FPGA-FAQ    0043

Steps to make a Printed Circuit Board (PCB)

Vendor Any
FAQ Entry Author Ken Smith
FAQ Entry Editor Philip Freidin
FAQ Entry Date 1/17/2005


    What are the main steps involved in circuit board design?.


     1)  Decide what the board should do.
     2)  Make a schematic that does that.
     3)  Decide the mounting issues.
     4)  Select the component packages.
     5)  Buy board layout software if you intend to do it yourself
     6)  Start placing the parts
     7)  Discover that they won't fit and loop back to 3
     8)  Finish placing
     9)  Start running the traces
     10) Discover that you can't route as placed and loop back to 8
     11) Finish routing
     11) Check the proposed layout
     12) Rip out large sections and loop back to 8
     13) Check the improved version  
     14) Check it again
     15) Make Gerber plots and an NC drill file
     16) Check the Gerbers and drill file
     17) Compose a README.TXT
     18) Zip together the Gerber, NC drill and README.TXT
     19) Get bids on making the board
     20) Select a vendor and send off the files
     21) Get a phone call from the vendor pointing out an error
     22) Loop back to 11 and increase the ring on the vias etc
     23) Get the boards from the FAB house.
     24) Gather the parts needed
     25) Discover that you can't get the MOSFET in a DPAK loop back to 4
     26) Stuff the board
     27) Apply power
     28) Scrape the burning parts off your face
     29) Replace the burned parts
     30) Apply the right power the right way around this time
     31) Begin debugging the board
     32) Discover the errors that are not just part values
     33) Loop back to 1
     34) Prepair BOMs etc for the production build.
     35) Fight off the accounting guy who wants to lower cost.
     36) Make the pre-pre-production units
     37) Correct the BOM and assembly drawings
     38) Start testing the pre-pre-production units
     39) Build the pre-production units
     40) Do major testing
     41) Discover that the specifications from marketing have changed
     42) Loop back to 1