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.
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).
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.