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Printed Circuit Board

Printed Circuit Board Heat Sink Features/Functions

Heat management is essential for living on this earth as weather and devices affect buildings, vehicles, and equipment. Thermal management is also necessary for printed circuit boards, as they will get damaged if they can’t dissipate the heat their components generate. Besides, the board also gets hot due to soldering during manufacturing. Hence, heat dissipation methods become mandatory to increase the PCB speed.

Though FR4 is good at heat management, sometimes it is not enough when there is a high-speed circuit board. Likewise, the power supplies also generate heat and you have to install heat sinks and insulators. You must have experienced mechanical engineers to assess the heat flow to create a suitable heat dissipation system.

Printed circuit boards provide current to help devices function, but electronic devices get hot and heat sinks dissipate unnecessary heat. A PCB Manufacturer will use different heat sinks to prevent the overheating of PCB components and their damage, increasing the performance of the board.

Fourier’s law is an important law of heat that determines the heat sink function. When an element gets hot, heat travels from high-temperature areas to a low- temperature surface. The heat transfer occurs in three ways, such as:

  • Conduction
  • Radiation
  • Convention

When two components having different temperatures connect, it results in thermal conduction. In other words, fast molecules collide with slow molecules, resulting in heat transfer from hot components to cool components. PCB has high-temperature components like transistors, so you need to dissipate heat to cooling mediums, like water, air, or it can be oil, or some other element. This heat transfer occurs through conduction and convention.

Types of Heat Sinks

Heat sinks come up in different types as below:

Active Heat Sinks: There is a fan in an active heat sink to provide cooling. Such a heat sink provides great cooling, however, it needs regular maintenance as it is mostly running which affects its condition.

Passive Heat Sink: Passive heat sink is without a fan, so it remains still and needs less maintenance. You can consider it reliable and more effective than an active heat sink.

The shape and design also determine the type of heat sink, including swaged, stamped heat sinks, machining, folded and bonded fin, single fin sink, and forged heat sink.

Factors Affecting a Heat Sink

The main purpose of the heat sink is to exchange heat, so a large part of its surface area should be in contact with the cooling component like air. The quality of the heat sink depends on different factors, including its material, finishing, and certain physical features, like:

  • Air velocity
  • Attachment technique
  • Protrusion type

    Materials That Enhance Heat Sink Function

Manufacturers use specific materials to enhance the function of the heat sink in terms of heat transfer. These materials include:

  • Compounds
  • Conductive tape
  • Thermal paste

These materials are inserted between the surface of the heat sink and the surface of the component that generates heat. Metals having high thermal conductivity are ideal for heat sinks, including aluminum, copper, etc. But, aluminum is common as it is cheaper than others.

What To Consider Regarding Heat Sinks

Many factors affecting heat sink function include length, fin spacing and density, width, airflow, heat resistance, etc.

Which Devices Need Heat Sinks?

Electronic devices with components having poor heat dissipation ability need heat sinks. The devices in this case include multiple integrated circuits, diodes, transistors, switching devices, CPU and graphic processors, and LEDs.

Key Factors of Heat Sink Design

Heat sinks dissipate heat with the help of natural and forced convection, liquid, or radiation. The requirements of thermal management vary, depending upon the applications. Apart from a heat sink design, you have to consider several other factors while designing a thermal management system for a specific device. For like, you have to consider the standards of the component level, heat sink level standards, chassis levels, and requirements for a system level.

Let’s discuss essential factors that you have to consider during heat sink PCB design.

Heat Resistance: Thermal or heat resistance is the sum of multiple resistances occurring to heat flow between a cooling liquid and the die, thermal interference resistance, as well as the resistance between a moving fluid and a heat sink. Thermal resistance is bad for thermally unstable modeling systems.

The Value of Thermal Resistance: It is not precise, instead, it is approximate. It helps evaluate the thermal conductivity of the heat sinks and semiconductors. Heat dissipation depends on heat sink parameters that need proper analysis while designing the heat sink device. Heat sinks can be meshed through a 3D thermal resistance to have a complex system of thermal factors. Different platforms help design heat sink meshes.

Heat Sink Materials:  Generally, copper and aluminum are ideal heat sink materials as described above. These materials are good at conducting heat, especially copper as it also helps absorb heat, resists rust, and resist biofouling, moreover, it is also antimicrobial resistant. Though copper is better than aluminum, it is thick and costly compared to aluminum.

Another material is diamond and its thermal conductivity is also high due to the lattice vibrations it has. Some other materials for thermal applications include copper-tungsten pseudo-alloy, and AlSiCDymalloy.

Size and Shape of Heat Sink:  The shape and the size of the fins also help enhance heat dissipation. You can evaluate various fin shapes through modeling.

