The ultimate glossary of terms about PCB layout

The ultimate glossary of terms about PCB layout

Table of Contents

A PCB is a board on which you can mount electronics components like capacitors, resistors, transistors, ICs, and numerous elements.

PCB is the foundation of all electronic devices. It is used in gadgets and appliances for our daily benefits. There are three different types of PCBs, single sided PCB, multilayer PCB and double-layer PCB.

They are used in mobile phones, computer hardware, laptops, and communication gadgets. We usually use resistors, capacitors, transistors, and numerous ICs in the design of a single PCB.

What does PCB layout mean?

PCB layout is a drawing of the circuit on which manual connections needed to be placed. It shows the locations of every element on the PCB layout which shows the physical wirings of capacitors, resistors, and numerous components that are connected.

This drawing of the PCB layout is what a manufacturer utilizes to fabricate in the industry to make the PCB. We can bring out the PCB layout on software like Altium, Fusion 360, NI Multisim, proteus, and numerous more.

PCB layout

The role of PCB layout in PCB design

The most crucial aspect of creating printed circuit boards is the layout since it specifies where various components will be located and what roles they will play in the final product, Designing the PCB layout is the most important step when it comes to printed circuit boards.

The PCB layout has a vital role in the designing of Printed Circuit Board . PCB layout is the origin on which we place the physical components. It is a source of high-speed differential indication, improved validation, and import/export capabilities.

PCB layout can be composed of numerous software first, we need to have a diagram of the circuit, and then trace the diagram on the preferred software by creating the precise schematic of the circuit labeling the components used, and printing out the PCB layout.

PCB layout design

What is routing in PCB?

PCB routing is a method of wiring the components in the Schematic. We trace the wires for making the alliance connection with the components. It specifies the location of elements in the PCB. Traces on a PCB can carry certain design ordinances that are implied to assure signal quality during routing. We usually create a space in the components while routing.

PCB routing rules and techniques

PCB routing rules

  • Wiring plays a crucial role in high-speed PCB design. We trace the wires for making the alliance connection with the components.
  • Routing is a tracing method or in perception, it is the wiring between the components of the
  • PCB layout.
  • Enable a distance while tracing because it makes a connection to signal transmission so it imposes a gap.
  • Governed signal calls for the determined width that is determined based on PCB layout.
  • Make the spacing between differential items and high-speed systematic hints.
  • Make the tracing process further easier by giving rise to snap grids.
  • Try utilizing 45° trace angles instead of going to 90° or 135° angles.
  • Don’t spot elements between the differential signals on the PCB layout while routing.
  • Maintain high signals distinguished sufficiently to stave off crosstalk.

PCB routing techniques

Wiring Priorities

  • Key signal line priority
  • The principle of priority of wiring density
  • Key signal processing considerations
  • The network with impedance control requirements should be set on the impedance control layer, and the signal cross division must be avoided.

Wiring tamper control

  • 3W principle.

The distance between the lines is kept at 3 times the line width.

  • Crosstalk control.

It refers to interference between different networks on a PCB due to long parallel wiring.

Three types of routing methods in PCB

Most high-speed design ideas will eventually be implemented and tested through PCB Layout, and the quality of PCB board design and wiring will directly affect the performance of the complete system. Wiring plays a crucial role in high-speed PCB design. The following will examine the logicality of a few scenarios that could arise during actual wiring and provide some efficient routing techniques.

Right angle Trace

In PCB wiring, right-angle wire is typically something that should be avoided as much as possible, and it’s virtually become a benchmark for assessing wiring quality.

Differential trace

In the design of high-speed circuit boards, differential signals are being employed more and more frequently. Frequently, differential structures are used in the design of the circuit’s essential signals.


The routing technique known as the serpentine line is frequently utilized in PCB layout. Its major objective is to change the delay to satisfy the criteria of the system timing design. First, the designer must comprehend that serpentine lines will degrade signal quality, alter transmission latency, and should be avoided when wiring.
serpentine trace

Impacts of different routing methods on signal transmission

Transmission lines are described as a conductive channel or connection that can carry a signal between a transmitter and a receiver. Even the smallest passive printed circuit board (PCB) tracks are subject to transmission line effects during high-speed digital signal transmission.

A transmission line’s impedance is only resistive at low frequencies. Consequently, at low frequencies, the transmission line’s characteristic impedance can be written as Z=R= V/I (ohm)

What should you pay attention to in these three routing processes?

You can construct your traces considerably more quickly with the use of automatic routing capabilities like batch auto-routing and auto-interactive routers.

  • Editing tools with option controls These can be set to delete the entire line or just a specific portion, and are frequently user-configurable.
  • Push and push old traces and visions in a way that makes room for new traces.
  • Display options that let you change the color of various layers or draw attention to certain networks.
PCB routing

How to judge whether the PCB layout is reasonable?

Here are the top 10 things to keep in mind while checking a PCB Design.

  • Assess your PCB design against the established standards.
  • Examine your PCB design’s traces.
  • Pay attention to where decoupling capacitors should be placed.
  • Reliably Long PCB Trace.
  • In your PCB designs, make sure to match the impedance.
  • Excellent PCB Component Positioning.
  • Verify the proper trace routing and trace width on your PCB.
  • Check Your PCB’s Grounding and Ground Planes.
  • Evaluation of High-quality PCB Heat Dissipation Performance.
  • Examine the PCB Layout Summary as a Whole.

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