use the high TG circuit boards in intense conditions, as the environments with high-vibration devices. They are also suitable for applications with shocks, chemical components, and high temperatures. Like, missiles and car parts often come up with chemicals. So, the suitable industries for high TG PCBs include aerospace, telecommunications, military and defense force, automobile, and down-hole drilling.

What to Consider While Designing a Rigid PCB?

You must hire a professional PCB manufacturer for the right design, manufacturing, and assembly of these boards. The engineer must know the kind of environment that suits a TG PCB to function precisely. Below are a few examples to help you understand it.

Commercial Use

Many telecommunication companies use the best materials for mobile devices to enable them to bear high shocks. Like, the phone should not get damaged easily when you drop it.

Auto Industry

PCB has to be safe under a car’s hood as it’s mostly vibrating, so a shock or crash might happen. Hence, a rigid PCB is the best solution in this case.

Aerospace Industry

The flying machinery always needs the high TG PCB because there is intense vibration, like in the jet engine, as there are thousands and millions of micro-vibrations in one minute. So, equipment related to aerospace should be able to tolerate extreme temperatures, like from -45°C to 85°C.

Other Applications

These boards are also ideal for solar power equipment, such as power inverters and cogeneration equipment. As these boards resist temperature, they work well in many industries. Like, one of its applications involves Lead technology, like the medical, computer, and telecommunication industries.

The TG PCB is also used in broadcasting, like booster stations. Besides, the fire detectors and burglar alarms also need such boards.

Use of High TG Flex PCB

It is clear from the name that a flex PCB can adapt any design or shape to get compatible with certain products. Like, they can tolerate intense environments better than rigid PCBs. You can use the high TG flex PCB in defense and military, aerospace, medical equipment, consumer electronics, auto, wireless networks, as well as industrial equipment.

What To Consider While Designing a Flex PCB?

You must hire a professional PCB manufacturer for the right design, manufacturing, and assembly of flex PCB. The engineer must know the kind of environment that suits a TG PCB to function precisely. You should see if:

  • You need a flex PCB for an ordinary environment or an extreme environment like an explosion. Whereas the cell phone has a normal environment.
  • The environment should be free from any moisture before installing a high TG circuit board.
The Design Process

The design of a high TG PCB involves different steps, such as

  • Using the right software, like CAD, Eagle, Altium Designer, etc.
  • You must know the power requirements to suit different components on the PCB. You should also consider a specific plan for noise reduction caused by a TG PCB.
  • Preparation of the stack-up plans documents as it is essential for making the best TG PCB.
  • The floor layout for a PCB with proper sections, including components. Like you can place them together or separately.
  • TG PCB should be complete in terms of a power plane and ground details. These details ensure proper routing for signals.
  • The board should be compatible with patterns in terms of sizes. All components should be well-placed to help a PCB function the right way.
  • It is important to design routs for high-frequency signals, as the route should be clear for a flawless signal transfer. This step involves vias, as they help in proper signals. You need the reverse via and signal via in this case.
  • You must follow the 3W-rule to increase the traces’ distance which helps to reduce the coupling effect.
  • Another rule to reduce the coupling effect is the 20 H rule.
  • In the end, check the routing guidelines to see if you are doing everything the right way.
Specs and Design Parameters

The fabrication of a high TG PC Board Fabrication involves certain parameters and specs, depending on the application. Some standard parameters are described below.

How Many Layers Do You Need

Designers prefer the even number of layers while developing the high TG PCBs. But, the odd numbers of layers are also suitable in certain applications.

Dimensions of PCB

The PCB dimensions depend on its application. Like, you need a large circuit board for a broader application. Besides, there should be enough space on the board to place the electrical components.


The high TG PCB should be well-finished, and the material depends on where you want to use this board. Like, some common materials are;
HASL, or hot air leveling – It is ideal as it is cheap and can be stored for longer.
OSP, or organic protective surface
Immersion silver – It gives a smooth surface, and it is cost-effective. It has many storage limitations
Immersion tin – It suits the SMT

Immersion gold – It can be stored for longer with a few limitations.

ENEPIG, nickel palladium – It can be stored longer, but it involves a complex process.

Solder mask – It protects the PCB from environmental elements.

Weight of copper – You must also consider the weight of copper like it includes both initial and finishing copper. Generally, the weight is 1 oz. to 1.5 oz. or 5 oz. It also depends on the layer and board thickness.

