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Think Outside the Board – Think of the Panel: 3 Hints

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antedeluvian
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Re: Rules different when using Proto PCB Fab
antedeluvian   10/18/2013 1:05:43 PM
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@TonyTib

However, if you're going through a prototype PCB house (Sierra Proto Express, Advanced Circuits, or any of the 100 others), they panelize it and you just get the PCB so none of these tricks work.

I would hope that if you were submitting your own panel that the board shop would treat it as a single board. I have no doubt that the board shop would further panelize the panel anyway. You just have to be able to persuade your layout tool to allow you to mix boards on the panel- it is then simply one PCB.

Also the test techniques described are actually on production panels.

 

I do hope that if you need them you can get the tips to work for you.

TonyTib
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Rules different when using Proto PCB Fab
TonyTib   10/18/2013 12:48:53 PM
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Good ideas, if you're paying for whole panels.  However, if you're going through a prototype PCB house (Sierra Proto Express, Advanced Circuits, or any of the 100 others), they panelize it and you just get the PCB so none of these tricks work.

We love proto PCBs houses, because we can just buy what we need (or as many we we can get for the same price as what we need -- proto PCBs are like sheet metal parts: for small volumes the cost is all in the setup, so the cost difference between say buying 1 or buying 10 is minor), instead of ending up with a large volume of unused boards, which always happened in the past (when we had to buy ~100 boards).

zeeglen
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Re: Excellent!
zeeglen   10/18/2013 11:17:59 AM
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Some darn good ideas in this article!  Thanks for sharing them.

I especially like the silkscreened note to the assembler to not de-panelize, prevents a potential "gotcha".

DrFPGA
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Excellent!
DrFPGA   10/18/2013 10:42:30 AM
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Yep- these are some great insights into using the panel as a feature of your manufacturing and design methodology. Many parallels to combining multiple die types on a single wafer too!

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