All about circuit board schematics that you should know!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: March 13, 2023
Circuit Board Schematics

If putting together a functional circuit board was likened to putting together a tasty dish, the circuit board schematics would have to be the recipe that makes all the difference.

What really are circuit board schematics and how do they work?

With the increasing trend towards miniaturization, an electronic circuit board can be quite complex. Essentially a schematic diagram gives you information about which components are used & importantly how they are connected to each other.

With a dense topology, PCB diagrams become increasingly important. In fact the importance of a PCB diagram can be adjudged if one was to look at the sheer number of processes that are involved in making a circuit board.

The PCB fabrication process itself consists of sub processes such as imaging, etching of layers, arranging the layers, drilling holes, plating vias, applying solder mask, silk screen and more. This is followed by the printed circuit board assembly process, which comprises of picking & placing components, soldering, cleaning, and more.

A circuit board schematic makes the circuit easier to understand and helps tremendously in board development and production.

Difference between PCB Schematics & PCB Design

Often times the terms PCB schematics as well as PCB Design are used interchangeably. The fact remains that they aren’t the same. While a PCB schematic is a two-dimensional circuit design that shows connectivity between PCB components, a PCB design, is a three dimensional layout. The PCB schematic plays an important role in the PCB design. While a schematic lays down how the PCB will finally achieve the desired connectivity, the design becomes the physical representation of the schematic and shows location of components as well as their connections. It is the PCB design that allows engineers to build the PCB.

Building Blocks for a Circuit Board Schematics

Here are some of the building blocks of a schematic:

Cover Page – As its name suggests, it gives an idea of the contents of the schematic. Simply put, it enables you to understand the scope of the product.

Project Statement -This delineates the purpose of the project, its goals & targets. Essentially it offers a high level understanding of the project which makes understanding the rest of the schematic, simpler.

System Block Diagram – This explains the features, functions & the modules that are required to make the product.

Component Schematics of every block – These are circuit diagrams of each functional block. On this basis the costs of the components and the board prices can be determined.

Standard Consistent Reference Designators – The Alpha-Numeric reference designators give an idea of the devices placed. These help us interpret the schematic easily.

Mechanical Components – Essentially these offer details of the devices that may not be a part of the board but which are needed for the final product.

Parts Library – Ensuring that the parts information is critical so that there is minimum rework at a later time. This will also ensure that creation of the BOM is smooth.

Revision Notes – A good set of notes will ensure that there is no confusion in the case of revisions.

Title Block – A title block with the name of the project, the designer, date it was created comes in handy in quick identification.

Below are some important aspects to follow when it comes to the circuitry, to ensure that the circuit board is readable & usable for different stakeholders.

Logic Flow

It is important that logic & connectivity is consistent especially when it comes to high-speed circuitry. It is the basis of the logic flow of the schematic that signal paths will be put together.


While this may seem obvious, the fact remains that in a dense schematic with a lot of symbols, nets & pin numbers, you need to ensure that everything is legible. In its absence there can be guesswork, which comes at its own price. It is important to ensure that the reference designators, part numbers & more are not covered.

Creating Net & Component Classes

Creating different net & component classes will ensure that you take into account the design constraints specific to these classes.


The use of a property editor can ensure that you can adjust the properties in the schematic, such as the values of a selected part & more.

Text Information

It is imperative that the schematic contains text information such as:

  • Part Numbers
  • Product information
  • Company contact, and more

Design Rule Checks

The importance of this aspect cannot be over emphasized. It is absolutely imperative to run a Design Rule Check in a schematic. This will ensure that there aren’t costly errors to contend with at a later date.

Simulation and PCB Layout

While following the points above, you will ensure that you make sure that your circuit board doesn’t have any connectivity errors, but you still need to make sure that the circuits perform well. You can make sure that this happens by running the schematic through a simulator. Any unexpected behavioral issues will show up in this process. Needless to say, that it ensures that you do not have to spend time & money designing several breadboards.

A final design check & you are ready to transfer the circuit board schematic into the PCB layout.

Technotronix provides a one-stop solution for PCB manufacturing services. With over four decades of experience in delivering high-quality, on-time, competitive price products, you can bank on us for your PCB requirements. In case if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email at or call us at 714/630-9200.

PCB panel design guidelines for trouble-free product manufacturing!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: February 17, 2023
PCB panel design

The design of a panel plays an important role in ensuring error free production of PCBs. Each panel comprises of several PCBs that are arranged optimally. With panelization, in turn, you tend to reap a few benefits including but not limited to time saving and cost-effective production, standardization and more. Additionally, the panel provides protection to each individual circuit board. Also, panelization improves efficiency as opposed to manufacturing one circuit board at a time since a few circuit boards can undergo all the processing steps together. It is possible to have a homogenous assembly where the panel has a single type of circuit board. On the other hand, it is also possible to have a heterogenous composition where the panel has different types of standard circuit boards in a certain ratio.

