Category Archives: Screaming Circuits Blog

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

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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0.4mm Pitch BGA is Awesome

I recently had a conversation with a friend about 0.4mm pitch BGAs. The specific part is the FreescaleKL03 ARM Coretex-M0+ microcontroller in a 1.6mm x 2mm, 04.mm pitch package. That’s a 20-ball wafer scale BGA form factor. I don’t have an … Continue reading

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When is an 0201 Not an 0201?

I’m working on a special project here that involves some 0402 LEDs and 0201 resistors. When doing such a thing, you should always check the footprint you’re using against the datasheet. When using extra small parts, like this, I recommend … Continue reading

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Open The Pod Bay Doors, HASL

Does anyone use HASL (hot air surface leveling) anymore? It’s also known as HAL. Prior to the RoHS days, HASL was probably the most common surface finish. You can get it lead-free, but most boards seem to use immersion silver … Continue reading

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ODB++ Plus, Plus, Plus

I wrote a bit about ODB++ back in October. Nothing has really changed much since then. I’m just clarifying a few things. First, I want to put more emphasis on the use of ODB++. In addition to being beneficial to … Continue reading

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More Fun File Facts: ODB++

In my last post, I wrote about the up and coming IPC-2581 PCB manufacturing file format. While IPC-2581 may be looked at by PCB fabricators and assemblers as a holy grail of sorts, it’s not yet widely adopted by CAD software. But, … Continue reading

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Fun Facts about Manufacturing Files

Circuit boards live and die by their manufacturing files. Without complete and accurate information, the board fab house can’t fab the boards, the assembly house can’t assemble your boards and nobody can buy the parts. Our old standard, the Gerber … Continue reading

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