Circuit Design: Ways to Do It Correctly
Our universe is formed by gradually connecting the matter to form the galaxies and stars after the Big Bang explosion. These fully formed planets and stars are conjoint to create the universe in which the human exists. Similarly, in electronics, each component is linked together to make a circuit, which can establish a connection among the components without any resistance in between the process. The connection should form a closed loop that can keep the devices running.
In electronics, a circuit is formed by the use of several components such as transistors, diodes, capacitors and resistors that are linked by a single wire, forming a network to enable the flow of current. The designing of the circuit should be done in such a manner that the components are positioned with intensive care and the connection results in a correct output.
The designing of the circuit diagram follows a systematic approach that aids a designer to make a proper circuit. The designing of the circuits is usually done on a breadboard in which a designer can create, modify or enhance the layout of the circuits.
These circuit diagrams are mostly used in every electronic gadget in the form of chips for transferring data, computing, and amplifying signals.
Key points to remember before designing a circuit
Before starting the circuit designing, it is necessary to draft out the layout of a circuit diagram with accurate specifications. This step will help a designer to design a correct circuit without any errors.
Make sure to check the given requirements of the products are enough that can assist a circuit designer in the process of circuit designing.
Steps to design a circuit
The designing of a circuit is a challenging job, which is systematically performed by the designer. After checking the required specification of the circuit diagram, the prototype is to be produced for the circuit design.
Since it requires great efforts to convert the prototypes into the multiple units of products that can be deployed in the world, it is a task that needs to be completed in no time. Following are the steps to achieve the completed circuit:
1. Requirement gathering
Before starting a circuit design, the designer must know what they are up to. This process is called requirement gathering. This step involves talking to the customers or individual who needs the circuit to be designed, asking the right questions & understanding their requirements in detail.
To understand the requirements, the customer needs to provide proper description of the circuit design work needed. They must describe what performances that they expect the circuit design to deliver.
2. Feasibility check
The circuit designer then analyzes the requirements and checks whether whatever has been demanded is technical feasible or not. If not feasible, then the specifications that are not feasible must be re-negotiated to arrive at a mutually agreeable conclusion so that it becomes feasible to design the circuit.
This can be a to & for process and can take some time before all the specifications are found feasible.
3. Create a plan
Creating a plan comes after all the feasibility checks are completed. The prerequisite of designing a circuit is to develop an idea by proper visualizing the construction of a circuit model and the components required to complete the job. At this phase, special components like power ICs or communication devices are selected.
One can also calculate the overall consumption of power to be used in the designing process by estimating the total utilization of the power supply and then arranging for a better module for power management.
4. Make a schematic design
This step requires the translation of the ideas required for the circuit designing into pictorial representation. The drawing should be made in a manner that all the components are accurately linked together so that the circuit becomes operational. It is advisable to separate the circuit design into various sub-modules while dealing with complicated circuit designs, consisting of many components.
Once the schematic design is completed, it must be thoroughly verified that all the connections are done logically. There are certain electrical rules that must be followed strictly to ensure that the components are not damaged due to wrong connections. Also, the logical flow of signals must be checked to ensure the desired functionality is attainable. The direction on input & output pins must be correctly connected.
That is output pin of a certain chip should always be connected to the input pin of the other chip or there is a possibility of large amounts of currents flowing and damaging the device.
5. Placing the components
The degree to which the components are placed can generate different results for the designed prototypes. It is necessary to check the places of the components, which is ensuring power management in a PCB and should be arranged to form a cluster. Also, the placement of the components must account for the servicing process to ensure maintenance. Many times, placement of components determine the complexity of PCB layout.
When the components are placed strategically allowing for logical flow of the connections, the PCB layout becomes much easier. A PCB in which the components are poorly placed can cause a lot of complexity in the PCB layout to route the tracks.
Hence, it is mandatory to place components on the breadboard strategically to provide easy troubleshooting and servicing process.
6. Make a PCB layout
After checking for the errors in the connection of the drawing, then start placing the components on the PCB. The process of laying out the schematic on the PCB is an interesting task that every newbie enjoys. Since there are many areas to work while designing the circuit on the PCB, it is required to pay proper attention while performing this process. There are some norms to follow that are used for PCB designing. It starts with defining the size of the PCB, arranging components over it followed by routing and checking the errors to ensure that no rules are broken. The connection between one point to another point are made of PCB tracks. Tracks are small copper lines that you see on the circuit boards. The tracks also must be planned out well as some tracks can be thin for signals where the currents are less.
But for power the tracks must thick to allow high currents to flow without causing resistance. Some mechanical provisions also must be made to support the PCB like adding mounting holes. The PCB design must be error checked to see that there are no unintentional shorts between tracks and to check there are no open connections. Also care must be ensured to give proper clearances between the PCB tracks.
This is done by automated tools within the PCB designs software called the design rule checker. If the PCB design shows no errors, then the next step is to produce the files required for the fabrication process and BOM i.e. Bill of Material to initiate the prototyping phase.
7. Build a prototype
The process of prototyping deals with PCB fabrication, which is generally small in size and arranging the components on the PCB. Some tests are taken to check whether the functional components of the PCB are identical to the design specifications. If there are any mistakes found in the circuit design, then it is noted for revision. If nothing found, then the production of PCBs is scheduled on a large scale.
8. Effects of Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
Since the demand for wireless electronic circuits is increasing, there is a possibility that the PCB can get affected by electromagnetic interference. To reduce the effects of it, it is necessary to work on returning the current path and the ground plane. Large separation between current paths and ground planes will ensure high pace signals that will aid in reducing the interference effect from the ground copper.
9. Effectively designing of the power delivery network
To ensure the efficient delivery of power supply, it is necessary to choose an effective scheme for a power delivery network. With the help of efficient power delivery network, the power loss will be minimized in the PCB and the power supply will be delivered to every corner of the breadboard.
10. Software used
Since making the layout of a circuit on a PCB is an arduous challenge, hence, some software is used to design these circuits. These software are often used to turn the prototyping modules into the production units. It is easy to place the components, follow the routing, check the errors and many more functions on the PCBs using these software.
The software that are used for circuit designing are as follows:
- Altium Designer
- Autodesk Eagle
- DesignSpark PCB
These circuit designs are the backbone of many technical devices that keep them functional. So, one must ensure that all the steps are taken into consideration. Therefore, these are the ways which can help a designer to design these circuits correctly.
Now, either you can put all the efforts and do the circuit design yourself or else you can go to a reputed company like TronicsZone & allow them to professionally do the circuit design for you.
Cleverly utilizing the skills & experiences of established companies like these can be considered as a key for a successful circuit design
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