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Get Introduced to Digital PCBs

 Nov 16, 2022

Digital PCBs
Today, various types of digital devices are quite a part of our daily life. Most of these devices need seamless and high-speed internet connectivity, operate at high speeds, and are subjected to different vibrations and acceleration levels. Hence, these devices are equipped with a special type of printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) known as digital PCB assembly. These PCBs are equipped with an inbuilt microprocessor and some advanced components that can manage billions of operations effectively. Digital PCBs possess dense designs and require high layer counts, tight dimensional tolerances, high packaging density, complex stack-up structure, and much more. With so many complex aspects, designing, manufacturing, and assembling digital PCBs requires careful consideration. Are you intrigued to know more about these PCBs, the reasons for their increasing usage, and design specifications.

Digital PCBs Discussed in Brief

Digital PCBs are popular and commonly used types of circuit boards. Similar to analog PCBs, digital PCBs have conductive pads, tracks, and other important features, supporting and connecting electronic components and parts mechanically. However, they are unique owing to their digital manufacturing and assembly processes. Digital PCB assembly improves functioning in terms of impedance matching, insertion loss control of transmission lines, cutting crosstalk between traces, minimizing noise production, and more.

Why Are Digital PCBs Gaining Traction?

There are numerous benefits of digital printed circuit boards over conventional ones. The following are a few important ones. So, let’s take a look at them.
  • If electrical noise is not mitigated properly, it could degrade the performance of devices. Digital PCBs help minimize noise production generated due to continuous power supply.
  • These PCBs are known for ensuring proper impedance matching.
  • With cutting-edge equipment and improved processing, these circuit board helps reduce crosstalk between adjacent traces.
  • Digital PCBs preserve signal integrity.
  • Also, they offer a high degree of immunity to electromagnetic interference.
  • The digital design and structure of a circuit board allow it to have natural immunity from vibrations and movements.
  • Compared to conventional PCBs, a digital circuit board minimizes the effects produced by the bounce of the ground reference.
Design Guidelines for Digital PCBs Discussed

Compared to conventional PCBs, digital PCBs have their specific design rules. This section describes this in detail.
  • A component's placement plays a vital role in the design of the digital circuit board. Electrical components and parts must be placed strategically, and mostly on both sides of the digital PCB assembly. For instance, analog and digital components must be separated. Components must be segregated based on their function and type. Adequate spacing for soldering and automated component placement should be considered.
  • The next important design rule for digital PCB assembly is choosing the appropriate via size. The size and shape of vias must be selected considering the signal type and its electrical and mechanical requirements. Basically, ground and power vias will be larger than signal vias. Micro vias can be used depending on the electrical requirements.
  • Performance of the signal may get affected due to various reasons. Trace length and routing is one of them. Aside from this, the width of the traces and the material's dielectric constant significantly impact the path's performance. Thus, factors like trace width, trace path, and layer thickness in the circuit board stack-up should be designed considering the standard recommendations.
  • Factors such as heat dissipation, noise filtering, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) rely on the appropriate designing of reference planes. There should be a balance between the power and ground planes and plan for the power and signal integrity of the digital circuit board.
By now, you may have got an idea about digital PCBs. The aforementioned design guidelines help digital PCB assembly service providers create high-speed, performance-driven PCBs. Are you searching for an industry expert who will offer you end-to-end PCB assembly services for your next electronics project? If yes, Accelerated Assemblies is a one-stop solution for you. With years of market presence and skilled employees, the company specializes in designing and building printed circuit board assemblies for several industries. The company is counted among the prominent quick-turn PCB manufacturing service provider in the US.