Fin Placement or Location: The arrangement of fins in a heat sink affects its cooling quality. Its configuration should be optimized to minimize the resistance of fluid movement, providing maximum air in the heat sink.

Cooling Quality: The cooling quality of the heat sinks has to be high. The aspect ratio of fins should be less to perform well. If the distance of the fin from the heat sink base is more, it will reduce the heat transfer to a cooling medium.

The function of the fins in a heat sink is to absorb heat from the electrical components of a device and sends it to the cooling medium. Besides, you should choose a cooling medium matching a PCB design and device requirements.

Heat Dissipation: Certain factors reduce the heat sink performance like a rough surface and gaps. They cause high resistance to thermal contact, thus affecting heat dissipation. You can reduce such thermal resistance by using thermal interface materials because most resistance-reduction techniques have limitations. You should consider specific things while selecting a thermal interface material, such as contact pressure, the material’s resistivity to current, and the dimensions of the surface gaps.

Attachment Methods: The attachment of the heat sink with PC Board components affects its thermal efficiency. So, you should choose the attachment technique carefully, considering the requirements of a thermal management system in terms of mechanical and thermal properties. Some popular attachment techniques include,

  • Thermal tape
  • Standoff spacers
  • Flat spring clamps

However, these attachment methods don’t end here as there are many others. You would also see m rein the future as engineers continuously update these methods according to new technologies.

By considering the above factors, engineers can design an effective heat dissipation system, including a heat sink.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Heat Sink?

The heat sink is a device and a way to manage heat in electronic products. Electronic components like transistors release heat, and you need heat sinks to dissipate heat to cooling mediums, like water, air, or it can be oil and other elements.

Do All Electronic Devices Need Heat Sinks?

Most devices need heat sinks to dissipate heat to cooling components. However, some electronic components have a built-in ability to dissipate heat. Generally, lasers or power transistors can’t transfer heat and need a solution to manage heat. MOSFETs and IGBTs are good examples in this case. So, here you need a heat sink device. 

Can PCB Survive Without Heat Sinks?

PCB components release heat which can damage them, making the electronic device slow. However, it also depends on the PCB materials as some have their heat dissipation property. Mostly you need a cooling system to enhance PCB performance. 

What Are The Types Of Heat Sinks?

The basic types in this case include the active heat sink system and the passive heat sink system. Some other types are also popular, like swaged heat sinks, stamped heat sinks, machining, folded and bonded fin, single-fin sinks, and forged heat sinks. 

Which Factors Influence The Heat Sink Design?

Many factors affect heat sink design, including its material, fin shape, and performance, fin size and location fin configuration, attachment technique of heat sink, and finally the thermal interface.

Final Thoughts

Devices having PCB also have heat sinks because they get hot due to high temperatures caused by different components. Heat sinks are either active or passive. You have to consider a few factors while designing the heat sinks, like its material, fin shape, and performance, fin size and location fin configuration, attachment technique of the heat sink, and finally the thermal interface. Various models help determine the heat sink parameters and geometry to provide a high-level heat transfer.

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Metal Core and Metal Black Printed Circuit Board

Printed Circuit Boards are a crucial component of any electronic device, but the materials used to manufacture them can significantly affect the performance and durability of the device. Metal core and metal black PCBs are two types of PCBs that offer numerous benefits over standard FR-4 PCBs. Here, we will explore the advantages of using metal core and metal black PCBs in electronic projects. We will discuss how they can improve their performance and reliability,   as well as their suitability for a variety of applications.

When it comes to a circuit board design, the metal core and metal black printed circuit boards offer a number of advantages over traditional PCBs. These benefits include improved heat dissipation, increased strength, electrical isolation, and reduced electromagnetic interference (EMI).

The use of the metal core and metal black printed circuit boards is a great way to improve the performance of your electronic devices. This type of PC Board provides excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, making them ideal for applications that require more power, speed, and accuracy. Metal core and metal black PCBs are also more resistant to environmental factors, such as temperature changes and corrosion, making them a better option than traditional PCBs.

What Are The Benefits Of Metal Core PCB?

Metal core PCBs are gaining popularity in the electronics industry due to their many advantages over traditional FR-4 and other standard PCBs. Metal core PCBs feature a dielectric layer, which is made from metal instead of a traditional fiberglass-epoxy material used in other PCBs. Such a metal core serves as a heat spreader and helps have better heat dissipation and improved thermal performance. This makes them ideal for applications that require high-level dissipation, and large temperature ranges.

The metal core also allows for a much thinner board than can be achieved with standard PCBs, reducing the overall weight of the assembly and making it easier to integrate into the design. As the metal core increases the rigidity of the board, it reduces the possibility of warping or cracking due to vibration and mechanical shock.