Assembled PCB thickness – The TG PCB thickness depends on its material and type. Like, if it’s flexible, hard, or a hard-flex board.

Distance between layers – The distance or spacing of electrical components and layers should be equal for high-frequency signals. As it reduces the coupling effect.

Via sizes – The drill aspect ratio and the hole size should also be appropriate. Generally, the PG PCB can have either plated-through or non-plated through holes, depending on the placement and layout design.

Board quality – The board should have a high-grade material to ensure an effective function during application. Besides, you must check the quality of the TG PCB to evaluate its performance in terms of specs. Like, you should test its lamination, vias, copper plating, solderability, finishing, components, and cleanliness.

Interested to know more about PCB TG or PCB Assembly? Email us at sales@pnconline.com

PC Board Fabrication, V-Scoring-Purpose and Benefits

PC Board Fabrication, V-Scoring-Purpose and Benefits

PCB or a printed circuit board has different holes, cuts, and elements, and V-scoring is one of them. V-scoring pre separates the PCB and designers also call it V-groove because a groove resembling V is cut on the circuit board’s top and bottom. Generally, the depth of the groove is 1/3 of the board depth and there is a thin layer between two Vs for the board processing.

The boards with V-grooves are either end to end or side by side with adjacent edges. The groove helps break boards with a little force, and you can divide a single panel into several parts with the help of V cuts.

Purpose of V-Scoring

Manufacturers use V-scoring while combining an array’s circuit boards for an effective assembly. It makes the assembly process less hectic, and you can easily set apart the assembled PCBs.

V-scoring helps to reduce pressure during the placement of SMD components on the circuit board by an SMT machine, and while separating the assembled PCBs.

The PCB panel helps manufacturers to insert the components at a high speed, using one panel at a time, rather than one circuit board.

The panel boards are loaded with their parts through an automated machine that performs the pick-and-place function.

These uses motivate PCB engineers, manufacturers, and buyers to use the V-grooves.

Specifying V-Scoring

Engineers specify V-scoring according to the groove depth, or a distance between the two grooves or Vees through a cross-section. The residual material in this case is known as Web. Each measurement has to be equal, including 1/3rd on the top, bottom, as well as a 1/3 web in the center.

The practice of the 90 degrees or the 30 degrees scoring is also there in some cases. However, the 90 degrees scoring is easy to break compared to the 30 degrees scoring.
You can alter these measurements according to your needs, depending on the array size and the ease of separating the boards later on.

You have to use a 30-degree cutter for a score-line cutting with a certain depth. You can calculate the rest of the web based on the material thickness. However, the tolerance of +/- .002″ is essential in this case.

When to Use a Jump Score

Jump score is used in some conditions though it is not that common. In jump score, the score does not go from one end to another, instead, it ends before the circuit boards end. Like, the cutting blade stops before another end comes. The jump scoring provides a firm array while assembly.

Some V-Scoring Terms

There are certain terms to consider while making PCBs with V grooves, and we will discuss them one by one.
• PCB board has some borders or extra material that helps in making a panel, and they are called Rails or Waste Tabs. They enhance a panel’s mechanical strength, allowing an extra material or borders that help to clamp a panel while assembling.
• Another term used in V-scoring is Fiducials which are marks being etched on the borders or a PCB’s inner surface, like on upper and lower layers of copper. Fiducials help the SMT assembly to identify the position of the PCB and SMD components.
• The other important elements are tooling holes located on a PCB’s four corners. The manufacturers use these holes to align a PCB during drilling and routing. Like, the alignment that involves the SMT carriers, solder plate printing, and PCBs’ final assembly.

Process of V-Scoring

It involves two blades being beveled at 30o, or 45o, or 60o, and the blade resembles a wheel with several gears or knives that make V-grooves. Both top and bottom blades rotate while cutting. When the PCB assembly is over, an individual assembly of the board occurs by dividing the sub panels.

Rules To Follow In V-Scoring

Some fabricators think that the perfect size of the board is compatible with an 18”×24” sheet of CCL, but this is not so. Because the fabricator has to use some part of the sheet while processing. Both customer and manufacturer should discuss the kind of a PCB they require, besides, it should be the best.

