Embedded Systems Conference
Breaking News
Comments
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
_hm
User Rank
Author
Fourth dimension - talk to friends
_hm   11/2/2013 3:33:29 PM
NO RATINGS
Fourth important dimension is to talk to your friends of what you are doing and how it will work and what problems do you have. Review process and talking to some part to friends outside is also desired. Main advantage of this is self realization of mistakes. When one explain it to friend, and when he asks few questions, one self realize mistakes to be fixed or design to be enhanced. 

betajet
User Rank
Author
Re: First thing
betajet   11/1/2013 3:06:30 PM
NO RATINGS
I always do a continuity check of all power and ground pins on a bare board as soon as it's available.  This doesn't take much time, and makes sure the PC design software or the PCB manufacturer didn't miss something.  I also check the Gerbers before they go out to the PCB house.

If you have a package with a large ground pad on the bottom of the chip, expect that the assembly house will forget to solder it for the prototypes.  In many cases, that's the only ground connection for the chip.  If possible, extend the PCB artwork for the pad out from under the chip so you can heat it up with a soldering iron.

If you have programmable parts, always bring out spare I/Os to test points (vias).  These are invaluable for debugging FPGA logic in real time.

Draw your schematics as if you're going to be the one debugging the board.  Number your passive components in a sensible way so they're easy to find in the schematics -- I like to number all components in the same sequence as the pages of the schematics.  Don't use automatic numbering: the hours you saved by not numbering the components by hand will become days added to debugging.

Draw component symbols to match the package pinout.  This will make it a lot easier to debug.  For BGAs, match the pad sequence on the chip itself.  For Xilinx FPGAs, you can get this from the graphical chip editor.  For others, BSDL will probably get you the information.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Author
Re: First thing
Max The Magnificent   11/1/2013 8:01:58 AM
NO RATINGS
@MKolb: One of the first things I do is a detailed visual inspection and then a continuity test between the power and ground planes.

YES!!!  I do this too -- I think it's so obvious I didn't even think to mention it ... but as they say "Common sense isn;t as common as it used to be" :-)

zeeglen
User Rank
Author
Re: First thing
zeeglen   10/31/2013 3:47:13 PM
NO RATINGS
Yup, and use a current-limited lab supply and crank up the current slowly.

Adam-Taylor
User Rank
Author
Re: First thing
Adam-Taylor   10/31/2013 3:23:39 PM
NO RATINGS
Infact I recenty wrote about this in a little more detail in Xcell http://issuu.com/xcelljournal/docs/xcell_journal_issue_85

page 48 onwards

Adam-Taylor
User Rank
Author
Re: First thing
Adam-Taylor   10/31/2013 3:16:16 PM
NO RATINGS
Mkolb That is the first thing everyone should do

MKolb
User Rank
Author
First thing
MKolb   10/31/2013 3:12:35 PM
NO RATINGS
One of the first things I do is a detailed visual inspection and then a continuity test between the power and ground planes.  Nobody likes unpleasant surprizes the first time you power it up.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Author
Re: Freshly baked circuit boards
Max The Magnificent   10/31/2013 2:02:34 PM
NO RATINGS
@zeeglen: Throw lots of ground test points at the board...

Good one!

zeeglen
User Rank
Author
Re: Freshly baked circuit boards
zeeglen   10/31/2013 1:20:55 PM
NO RATINGS
Throw lots of ground test points at the board so that you always have one nearby when scope probing fast or low-level signals.  These do not tolerate long ground wires to the probes.  If there is room, a connector for a logic analyzer can save a lot of pain.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Author
Freshly baked circuit boards
Max The Magnificent   10/31/2013 12:09:55 PM
NO RATINGS
@Adam: One of the most exciting stages of an engineering project is when the hardware arrives in the lab for the first time...

Ah, I love the smell of a freshly baked circuit board first thing in the morning...



Radio
NEXT UPCOMING BROADCAST
In conjunction with unveiling of EE Times’ Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. One of Silicon Valley's great contributions to the world has been the demonstration of how the application of entrepreneurship and venture capital to electronics and semiconductor hardware can create wealth with developments in semiconductors, displays, design automation, MEMS and across the breadth of hardware developments. But in recent years concerns have been raised that traditional venture capital has turned its back on hardware-related startups in favor of software and Internet applications and services. Panelists from incubators join Peter Clarke in debate.
Most Recent Comments
Flash Poll
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Special Video Section
Chwan-Jye Foo (C.J Foo), product marketing manager for ...
The LT®3752/LT3752-1 are current mode PWM controllers ...
LED lighting is an important feature in today’s and future ...
Active balancing of series connected battery stacks exists ...
After a four-year absence, Infineon returns to Mobile World ...
A laptop’s 65-watt adapter can be made 6 times smaller and ...
An industry network should have device and data security at ...
The LTC2975 is a four-channel PMBus Power System Manager ...
In this video, a new high speed CMOS output comparator ...
The LT8640 is a 42V, 5A synchronous step-down regulator ...
The LTC2000 high-speed DAC has low noise and excellent ...
How do you protect the load and ensure output continues to ...
General-purpose DACs have applications in instrumentation, ...
Linear Technology demonstrates its latest measurement ...
10:29
Demos from Maxim Integrated at Electronica 2014 show ...
Bosch CEO Stefan Finkbeiner shows off latest combo and ...
STMicroelectronics demoed this simple gesture control ...
Keysight shows you what signals lurk in real-time at 510MHz ...
TE Connectivity's clear-plastic, full-size model car shows ...
Why culture makes Linear Tech a winner.