The copper layer used on the MCPCBs is often thicker than on standard boards, providing increased electrical performance as well. The additional copper layer also adds greater protection against EMI (electromagnetic interference), making them ideal for high-frequency and wireless applications.

Another benefit of metal-core PCBs is that they are more reliable than standard PCBs. As the metal core has better thermal conductivity than traditional fiberglass epoxy, it reduces the risk of solder joint failure due to overheating. This means that components are less likely to fail due to excessive heat, resulting in greater reliability.

Overall, the metal core PCBs offer many advantages over traditional PCBs, making them ideal for applications that require high power dissipation, thin boards, or robust performance in harsh environments. While they may cost more upfront than other types of PCBs, the benefits that come with using the MCPCBs often outweigh the costs in terms of improved performance and reliability.

For anyone looking to upgrade an existing project, or build one from scratch, there is never been a better time to consider switching to the metal core. If you’re looking to improve your product’s efficiency and reduce downtime, switching to a metal core PCB, maybe the right move for your next project.

Metal core PCBs are a special type of printed circuit board that uses metal instead of the traditional epoxy resin-based substrate. Metal core PCBs provide many advantages over their traditional counterparts, such as increased heat dissipation and better performance in higher-power applications. However, metal black PCBs offer a slightly different approach.

Metal black PCBs are constructed using metal cores that are plated with a black finish. This black finish helps reduce the emission of electromagnetic interference or EMI that can interfere with sensitive electronic components and impair their performance. Besides, the black finish helps absorb heat, which is beneficial in high-power applications.

The black finish also helps to prevent corrosion in the PCB itself, which can cause premature failure of the PCB over time. Moreover, the black finish increases the electrical resistance of the PCB, which can help protect against the short circuits caused by sudden changes in the voltage.

Finally, the metal black PCB offers an aesthetically pleasing look and a more rugged construction than a traditional printed circuit board. This makes the board ideal for a variety of applications that require superior durability, such as outdoor or industrial environments.

Overall, both metal core and metal black PCBs offer distinct advantages when compared to traditional printed circuit boards. While metal core PCBs provide greater heat dissipation and performance in higher-power applications, metal black PCBs offer superior protection against EMI and corrosion, as well as a more robust design for difficult environments. Ultimately, the choice of which type of PCB to use will depend on the specific requirements of the application.

For instance, if the application requires a higher level of heat dissipation and power output, then metal core PCBs may be preferable. On the other hand, if low levels of EMI emissions and protection against corrosion are desired, then metal black PCBs may be more appropriate. The final decision will ultimately depend on the specific needs of your project.
Which Type Of PCB Is Right For My Project?

When it comes to selecting the right type of PCB for your project, there are a number of factors to consider. One important factor is the type of material used for the PCB. Metal core and metal black PCBs are two popular options for many projects. Each one offers its own unique benefits, so let’s take a closer look at what each has to offer.

Metal core PCBs are constructed with an insulated metal substrate layer sandwiched between two layers of copper. This metal substrate layer helps conduct heat away from the board more efficiently than other PCB types, making it ideal for applications that generate high levels of heat. MCPCBs are also more resistant to temperature fluctuations, which makes them well-suited for automotive and avionics systems that need to perform reliably in changing environments.

Metal black PCBs are a specialized type of MCPCB that offer additional protection against an electrostatic discharge. Such boards contain an integrated layer of insulating polymer that is laminated over the metal core and then coated with a black solder mask. This makes metal core PCBs well-suited for electronic equipment where electromagnetic interference or electrostatic discharge (ESD) could damage the components.

When it comes to choosing the right type of PCB for your project, both MCPCBs and MBPCBs have their advantages and disadvantages. If you need a PCB that can handle high temperatures, then an MCPCB is the right choice. If you need a PCB that provides additional protection against EMI/ESD, then an MBPCB is the better option. Ultimately, it’s important to carefully evaluate your project’s requirements before deciding on which type of PCB is best for your needs.
Why DO Manufacturers Us Metal Core And Metal Black PCBs?
When it comes to the design and manufacture of printed circuit boards, there are several advantages to choosing a metal core or metal black PCB. From improved thermal dissipation and electrical conductivity to better environmental protection and durability, these types of boards offer an array of benefits that cannot be achieved with conventional FR4 boards. Not only can metal core and metal black PCBs help reduce costs in the long run, but they can also enable more efficient product designs.

Overall, it’s clear that the benefits of using a metal core or metal black PCB greatly outweigh the costs.

What Is A Metal Core PCB?