Some Rules for Exceptional Circumstances

1. There should be zero space between two circuit boards
2. If you opt for V-scoring, your PCB’s size should be at least 75×75 mm, and it can go up to 450 x1250 mm. So, the scoring won’t be successful if the board size is not as per the rule.
3. Make sure the V-scoring path or line is straight, whether it’s continuous like end to end, or discontinuous like jump scoring.
4. For a perfect V-groove, the minimum thickness of the board should be 0.6mm.
5. You can choose the groove angles from 30o, 45o, or 60o.
6. The space between the PCB edges and parts should be a minimum of 6.35 mm
7. The minimum distance between the PC Board Fabrication outline and V-grooves’ line has to be 0.35mm.

Benefits of V-Scoring

• V-scoring helps to use a PCB surface effectively
• It helps reduce the manufacturing cost by fabricating many boards on one PCB.
• It helps to place more than one circuit through one assembly, helping in precise sub-assembly.
• V-scoring tools are cost-effective, portable, and require minimum maintenance.
• It helps save time as it allows you to separate different parts from a final assembly.

Drawbacks of V-Scoring

There are some restrictions of V-scoring like it is not suitable for PCBs with components placed near edges.
V-scoring can affect the PCB structure, reducing its strength due to the mishandling of a solder machine. However, fabricators apply jump scoring to maintain a PCB’s strength. You can read the above section to understand the jump scoring.
In the case of V grooves, you have to allow a 0.05 inches clearance between the grooves and components. The blade should not come between the components, especially for taller parts. Likewise, you should keep enough clearance for components located on the wide connection surface.

Difference Between PCB Scoring and PCB Panels With Tab-Routing

The PCB design determines if you should choose V-scoring or tab-routing. However we have a guideline for better selection, but you have to follow it.
1. The circuit board shape helps to select the right scoring. Like, V-scoring is suitable for rectangular or square PCBs, whereas the tab-routing goes well with an irregular shape.
2. You should choose a tab-routing if the components are hanging on the PCB edges. Besides, the tab-routing does not affect the edge quality. Whereas V-scoring makes edges rough.
3. V-scoring works faster than tab routing, besides, it is cost-effective than tab-routing in terms of labor.
4. At the same time, there is less wastage of material in V-Scoring compared to the tab-routing, which also reduces the total cost.
5. It also depends on the number of boards in an array and the number of PCBs in both directions, including the X and Y planes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between The PCB And PCBA?

The process is the same, but it involves two stages. Like, PCB is just a circuit board with components, whereas PCBA is an assembled board with necessary components, and it is ready for application.

What is Jump-Scoring and Its Use?

Jump scoring involves a cut that starts from one end of PCB but it stops before the other end, unlike V-scoring. Jump scoring strengthens a board for multiple processes.

What Is Tab-Routing In PCBs?

Tab routing helps you to process different circuit boards on one panel. It also helps you to isolate boards by breaking the tabs that exist between various boards.

What Is The PCB Penalization?

A process of connected small boards in a single array is called the PCB penalization. It helps fabricators to move the circuit boards while assembly.

What SMT Stands For In PCB?

SMT stands for Surface Mount Technology, and it’s a process of installing the electrical components on the PCB directly. Whereas the component installed through SMT is known as SMD or Surface Mount Device.

Final Thoughts on V-Scoring

PCB fabrication becomes economical by adopting cost-effective processes, including V-scoring. The boards with V-grooves are either end to end or side by side with adjacent edges. The groove helps break boards with a little force, and you can divide a single panel into several parts with the help of V cuts.

It involves less routing space, so you can add several rows in the PCB panel to be fabricated. It eliminates the wastage of the laminate, besides, V-grooves also save money and time by streamlining the PCB processing and manufacturing.

V-scoring helps to reduce pressure during the placement of SMD components on the circuit board by an SMT machine, and while separating the assembled PCBs.

V-scoring tools are cost-effective, portable, and require minimum maintenance. Moreover, it helps save time as it allows you to separate different parts from a final assembly.
But, V-scoring can affect the PCB structure, reducing its strength due to the mishandling of a solder machine.

Interested to know more about V-scoring or PCB assembly services, email us at sales@pnconline.com

10 Best PCB Design Software

10 Best PCB Design Software

As the electronic industry is growing day by day, the demand for better and efficient printed circuit boards is also increasing. With a massive growth in wearable technology, printed circuit boards need to be of high quality and accurately designed to perform well. As we know that every electronic device either large or small, completely relies on the printed circuit board. They function as the heart of any device. Any digital gadget you are using in your daily life, either it’s your smartphone or your smartwatch, or maybe a digital calculator or most probably a digital clock, this all is possible because of the evolution in the modern printed circuit board. The rapid growth in printed circuit boards has made it possible for engineers to decrease the size of the daily used gadgets and make them available in hands.

