Category Archives: Screaming Circuits Blog

EMS provider Screaming Circuits offers tips and thoughts on design and manufacturing

Do You Need that Part, or is It Just Habit?

At the moment, I’m working on an Arduino compatible clock. Like most of my Arduino compatible boards, this one uses an Atmega32U4, with USB built in. With the Atmega32U4, I sacrifice a little in program memory and SRAM, but gain … Continue reading

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Chips Making Faces

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Freescale KL03 and PCB123 at 0.4mm Pitch

Small component packages seem to be a recurring theme with me. It’s understandable, I guess. Super tiny packages are becoming more and more common and we build a lot of product with them. The smallest we’ve built is 0.3mm pitch. … Continue reading

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QFN? QFP? QFWHAT?

The QFN (quad flat pack, no leads) has become my favorite integrated circuit package. It’s very compact, yet is easier to use than a µBGA. µBGAs of 0.5mm and smaller pitch become a bit more difficult and costly with more … Continue reading

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Remote ESD

ESD, or electrostatic discharge, is of great concern to anyone who deals with electronics. That’s obvious. What’s not necessarily so obvious, is that some times, you don’t even need to be all that close to the circuit board or component … Continue reading

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Warped PCBs

You just got a nice big PCB back from the fab shop. You set one on your desk to admire only to discover that it’s warped. What do you do? There are two primary types of causes of board warping: … Continue reading

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Panel Rails — What Are They?

I referred to “panel rails” in my blog about V-score panels, but I didn’t explain the “whats” and whys” of panel rails. You might find yourself asking “what are panel rails and why would I want to use them?” Well, first of … Continue reading

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V-Score Panelization

My last post talked a bit about panelization, in general. Today, I’m taking a look at V-score panelization. V-score is created by running a V-shaped blade across the top and bottom of the panel without cutting all the way through. … Continue reading

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PCB Panel Routing Technique

Most PCBs we receive are individually routed; i.e., not panelized. That doesn’t mean that, sometimes, sending them in a panel isn’t a good idea, or required. Generally, we don’t require panels (sometimes called a pallet), but there are some cases … Continue reading

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Component Packages — Let’s Get Small

I’ve been on a bit of a package binge lately. First talking about metric vs. US passive sizes, and then a very tiny ARM Cortex M0 from Freescale. The Freescale BGA part checks in at 1.6 x 2mm. That’s cool and I’m almost always … Continue reading

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