Metal core PCB is a special type of printed circuit board that uses metal instead of the traditional epoxy resin-based substrate. Metal core PCBs provide many advantages over their traditional counterparts, such as increased heat dissipation and better performance in higher-power applications. However, metal black PCBs offer a slightly different approach.

What Includes In A Metal Core PCB?

The structure of a metal core PCB has multiple layers, including the circuit, copper, metallic, and dielectric layer, as well as the solder mask.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, metal core and metal black PCBs offer a range of advantages for designers and manufacturers. They provide superior heat dissipation, improved mechanical strength, longer product lifecycles, and improved EMI shielding properties. These advantages can help reduce costs and increase the longevity of the products, leading to improved customer satisfaction and increased profits.

Whether you are looking for increased performance, durability, or functionality, the metal core and metal black PCBs offer an ideal solution. The exceptional benefits these materials provide make them an ideal choice for engineers designing high-end applications.

With their ability to improve product performance while reducing production costs, the metal core and metal black PCBs should be seriously considered when designing a printed circuit board. With so many different varieties available, the sky’s the limit.

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PC Board Electrical Schematic and Its Functionality?

Whatever we create, including a PC Board,is a picture or an idea that we convert to paper in the form of a diagram. You can’t proceed with manufacturing without a proper PCB layout or schematic.

An electrical schematic is a conceptual plan or drawing that helps understand the physical aspect of a PCB in terms of assembly.
The basic purpose of electrical schematicsis to have design communication.It should help manufacturers clearly understand it.Besides, the schematic directs you to makea PCB layout.

Schematics involve specific elements which are essential to understand, such as:

  • REFDES or reference designates
  • Symbols representing the components
  • Outputs
  • Nets

To know schematics in detail, you have to understand the above elements.

REFDES or Reference Designators-Identifying Labels

Identifying labels or reference designators help understand components because they describeso much about them. If REFDS is precise, it helps a reader to identify the types of the components and symbols,depicting every component.
So, each electrical component or part has a standard symbol.However, onlyspecific schematics follow such standards.
In some cases, reference designators can fully describe the component type, like when there is a generic box with pins itrepresents a passive component.

At the same time, reference designators also connect to theBOM, and bill of materials. Every Printed Circuit Board component needs a part number that BOM shows. Besides, it also helps find the area or location where components should be installed.
The format of the reference designators consists of a code in the form of a letter that describes the component, and its type having a specific number.

Symbols Representing Components

The electrical schematic has specific symbols of the physical components of PCB assembly in terms of soldering. They also describe the circuit boards’ structures, such as test points and vias.

The symbols are specific shapes or they are diagrams to indicate the type of PCB components. There are symbols for all electrical components like capacitors, diodes, resistors, and transistors.

The symbol of each component consists of pins that help in creating the electrical connections. The pins of all schematic symbols have specific numbers,depicting the physical components.

Designers can assign either a single symbol or multiple symbols to represent a single component of a PCB. Whereas the components having several pins are assigned many symbols to create a readable electrical schematic.

When a component is having multiple symbols, each symbol representing the same component has a similar designator.

Electrical Components-Resistors

PCB has many electrical components, including resistors. The U.S designers use a zigzag line to describe a resistor. Whereas its symbol is a rectangle according tointernational standards.On the other hand, the letter R in schematics isa representation of the resistor.

CapacitorSymbols and Letter

Capacitors have two types, includingpolarized capacitors and non-polarized, and both have different symbols. The curved line is a symbol of a negative terminal of a polarized capacitor. Whereas the plus sign denotes a positive terminal of a polarized capacitor.Whereas the letter C defines a capacitor in schematics with REFDES.

Inductor Symbol and REFDES Reference

Inductors are also important passive components of a PCB, and their construction involves a series of curves.Manufacturers use a coil of wire to make inductors. Whereas the letter L defines a capacitor in schematics with REFDES.

Diode Symbol and REFDES Reference

Some other PCB electrical components within the PCB design include diodes that permit the current to travel in just one direction. The diode has different types, including

  • Zener diodes
  • LEDs or light-emitting diodes
  • Schottky diodes

Zener diodesprevent the reverse flow of a current. However, the reverse flow can happen at a certain electrical power level.
There are also LEDs or light-emitting diodes which emit light when having a forward flow of a current.
The Schottky diode has simple features,but it switches quickly and the voltage drops in a lower forward direction.
Other than LED, the letter D or L defines a capacitor in schematics with REFDES.

Transistors Symbol and REFDES Reference

Transistors involve the flow of current at the primary terminal and they function like switches. The basic types of transistors include:
Bipolar Junction Transistors-BJTs: It is a current managing device that helps a current flow either into one base pin or out of it, changing to high currents passing through emitters and collectors.