Complex devices such as smartphones and smartwatches and military applications, all require some specific kind of printed circuit board installed into them depending on the requirement. Testing the reason for designing a printed circuit board is a task that needs to be done carefully. Designing the printed circuit board means giving a physical existence to your idea of a printed circuit board. Engineers want to use the best software for the design sign of the printed circuit board. For a better designing experience, much software is designed to help the engineers in making the best designs.

There are several choices available once you start searching for the best software to design a printed circuit board. But you need to know certain factors before designing your circuit board. Let’s look into this.

How to choose the right software for designing a PCB?

As we have discussed before, with the increasing demand for wearable technology, the demand for the best-printed circuit board design is increasing accordingly. And this process needs to be taken care of because printed circuit boards act as the main core function of any device whether it is small or large. Now the question may arise why designing is so important before the manufacturing process of printed circuit boards. The simple answer is to avoid problems.

Once the design is not done right, it can cause several problems after and before the manufacturers of printed circuit boards. It may cause the failure of the entire system which is not acceptable. So simply means to say that the design affects almost all the aspects of the circuit board. If the design is not right for the device if the material is not according to mark if the traces are not put correctly if the vias are not connected properly then the circuit board will not work or may work in some unexpected ways.

The problem may happen as lack of desired functionality and overheating which can further lead to devise failure. So, the key to success is to design the right software. But as you have seen, the market has grown up so immensely, it is not possible to choose the best software according to your requirement at once. Instead, you need to research certain factors so that you can make sure that you are choosing the right.

Easy to learn:

Well, this applies to almost every device. Even if it is not specifically electronics, it should be easy enough that it can be learned so fast. In other cases, it would overwhelm the user and the user will get distracted or lose his interest. So, the best software should be in easy language, not coding but the basic understanding should be done with keeping the user view in mind. Moreover, the learning period should be shorter as well as easy. The shorter the learning curve is, the sooner the user can start using the software. So, it is compulsory to keep the user interested in your hands.

On the other hand, a steeper learning curve means the longest period on how to do the program. In this way, the user will learn for so long without implementation and this is not the desired phase. For achieving the best experience, the user must be hitting the ground sooner by keeping the learning curve shorter. But you need to ensure that you are not compromising on specific features of the software.

Easy to use:

At first glance, the user is not looking toward the amazing features, component libraries, and automation, instead, he is looking at the ability of how easy it is to use the software. The level of its complexity will let the user decide if he should be going with a particular software or not. The developer needs to deep down the subject from user intuitiveness to accessing tools easily, this is a wide topic and difficult to handle. If the user’s interface and view of using and accessing the tool are easy then your software is the easily available choice.

The number of clicking and Keystroke should be kept as minimum as it can to avoid ambiguity in the software. Moreover, designing software by keeping the lay audience in mind is also a good approach. In this way, you will intentionally keep the software as easy as possible.


Although the features, learning period, and complexity of using software also matter in the market, the main thing that matters is how much it costs. The cost is something that a user is going to see at first. So, it should be kept in mind that your features are not crossing the cost limit. It should be cost-friendly so users can purchase it immediately for an easy design experience.

Now you have enough idea how to choose the best software in the market for designing printed circuit boards. Let us see the best available software in the market in 2022 that you can choose without thinking for a minute.

EAGLE (Easy Applicable Graphical Layout Editor)

Eagle helps in the design of electronic EDA. It helps the designers of the electronics field specifically in designing the best-printed circuit board design by allowing them to connect different schematic circuit board diagrams. The other main feature of an eagle is its user interface which is so user-friendly and designed by keeping the lay audience in mind. It also helps in transforming the vision into files with the help of stimulation and then the Printed Circuit board Fabrication process.

Altium Designer:
Altium is another best design software for printed circuit boards. It is no less than the eagle and mostly both are compared on behalf of features because both offer easy functionality. Altium offers both 2D and 3D toggles depending upon the designer’s needs. STEP model is followed for working in Altium.

Moreover, the PCB design can be improved by using the previous designs available. The 3D model is monitored by accessing mechanical data. Additionally, Altium allows the exchange of data with MCAD systems.

The best feature of Kicad is that it is open source. So new features can be added daily. Many intelligent designers are contributing to the software, and it is increasing its functionality day by day. The other advantage is its easy user interface. Its first view is so user-friendly that it helps the user in maintaining the flow. Moreover, it can be run on Windows and Linux.


