To route or to plane PC boards?

20th December 2017
Posted By : Anna Flockett
To route or to plane PC boards?

 

Power distribution on a PC board can come in a number of forms. Duane Benson, the Chief Technology Champion at Screaming Circuits, a prototype PCB assembly electronic manufacturing company in Oregon explains more on the different types of power distribution.

The three most common methods are:

  • You can route power and ground
  • You can use surface layer floods
  • You can use internal planes

After component positioning, you’ll need to look at power and ground distribution. With a two layer board, your options are limited to individually routing power and ground, or using a polygon fill, also called a flood or pour.

For simple, low speed layouts, it’s common to route power just like any other signal. You’ll typically use a wider trace, which you can set manually, or with design rules. Drawing a polygon in the board shape, and giving it the same name as your power or ground signals may make the job easier. Keep in mind that you can end up with parts of a ground plane that are disconnected from the rest of the board. This is called an orphan. Some CAD error checks will spot such a problem and some won't.

If you have a four or more layer board, common practice is to designate one of the internal layers for ground, and one for power. Doing so can leave more room for signal routing, can reduce EMI and can leave a cleaner looking, and easier-to-debug board. It also reduces the chances of having orphan ground or power areas.


You must be logged in to comment

Write a comment

No comments




Sign up to view our publications

Sign up

Sign up to view our downloads

Sign up

SPS IPC Drives 2019
26th November 2019
Germany Nuremberg Messe
Vietnam International Defense & Security Exhibition 2020
4th March 2020
Vietnam National Convention Center, Hanoi