Field-Effect Transistors-FETs: The FE transistor is another current-managing device that helps voltage turn on the current on the pin, via source pins and adrain. Various drawings indicate transistors and the letter Q and M define a resistor in schematics with REFDES and also represent the MOSFET. However, some designers use the letter T in the wrong way.
Variable Resistors’ Symbol andREFDES Reference

Variable resistors have two categories:

  • Potentiometers-three terminals
  • rheostats-two terminals

The function of the variable resistors is to customize resistance according to users. An arrow across the resistor represents the rheostats, whereas an arrow on the side of the resistor shows potentiometers.

There are also varistors or voltage-dependent resistors which resemble the variable resistors, but they are denoted by a line across them.The symbols of the resistors include R, VR, and RV, depending on the type of the resistor.

IntegratedCircuits, Symbol, and REFDES Reference

A single-package circuit developed with a semiconductor is an integrated circuit. You can also consider such circuits asamplifiers, processors, power regulators, and memory of a device. The shape of the integrated circuit is like a rectangle or a square that you can install on a PCB. It is a box with power inputs and outputs or pins and sometimes a board has many boxes.

The symbolof the integrated circuit in a schematic is the IC or the U.

Resonator, Crystals, and Oscillators, Symbol and REFDES Reference

PCB also has resonators, crystals, and oscillators, which give a consistent frequency output. These elements are different in terms of circuitry and characteristics but they have a commonfunction.

Some Other Symbols

There are also several other symbols to show interconnections on a schematic having labels to find their electrical nets.
Mostly there is no reference designator for non-component symbols, however, some have symbols like TP or test points, and X, and MH on REFDES.

Understanding Nets in Schematics

The wired connections on the printed circuit boards are what designers call nets. They are lines that connect symbol pins to the nets. You have to properly label the nets while making schematics to help manufacturers identify them. Specific symbols depict thenets to the same or different pages when you don’t draw them as connections, such as interpage and intrapage symbols.

Try not to overlap the nets to have good readability, however, you can’t ensure it every time. A dot or a circle on a schematic diagram shows two nets’ connection. If there is no DOT in a schematic, it means there is no connection between the nets. Whereas advanced drawings have wire hops to show that the nets don’t connect.

Outputs of Schematics-Netlists & BOM

The schematic diagram has two important outputs, including BOM, and netlists. The netlist is a file that designers use to understand routing and parts’ placement on a PCB. The format of thenetlists can vary in symbols. The name of the nets is presented in the netlist, showing thelocation of connectionsbetween the PCB parts. Netlist also has an output tool to give names to the nets which were without names.
Generally, there are several tables in a netlist, listing the PCB components and their names, net names, and some other essentials. Sometimes the netlists include additional information to help you understand the SPICE.

Bill of Materials-BOM

Bill of materials shows data in the form of a spreadsheet,matching the REFDES in schematicshaving a number and a physical component. Designers use different formats for BOM outputs, depending on the nature of schematics and your requirements in terms of output.
There can be many reference designators with independent partnumbers to help with manufacturing. Some detailed BOMs consist of specific part numbers of a company, quantities of components at different locations on a PCB, and the part numbers for different vendors. In other words, BOM has essential information to understand schematics and develop it through different steps, including SMT assembly.

Final Thoughts

You must know that the electrical schematic is a drawing that helps understand the physical aspect of a PCB in terms of assembly. The main aim of electrical schematics is to have design communication and help manufacturers construct the PCB. It should help you clearly understand parts and assembly. All electrical components have standard symbols. But, only specific schematics follow such standards. Different software help make electrical schematics that you can explore online.
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printed circuit board

Differences Between IC and a PC Board

Before discussing the IC, you must know what PCB is. The PC Board or PCB has electronic components to help a device function. All digital and electronic devices have PCBs, like consumer products, smartphones, computers, laptops, tabs, etc. The purpose of the PCB is to eliminate assembly issues and have less wiring, enhancing automation and production.
The PCB has different types in terms of the number of layers. Like, it is either a single layer, double layer, four or six layers, or a multilayer circuit board. Now, we will discuss the difference between PCB and integrated circuits.

What Is IC Or Integrated Circuit Board?

The integration of chips makes an integrated circuit, like chips used in a CPU and motherboard are ICs or integrated circuits. Initially, IC was called an integrated block. You will see the IC soldered on a printed circuit board. In other words, a printed circuit board carries the integrated circuit.
The purpose of the integrated circuit or IC is to integrate an ordinary circuit into a chip. So, if the IC gets damaged, the chip won’t work. But, if the PCB gets damaged, you can replace the components.