EasyEda is the best designing tool which is both web and cloud base. It is zero-install integrating schematic capture and PCB layout can be designed in a seamless browser environment.


Allegro is the most reputed software available in the market and is commonly used by large companies that make motherboards. It was launched by Cadence. This software has features that help in designing large motherboards. That’s the reason this software holds considerable market shares for computer design software.


WG mentor introduced WG in 2005 and it was windows based. As the layout of the software should be great to manage the PCB design. So according to layout WG is the king of all software as it manages the layout most professionally. It is also recommended by many PCB designers.


Fritzing is also open-source software. It is designed to develop CAD software with the help of hardware design. As a hobby CAD helps designers and artists quickly move from design to prototype.


PADS Layout, PADS Logic, and PADS router are also included in the simple PADS software. It is the best for CAD layout. Its easy-to-use interface makes it the best choice for EDA.


Simply operation functions and strong stimulation make the OrCAD best for EDA development. OrCAD was developed in the 1980s and since then it is improved. It is recommended by electric designers because of its easy functionality.


Protel is also known as Altium and has the same functionality as we have discussed in Altium. It was introduced in the late 80s and since then it is ranked among highly used software for EDA designs. It is recommended because it has experience dealing with almost every design of PCB. It is released with its new features and leading the market in amazing manners.

So these are the latest software in the PCB design industry. Should you have any questions related to your design and or pcb assembly services, feel free to email us at sales@pnconline.com

What is a Gerber Viewer in PCB Design

What is a Gerber Viewer in PCB Design?

Gerber Viewer

A Gerber viewer is any software application that enables you to examine the contents of a Gerber file. While some of these applications need installation, others are available online and do not require downloading or installation. All you have to do to see your Gerber files online is upload them.

Gerber files

Before the establishment of Gerber files, there were no industry-standard guidelines for manufacturing printed circuit boards (PCB). The papers that included the Printed Circuit Board requirements contained a diverse range of information. There have been many instances of miscommunication and misunderstanding between consumers and manufacturing firms. Finally, universal interoperability across PCB designers and manufacturers has been achieved with the introduction of the Gerber format. In order to work with a file format independent of the CAE/CAD program being utilized, it allows the latter.

After the project has been finished and adequately monitored, it should be sent to the manufacturer. The designer may transmit securely, with prior permission with the business, any Gerber files generated by the export feature. Even though many applications automatically export to this kind of archive, all documents may be compressed in one zipped file. Many firms accept just one compressed file. Testing and checking your files with various Gerber viewers is usually intelligent practice before sending them to the producer. It is a great technique to be followed by all designers.

The Gerber format

These are vector documents consisting of a series of instructions that create a visual object flow. The directions for making the hole on the PC Board are also included. Nowadays, businesses that manufacture printed circuit boards need clients, nothing else. The essential program for electronic design contains and allows the export of the whole work to this format. It is thus the first thing an electrical designer should look for in his CAE program.

pc board

The standard format now used is RS-274X. It’s an extreme version in the same document as it contains:
• the draw and flash commands
• the XY coordinates
• the openings
• the configuration parameters

Versions of Gerber Files

Nobody needs to order a delayed printed circuit board (PCB). Ideally, you submit your design file to the PCB maker, and then the manufacturer organizes the manufacturing of the board based on your file and sends goods to you. However, the actual issue is not so easy. It typically takes such a long time since you submit your designed file to the final arrival of your board. Your discontent with your PC Board manufacturer will grow with increasing turn-time.

You may do a lot to reduce this time from your viewpoint throughout the whole process. After all, efficiency and efficiency are your responsibility. As connectors and translators for PCB engineers and PCB manufacturers, German files serve a crucial role in allowing manufacturers to understand design engineers’ thoughts and ideas. Excellent and dependable products may be produced successfully and efficiently. There are now three Gerber format versions available:
• Gerber X2 – the latest Gerber format, including stack data and characteristics
• RS-274-X – an extended Gerber format version and extensively used.
• RS-274-D – Gerber’s oldest version, progressively replacing RS-274-X.

Over the years, the Gerber file format has seen numerous modifications and upgrades. Thus Gerber files have been updated in many versions. The earliest version, also known as RS-274-D, is Standard Gerber. It is mainly out of usage today, and standard Gerber files are not acceptable on the official website of Gerber. Gerber is extended to include RS-274-X, commonly known as X-Gerber. Extended Gerber was introduced in 1998 and is a human-readable ASCII format. The previous format has been enhanced by incorporating information in graphics and pictures. Gerber’s latest version is Gerber-X2, an expansion of Gerber-X. It is compatible with most CAM programs and enables the user to add file characteristics.