There are, however, some important guidelines that need to be followed when it comes to successful and economical design of the PCB panel.

PCB Panel Design Guidelines

Size of the Panel

Typically panel sizes that are less than 2 inches face an issue when it comes to certain machines such as pick-and place or even AOI. The size of the panel therefore needs to be kept in mind. To address this issue you may need to arrange additional PCBs on the panel or even add some free area around the edges. It is worthwhile to remember that there are also some maximum dimensions to be kept in mind. Typically the maximum dimension is 12″ x 18″ (305 mm x 460 mm).

Form of Panel

If the PCBs have irregular contours, you will be required to add a handling edge around them. This is necessary since machines such milling machines & saws can handle fixed geometric shapes.

Margin for Panel handling

In transporting the panels, it is important that a narrow strip be left free around the edges. For single sided or double-sided structures, the width of the edge can be 12.5 mm while for multilayer boards it can be 25 mm.

Distance between PCBs

It is the separation method that is used that determines the distance that you need to maintain between individual circuit boards. For example, while in case of laser depaneling the distance can be a few hundred µm, for milling, however, it needs to be 2-3 mm.

Distance between cutting edge and components

The distance of the cutting edge from the mounted components is key. Typically the higher the components, more the distance that needs to be maintained. The distance is also dependent on the cutting method & tools used. If you are using a laser beam you can have components at a distance of 100 µm.

Cutting process

The panel also needs to be prepared according to the cutting process being followed. One of the methods is breakout-tabs. If the panel is prepared in advance you can increase the speed as well as the throughput time. Similarly you can also follow the V-Groove method. In this method the panel is cut from above & below removing 1/3 of the material from each side. This method though may not work best for overhanging components.

The other method of separation which does not involve V-Grooves or tabs is laser depaneling. The laser beam requires a cutting channel that is 200 µm wide as opposed to a milling machine where the requirement is between 2000 and 3000 µm. On account of the saving, you can have more PCBs per panel. Not only do you tend to save on the material, but you also ensure that the processing of the panel is far more effective.

To Sum Up

When it comes to the design of the panel, the above factors play a critical role. In turn, these impact the quality as well as the cost of the PCB. While the design of a PCB panel is complex, taking into account numerous factors, a professional PCB manufacturer is equipped with the necessary experience & expertise as also with industry best practices to ensure that the most optimal design is chosen that has an implication on:

  • The quality of the PCB
  • Its cost
  • Overall profitability of the project.

Technotronix provides a one-stop solution for PCB manufacturing services with specialized support, reliable testing, and multi-functional features. In case if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email at or call us at 714/630-9200.

Top 10 Best PCB routing practices!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: January 28, 2023

Routing a circuit board comes with its own set of challenges. Especially when we are dealing with miniaturized boards and high-speed signals, the challenges get further enhanced. If you are looking for industry best practices when it comes to PCB routing for high-speed designs, here are 10 handy tips:

PCB routing practices

1. Have a common ground plane below signal traces

It is recommended that high-speed signals be routed over a solid ground plane. Using at least a 4-layer PCB is also beneficial, as then one of the layers can be used as a ground plane. While sometimes a double-sided PCB may be required to be used, the fact remains that when you need to route tracks on both sides, you do not get a solid ground plane. In such cases, at least under critical sections, a ground plane should be attempted. Broadly, full single ground planes offer better results than split grounds.

2. Ensure vias are placed in a grid

It is imperative that blind and buried vias are positioned accurately as otherwise it can result in hotspots. As a thumb rule, vias should be placed 15 mils apart from each other.

3. Ensure that trace bends are kept at the minimum

When routing high-speed signals, bends need to be kept at a minimum. In the situation where you need to keep the bends, 135 degrees is a far better option than 90 degrees. This will ensure that PCB etching is smooth.

4. Maintain a minimum distance between traces

This will ensure that there is minimal crosstalk as among other things, crosstalk is a factor of the distance between traces. Due emphasis therefore needs to be placed on the fact that the traces aren’t closer than desirable.

5. Daisy Chain Routing

If long stub traces are used, there is often a compliance issue with EMC standards. Besides this, signal integrity can be negatively affected. In case it is important to use pull-up or pull-down resistors, it is recommended to use daisy chain routing.

6. Avoid placing components between differential pairs

It is important to have differential pairs parallel to each other. Also, symmetrical routing should be followed for differential pairs. Placing of vias or components between the differential pairs is a strict no-no as it could lead to issues with impedance. In case you need to include serial coupling capacitors, ensure that they are placed symmetrically. Another aspect to keep into account is that both traces should be routed on the same layer.