Printed Circuit Board and Its Components

PCB has different types, however, today’s circuit board has specific components, such as:
Layout and Circuit: PCB circuit is a tool for conducting between different components. A copper surface becomes the base and power layer. Besides, it involves routing through drawing.
Dielectric Layer In The Board: it is also known as the substrate that contains insulation that lies between the layers and a circuit.
Through-Hole Via: vias are made for conducting and a through-hole via helps multiple layers conduct. The plug-in of a device is a large through-hole. There is also a non-through-hole that helps in surface mounting and fixes screws while PCB assembly.
Solder Mask: The copper surface is not always tinned. Epoxy resin is used to print the non-tinned area to separate the tinned copper to prevent a short circuit. Solder mask has different colors, including black, green, red blue, etc.
Silkscreen or Marking: Silkscreen is used to make legends or mark names and locations of different components. It helps maintain a PCB after assembly.
Finishing: the copper surface has to be tinned or it would get oxidized. The surface finish involves different processes, such as ENIG, HASL, immersion tin or silver, and OSP. You can use any method according to your needs as each finishing method has some pros and cons.

Features of Advanced PCB

High-Density PCB’s
PCB is becoming advanced due to new technology. You will see the HDI circuit boards in all small gadgets. Both installation and ICs are also improving with time.
More reliable
Now, PCB is more reliable than before because we have better testing tools. Moreover, its manufacturing and the end product are of high quality.
Up To Parameters
Each PCB material has certain mechanical, electrical, physical, and chemical properties. You will get a high-performing PCB if its design is according to the standards and design parameters.
Better PCB Production
PCB production has also increased with time due to better tools, design software, and advanced technology. Various standards ensure a high-quality device, such as automation, standardization, management, etc. You will see better equipment to test your PCB to have a high-quality end product.
PC Board Assembly
Assembly has also improved and helps you to have more production than the previous years. Similarly, you can develop complete equipment by assembling different components.
PCB Maintenance
PCB maintenance is also essential, especially, if the assembly gets issues. You can easily replace the damaged parts, restoring the system. Making lightweight, and mini or smart PCB is also easier than before. You can have a device with high-speed signals by maintaining your circuit board.

Features of Integrated Circuit

The integrated circuits were developed by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce. The integrated circuit is very common in certain industries, such as military, civil electronics, television, communication, radio recorder, computer, etc. It provides the following benefits.

  • Lightweight structure
  • Less lead
  • Small volume
  • Solder joint
  • More reliability
  • Longer lifespan
  • High performance
  • Mass production
  • Low cost

IC is a microelectronic component or device in a PCB. IC technology involves the manufacturing of chips, design technology, processing technology, testing, packaging, design innovation, and mass production.
The integrated circuit is a key part of advanced electronic sand it is the heart of many circuits. You will see at least one chip or IC in every electronic device. IC is a combination of various electronic components, including capacitors, resistors, transistors, etc. These components together make a small chip and are linked to having a common goal. There are different types of ICs, such as

  • Single-circuit logic gates
  • Voltage regulators
  • Open amps
  • Motor controllers
  • 555 timers
  • Microprocessors
  • Microcontrollers
  • FPGAs
  • Many others

There is a complex process of making layers of copper, semiconductor wafers, and several other materials. These materials interconnect to make resistors, transistors, and other parts of a circuit.
Not only IC is too small, but it has very thin copper layers and semiconductor wafers. The layers have very delicate connections. Similarly, The IC die is a very small circuit that is too tiny to connect or solder, so you have to package the die that converts the delicate die into a black chip that you often see.
You can enhance the working life of equipment by using the IC to assemble different electronic tools. It helps you to increase the assembly density many times compared to transistors.
These days, you would see silicon ICs involving semiconductors. So, IC is a device that integrates capacitors, resistors, semiconductors, and other elements that make a circuit perform certain tasks. The device connects wires between these components on the silicon wafer through oxidation, diffusion, aluminum evaporation, epitaxy, and photolithography, and then it is welded in a casing or shell.

Differences Between IC and a PCBoard
Differences Between IC and a PCBoard

What Is IC Package?