These characteristics are like labels that offer picture file information and features. It also simplifies the transition of PCB designs from CAD to manufacturing. UCAMCO has just launched another version named Gerber X3. While not extensively utilized, UCAMCO believes that its interoperability with other applications and simplicity of installation will become the new norm.

Gerber Files Generation

PCB engineers should never be too indolent to create their Gerber files for the following two reasons. You cannot be sure that the PCB software you use is the same as the software used by your PCB Manufacturer. You must create Gerber files yourself if your PCB producer utilizes various PCB software, and additional discussion and validation will certainly cause extra time and delay the manufacturing process.

Although PCB manufacturer utilizes the same PCB design tools, it is still advisable to create Gerber files yourself since differences in software applications may also lead to potential mistakes. PCB design engineers should thus learn to create Gerber files themselves in order to guarantee delivery speed and reliability of end products.

Gerber files typically include driver layer, solder mask layer, and silkscreen layer design data. In addition, Gerber files should still be produced to prevent potential misunderstandings in two levels with the same design data. Distinct PCB design software has different Gerber file generating operation procedures.

Converting Gerber Files

Depending on the circuit design software you choose, you can generate Gerber files. There are many of these applications. However, some of them are popular with Proteus, Altium Designer, and CircuitMaker. Eagle is also one of the simplest to use. You will have to change your approach to various programs, but here are basic principles. Created by a firm called Gerber, Gerber’s format now includes standard PCB software that is generally recognized, capable of defining board imaging conditions, such as driver layers, solder mask layers, and legendary layers. The printed circuit boards are intended to produce additional board manufacture information based on which board production is started, using a specialist EDA system (Electronic Design Automation) or a CAD system (Computer-Aided Design).

PCB producers will not completely grasp all PCB design file specifics unless it includes the Gerber file as reference and guidance. For each picture of a circuit board, the Gerber format file is applied and may be used for both manufacture of bare boards and the assembly of PCB. For bare-board production, Gerber format is required by conventional photoplotters and other factories that want image data such as legendary printers, direct images or AOI devices, etc.

Simply stated, Gerber files format must be dependent from the beginning to the conclusion of the PCB manufacturing process. In connection with PC Board assembly, a stencil layer is included in the Gerber size, and component positions are controlled, which is also considered as important reference data for the assembly, assembly, and combinations of SMT (Surface Mount Technology).

You need to load your board to the design programme of your circuit. Sometimes this process is easy, but sometimes certain export parameters need to be adjusted. You must next utilize the CAM processor to convert your data to Gerber files. The duration of this procedure varies significantly depending on the size and complexity of the board.

Once you have completed your CAM processor, you will have a set of files labeled with the name of your board but various extensions. You must compress and submit your layer files, drawings, box guidelines, and inside layers to the PCB maker. In order to generate the required Excellon files, you must typically return to the CAM procedure.

Now that you have your Gerber file, maybe your question is how to convert a Gerber to PDF? You will need to locate an online service or application to convert Gerber files to PDF files. Many of these applications are online and do not need your computer to be downloaded or installed. Just upload and wait for the software to convert your files.

Example circuit diagram

The figure below, along with the 3D construction, illustrates the transistor amplifier wiring schematic. It is a promiscuous project, some of them in SMT with discreet components. The project contains elements, words, images, components, and more.

Example circuit diagram

Final Thoughts

Gerber Viewer Software for Windows is a software program that allows you to read and examine Gerber files (GRB files) using its comprehensive toolkit. Some of these applications are also the software for the Gerber editor so that you may examine and modify Gerber PCB designs. The program may export the file viewer in different formats, such as SVG, PDF, PNG, PDF, JPEG, etc. If you wish, you may also print out the design.

PNCONLINE equipped with big and sophisticated machinery, are used CNCs may accomplish the more advanced versions are devoted to a particular operation or all jobs simultaneously. These machines start producing PCBs instantly without being linked to a computer and also can interpret Gerber client files directly thus equipped with processors. Other kinds of equipment, always in accordance with the Gerber requirements, can conduct circuit controls and automated optical inspections (AOI).

Interested in getting your PCB design done on an urgent basis in New Jersey? Get it done at PNCONLINE.

Contact us at sales@pnconline.com