7. Avoid a split plane while routing signals

The use of a split plane needs to be avoided as such a signal path can lead to EMI issues. If you have a situation where the plane is split between a sink & source, the signal trace is best routed around it. Similarly, if a signal needs to be routed over two different reference planes, stitching capacitors should be used. The position of the capacitor is crucial as the distance between the forward & return path needs to be kept small.

8. Ensure that the analog & digital ground planes are kept separate

This will make it easy to determine which components should be connected to the digital ground & which one to the analog ground. For mixed signal circuits, the analog & digital ground needs to be connected at a point. Zero-Ohm resistors between analog & digital sections are recommended. Also, if the mixed signal design has split planes, you need to take care to see that the digital signal is not routed over an analog ground plane & vice versa.

9. Create a virtual separation in the layout with respect to analog & digital ground

This virtual separation needs to be kept in mind during the routing process. Due care needs to be maintained to see that the analog or digital trace does not crossover to the other side.

10. Keep the width of the component as close as possible to the track width

By doing this, the impedance matching issues between the track & the component pad can be addressed.

With the above tips, you can ensure that your design is robust & that there are no manufacturability issues, causing you loss of precious time when the industrial printed circuit board comes to the manufacturing stage.

Technotronix provides a one-stop solution for electronics manufacturing services with specialized support, reliable testing, and multi-functional features. In case if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email at or call us at 714/630-9200.

PCB vs Breadboard – What is the difference?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: January 24, 2023
PCB vs Breadboard

A printed circuit board(PCB), which is an integral part of all electronic devices, is an electrical board that offers circuit connections. A wide variety of electronic components are soldered on the board depending on the bespoke requirements.

Breadboards, also referred to as protoboards, are solderless boards that are either single or double sided. These have holes that are used to put the terminals of components & wires. A key difference between the two is also that breadboards aren’t specific to a project. Breadboards derive their name from the fact that in the early days people made use of pieces of wood that they cut bread on to connect the circuits. Usually, breadboards comprise of four banks of thirty rows of holes. 

Let us look at some of the differences between PCB vs Breadboard in detail:

PCB vs Breadboard – Key Differences

1. Components

A key difference between the two is that the components of a breadboard aren’t soldered and hence can be changed or removed. On the other hand, the components in the PCB are either surface mounted or through hole mounted and hence more permanent.

2. Phase of Operation

The use of breadboards is in the development phase while PCBs are used for final electronic products. With PCBs, therefore, it is imperative that they be designed as per the exact requirements and then be manufactured and assembled.

3. Carrying Capacity

When it comes to carrying capacity, PCBs are far superior than breadboards. In case of breadboards, since the components are connected by wires, the current carrying capacity is minimum. Additionally, when it comes to PCBs terminals can be added. The same, however, isn’t possible in case of breadboards.

4. Complexity

As opposed to PCBs, breadboards come with a simple structure. Even the simplest form of PCBs has a structure that is complex compared to breadboards. Typically, a breadboard comprises of distribution buses and holes. In case of a PCB, its structure has at its very minimum a substrate layer, a copper layer, solder mask & silkscreen.

5. Rigidity

While Breadboards are rigid, the key advantage with PCBs is that they could be rigid, flexible or rigid-flex, to suit a wide variety of requirements.

6. Support

As for the support offered by each of them, while breadboards support components mechanically, the support offered by PCBs is far more robust since it connects the circuitry mechanically as well as electrically.

7. Electrical Function

Breadboards perform no electrical function. In case of a PCB, however, there are a wide variety of functions such as transferring radio signals, dissipating heat, and more.

8. Look and feel

When it comes to the look and feel, PCBs are available in several different colors on account of the color of the silkscreen. The look and feel of breadboards, however, remain basic.

Between a PCB & a breadboard, which is superior?

It is hard to come to a one-size-fits-all answer to that question. This is because the usability really depends on your bespoke needs. If you are at the early developmental stages, breadboards work well. They are low in cost, offer reusability and more. As a hobbyist you in any case need to start with a breadboard and then move on to advanced projects. Even as a professional, you can use breadboards for troubleshooting, experiments and more. Breadboard is also used for easy prototyping. Another alternative to the breadboard is the perforated board. It is a thin piece panel that has lined up perforations. However, since the perforations have no electric connections, the components need to be connected through soldering or wire wrapping.

When you are looking at a permanent electric device, you sure need a more sophisticated device that is permanent and can withstand different environmental conditions. A PCB is a clear winner in such cases.

Can you turn a breadboard into a PCB?

It is important to remember that breadboards are the initial step before you develop a PCB. Breadboards work well for testing your schematics. Once this aspect is done, you need to generate Gerber Files for manufacturing of PCBs. The Gerber files are then sent to a professional PCB manufacturer, who then takes to fabricating and assembling the PCB.

We are fully equipped to handle your PCB manufacturing requirements. At Technotronix, we follow industry best practices to ensure we deliver cutting-edge products. In case if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email at or fill out the form below to request a free quote now.