IC package helps convert a die into a device to have a connection. Die’s outer connection has a small gold wire to a pad on the package that helps to connect it. The pad or pin is silver and it is an extruded terminal on the IC that continues to connect to a circuit’s outer parts. There are different types of IC packages having different dimensions, installation methods, and a number of pins.
Understanding Pin Numbering and Polarity Marking
You should know that every IC is polarized and each pin is different in its function and location. So, the package must show each pin’s nature and function. Mostly the ICs have DOT or Notch to differentiate the first pin. Like, sometimes only one pin is the first or sometimes both are.
Package Mounting
The mounting of a package on a PCB also varies, it can be SMT or surface mount, SMD, or a through-hole mounting. The through-hole package is often large and easy to manage, and it is created to get stuck through a board’s one side and soldering the other side.
The surface mount package has different sizes, small or minuscule. These packages are created to be soldered to the PCB surface and sit on one side. The SMD package has pins either perpendicular to the chip or extruded out the side, or set in a matrix on a chip’s lower part. Such ICs are hard to assemble with hands and need special tools for this purpose.
Dual In-Line Package or DIP
DIP is an ordinary through-hole IC package having two parallel lines of pins that extend perpendicularly from a black, and rectangular plastic casing.
SMT, SMD, or Surface Mount Package
There are many types of SMT packages and in the case of ICs, you must have a custom PCB having compatible copper patterns to be soldered. You need special automated tools to solder the SMD package.
SOP or Small Outline Package
The SOIC package is the SMT cousin of the DIP as this is what you see when you bend all the pins outward on a DIP, reducing the size. The SOP package is very easy to solder with hands. The spacing between the pins should be 1.27mm or 0.05”.
The shrink small-outline package or SSOP is a small type of SOIC package. Likewise, there are TSOP or thin-small outline packages and TSSOP or thin-shrink small-outline packages.
It is easy to understand the difference between IC and PCB if you know all their features as described above.

Final Thoughts

The integrated circuit is a key part of advanced electronics and it is the heart of many circuits. You will see at least one chip or IC in every electronic device. IC is a combination of various electronic components, including capacitors, resistors, transistors, etc.
The purpose of the integrated circuit or IC is to integrate an ordinary circuit into a chip. So, if the IC gets damaged, the chip won’t work. But, if the PCB gets damaged, you can replace the components. However, PCB and IC work together to help an electronic device function.
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PCB Design Guidelines For Reduced Electromagnetic Interference

PCB Design Guidelines For Reduced Electromagnetic Interference

Printed circuits should be well designed and well-built to help devices work accurately. These circuits should have good materials to minimize certain issues, including the high EMI or electromagnetic interface. On the other hand, poor design can cause weak signals and high radiation, disabling the device. Here, we will discuss all essentials of EMI and how to reduce it.
Electromagnetic interference or EMI is defined as any disturbance that affects an electrical circuit due to either electromagnetic induction or electromagnetic radiation. The effects of EMI can range from a simple degradation of signal quality to complete equipment failure. In order to avoid these negative effects, it is important to design your Printed Circuit Board with EMI in mind.
Reduced electromagnetic interference (EMI) on your circuit board ensures that your electronic devices and products don’t interfere with nearby electronics and may even improve the overall performance of your products. We will share some key tips that you can follow to help reduce the EMI generated by your circuit boards and improve the performance of your final products.

PCB Design Guidelines For Reduced Electromagnetic Interference
PCB Design Guidelines For Reduced Electromagnetic Interference

Optimizing the EMI PCB Design

Electromagnetic interference has many reasons,and you have to reduce it through the filter.You can create the EMI filters using a single component or a network of many components having dedicated circuits to reduce different mode noises. Now, we will discuss the EMI filter design and its standard types.
After deciding on the basic EMI design, you will have to optimize it through a circuit board’s specifications. Like, if the purpose of the EMI filter design is to drive other PCBs, you must add more filter elements to have smoothing, isolation, and limits of electrical parameters. The limitof meeting the board’s needs depends on the PCB design capabilities and the available analysis methods.

How PCB EMI Happens

You will see electromagnetic frequencies everywhere all around you, such as appliances, or electronic products having current. EMI falls into different categories when it comes to PCB.

  • High-power devices cause EMI, like amplifiers, antennas, processors, FPGAs transmitters, etc.
  • Moreover, the change of components can also cause interference affecting g the device.
  • EMI often occurs along traces and at connector points. Unnecessary coupling occurs between the ground planes and signal paths because of lost capacitance.
  • EMI also happens due to external sources, like when the board is near a source that emits radiation. This external source can be a device, equipment, or some other circuit board.

It is very hard to eliminate all types of EMI sources, but following certaindesign rules can help in this case. You can minimize the disturbing noises through different techniques that we will describe in this article.
What Are EMI Design Guidelines?
Like every PCBoard, there are certain design parameters to follow while designing a suitable EMI filter design. You have to adopt a certain perspective in this case, as described below.
PCB Design Perspective 2-Dimensional
First of all, you have to make marks for component placementwhich you can do through a design software library, or you can upload a file taking it from other sources. It also involves spacing, routing of traces, and design clearances. But, you will have to consider a few things to do so, such as:

  1. Make sure that component libraries and pads are compatible.
  2. There should be a maximum distance between the adjacent elements, such as traces, pads, and annular rings, as it will reduce the EMI.
  3. Designers should consider the types ofsignals for component partitioning.
  4. Make sure that the trace size or width is according to the required current capacities.
  5. The impedance compatibility should be addressed in terms ofexcellent power transfer and differential routing.
  6. Make sure to provide thedepenalization according to the terms and conditions of the board clearance.
  7. Devices with high radiation should be shielded.
  8. Silkscreen should be used wisely to enhance PCB assembly through reference points and component polarities.

