Optimum Design Associates Blog



RF PCB Transmission Line Width

Typically, all connections in a digital circuit board are impedance controlled. This is by virtue of the fact that most layout designers will define, for example, 50 ohms as the default routing model for single ended connections.


Transmission Lines in RF PCB Design

Transmission Line Fundamentals

Over the last ten to twenty years, advances in IC fabrication technology have led to huge increases in both the operating frequencies and edge rates of switching signals in digital circuits. This has really pushed digital circuit design into the frequency domains that were previously considered RF and/or microwave. As a result, it has become important to consider the transmission line parameters of the connecting traces used for digital signals in circuit boards as much as they have always been considered for RF connections. 


Toward A More Rational Silkscreen

Today’s complex PCBs are being packed with a boatload of tiny components and are designed to run at ever-increasing speeds. So it certainly comes as no surprise to hear that silkscreen legends are fairly low on the designer’s priorities for consideration. However, the silkscreen’s function—that of aiding the manufacturer and engineer to locate components on the board—remains important.


Should Cost Examples For PCB Assembly

Here's a pocket guide to printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) prices in China, Mexico, and the United States. Our pocket guide gives a quick view of expected prices for PCBA's based on region, value, and number of component placements. 


Should Cost Analysis vs. Strategic Sourcing


Strategic sourcing is the process of requesting quotes and comparing prices. By competing suppliers against each other the buyer hopes to discover the best price. Does it work for contract manufacturing? The world's top OEMs don't think so.


How To Get Suppliers Costed BOMs


OEM's that employ strategic sourcing techniques often find contract manufacturers are reluctant to supply costed bill's of material. Here are 2 good reasons and 2 bad reasons for this reluctance. Understand the differences then use our 3 secrets to getting the costed BOMs.


5 Things You Should Know About NRE

Non-recurring engineering (NRE) is a broad term referring to a one-time cost to develop, design, or manufacture a new product. It can mean different things in different industries, depending on the product, process, and even supply chain strategy. In the PCB industry—especially in pull-based contract manufacturing—NRE refers to specific setup costs for manufacturing a newly introduced PCB assembly.


Offshoring to China More Expensive Than United States

Offshoring to China is now more expensive than building in the United States (for the United States). Using objective 3rd party databases and actual prices we demonstrate why building "in region for region" is now the hottest trend in outsourcing.


SMT Temperature and Humidity Control

One of the most important ways to prevent PCB defects is controlling factory environmental conditions. If the manufacturing floor’s humidity and temperature levels are not properly controlled, very expensive components—and possibly entire assemblies—could be damaged, resulting in quality issues and unnecessary costs.


Future Electronics Review

Future Electronics

Future Electronics is the world’s fourth largest component distributor. The privately held company is headquartered in Pointe Claire (Montreal), Canada, operating in 169 locations in 42 countries worldwide, with roughly 5,500 employees. In 2013, Future Electronics revenues were approximately $5 billion.