Rule Areas Help You to Design Reliable, High-Density PCBs


Different neighborhoods need different rules 

Some kinds of infrastructure work the same way in all areas, partly because making them all different costs too much. The more specialized activities become, the more they need their own areas, where the environment suits them. Last weekend, my fiancée and I visited a wetland bird sanctuary. A very good area of land for that attraction, but not a good place to build a town unless the buildings are on stilts. 

And there are more specific rules to follow for each part of the sanctuary. There are lakes for ducks, reed beds for reed warblers, shallows for wading birds, and so on. And there are pathways between and through them for visitors, to keep their feet dry. 

A mixed-technology PCB is created on similar principles. 

Routing guidelines, best practices, and topology control all make PCB layout design faster and more reliable, but PCBs often comprise many circuits, each with its own requirements. This trend becomes ever stronger with higher density and the inclusion of specialized chipsets and sensitive circuits like RF antennas and buck converters 

Differences in design rules can apply to different PCB areas in both the XY plane and on the Z-axis. 


Jane Berrie
Jane Berrie
Jane Berrie has been involved in EDA for PCB signal integrity since the 1980s. Her articles have appeared in many publications worldwide - too many times to mention. Jane is also a past session chair for 3D IC design at the annual Design Automation Conference. Jane’s also an innovator with a unique perspective, who constantly works on new solutions in the fast-evolving world of electronic design. In her spare time, Jane has organized themed charity events - including two in aid of lifeboats and red squirrel survival. Jane is also a regular disco-goer.