Various Techniques To Minimize EMI

Design should involve minimum EMI, and you can achieve it by adopting different techniques.

Reducing The EMI Through A Ground Plane

The first barrier against EMI is the ground plane, as PCB needs a floating surface to function effectively. Printed circuit boards have a ground plane to give a reference line of 0 volts and take it to the power supply terminal for a circuit’s return path.

The circuit board becomes an antenna when there is noise due to ripples. A circuit board’s copper foil or the ground planeoccupies the maximum cross-sectional area of the circuit board. So, you can reduce the EMI or electromagnetic interference by effectively using the ground plane.

Reducing EMI Through Trace Layout

The conductive paths on the circuit boards are known as traces. Flowing electrons occur in traces due to an active circuit and are a little away from developing a radiating antenna.There are certain guidelines to follow regarding trace layouts, such as:

  • There should not be bends with sharp angles. Instead,round right angles are suitable to reduce reflections that occur due to an increase in capacitance in the corner areas lying at 45 degrees.
  • High-speed traces should be away from the low-strength signals. You can take an example of a clock that has high-speed signals. Whereas analog and digital signals should also be separate from each other.
  • The return paths should not be long, instead, make them short.
  • The differential traces should be close enough to enhance coupling. This techniquebrings influenced noises into a less problematic mode.
  • There should be a wise usage of vias as they help you take benefit of a circuit board’s multiple layers while routing.Designers should know that thereflections happen due to a change in impedance.
  • Different traces should not have vias. However, in case you need so, then you can have an oval anti-pad which two vias share, reducing the parasitic capacitance.

SomeWays of Reducing EMI from Components

  • Try to choose low-power consumption components.
  • You can use USB circuits within an enclosure, like PCB guards or Faraday cages. They can also eliminate the EMI from the circuitboard’s surroundings.
  • Use heat dissipation methods to avoid the EMI. Proper heat sinks and vias help in this case.
  • All the above techniques and guidelines can help you reduce EMI. But, the design, function, and PCB performance goals determine the EMI reduction technique you should choose.

Some Other Ways

Place decoupling capacitors close to the power pins of your ICs. These provide more capacitance closer to the source, reducing both conducted and radiated EMI.
Make sure you are soldering all components with enough solder so that there is no exposed metal at any point on the circuit board.
If possible, position sensitive analog circuits such as amplifiers or comparators away from digital circuits such as processors or microcontrollers.
Shielding (copper foil) can be used in conjunction with shielding paint to improve RF performance further. Shielding paint is usually made of copper powder mixed into an acrylic binder. The copper reacts chemically with air, so shielding paint should not be used in damp environments where there may be high humidity or condensation levels. In most cases, paints will have a shelf life of up to five years if stored in a dry place without exposure to sunlight.

EMI Optimized Circuit Board through PSpice

There is a simulation tool known as PSpice which can help you to analyze the electrical parameters of a PCB design. However, it should be done before submitting your design for construction.
Ithelps evaluate heat dissipation and distribution methods, different simulations, anda circuit’s behavior in different conditions.
You can use the PSpice Advanced Analysis tool for this purpose. You can optimize a PCB for minimizing EMI by following the design guidelines and using advanced methods.


What is EMI in PCB?
Electromagnetic interference or EMI is defined as any disturbance that affects an electrical circuit due to either electromagnetic induction or electromagnetic radiation.
How To Reduce EMI?
You can reduce PCB EMI through traces, a ground plane, PSpice, and some other methods.
What Are the Reasons For EMI?
High-power devices cause EMI, like amplifiers, antennas, processors, FPGAs transmitters, etc. The change of components can also cause interference affecting the device.

Wrap Up

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) from power lines and high-voltage devices can damage circuitry, which can lead to failures in equipment and even safety issues. This article focuses on PCB design guidelines that will help you prevent EMI on your PCBs by making them less susceptible to outside interference, particularly during the power-up sequence.
By applying the guidelines described in this article, your designs will have lower susceptibility to radiated emissions, conducted emissions, and common-mode currents, making them less vulnerable to damage from outside sources of EMI.
Would like to know more about design guidelines for reduced EMI or printed circuit board assembly? Email us at sales@pnconline.com