Connector PCB Design Considerations
Printed circuit boards with integrated electrical equipment need connectors to connect them. These include a broad range of sockets, plugs, and terminal blocks.
This guide is focused on the most popular PCB connector families – connectors that join two sections of a board or a board to another device. It provides tips for selecting, mounting and placing these components in your PCB design.
Defining Communication Channels in ECAD/MCAD
In today’s design environment, the need to quickly exchange data between ECAD and MCAD systems is more important than ever. It is crucial for teams that are dispersed throughout a company’s organization to be able to work in synchronization and share designs in the most effective way possible.
Despite this need, many companies have not been able to effectively implement ECAD-MCAD collaboration in their product development process because of the difficulty of defining and managing communication channels between these two domains. However, the technology and process for managing this exchange is now readily available.
By using a collaborative design platform, engineers can easily move and import digital information between the domains. This helps reduce human errors that are common in both areas, such as incorrect board shape, component placement, or assembly fit.
This allows for easier data exchange that ensures the most effective and efficient design processes possible. This also reduces costs and time to market while keeping design changes consistent.
For example, if a mechanical engineer wants to change a PCB’s shape, he or she can “push” the design from ECAD to MCAD. Then, the mechanical engineer can modify the board’s outline and add components as needed. When the electrical engineer receives this, they can graphically review the board and accept or reject the proposal based on their observations.
With a full-featured electrical and mechanical CAD solution, engineers can work in a seamless collaboration experience that automatically manages design changes to help them keep on track with their project schedules. With a single dataset, 3D PCB data such as copper, core material, and components can be verified on the MCAD side to ensure they meet the design specifications.
To simplify the workflow, Zuken offers best-in-class ECAD Software for PCB Design that is fully integrated with MCAD and PDM/PLM systems. This includes full synchronisation with MCAD assemblies, which significantly improves the productivity of ECAD designers.
In addition, the ability to share data between MCAD and ECAD means that design changes can be made in one environment and rolled back in the other without having to re-export files. This reduces the cost of development and minimizes the risk of prototype spins. This also helps to ensure that a complete design is created and validated for the final production run of the product.
Selecting Connector Components
As engineers develop and deploy electronic products, they will often need to use many different connectors on a PCB. Selecting the optimal component is not a simple task, however, and there are several considerations that must be made.
The first step in selecting a connector is to determine its current flow, which is critical for the overall performance of the board. Connectors that carry too much current or are subject to high temperatures can cause the boards to malfunction and fail to work correctly. In addition, the type of manufacturing process that is used to assemble the board can also affect the choice of connectors.
For this reason, a connector must be chosen with care, especially if it is being used in harsh environments where shock and vibration are likely. The connector must be able to withstand such forces without breaking, Connector PCB otherwise it could result in the failure of the entire assembly.
One way to ensure that the connector will be able to handle the stress is to specify it with mechanical rigidity. This includes features such as bosses and threaded inserts that improve the mechanical connection between the board and the connector.
In addition, a connector that incorporates multiple mounting styles will allow a designer to choose the best configuration for the circuit board. It is also important to consider the current that the header will be carrying, as well as how the header will need to mate with other components on the circuit board.
Another key issue with selecting a connector is the pin pitch, which should be chosen carefully to avoid shorts on the PCB that could lead to expensive repair costs down the road. This is particularly true of surface-mount devices (SMDs) and other components that require the addition of a gluing process to be fixed to the PCB.
Finally, a connector’s stack height is an important factor to consider. This allows the connector to mate with the board it is attached to while leaving enough space for the other circuit boards to be stacked on top of the mating connector.
Placement of Connectors on Printed Circuit Boards
Connectors are critical components of PCBs, allowing for electrical and mechanical connections between boards. They can also be used to provide power to and from devices. Depending on the application, there are a number of connector types and designs available to suit different needs.
The placement of connectors on a PCB depends on the type of device they are connected to and the functions that are necessary. For example, if the board has a high-power design, it is important to choose a connector that can withstand that level of power without damaging other components or the board itself.
When selecting a connector for your circuit, it is best to consult a manufacturer’s datasheet to determine the type of connection needed. A variety of connectors are available for a range of applications, including through-hole and pressed-fit.
Regardless of the type of connector chosen, it is important to design the PCB so that the connectors can be easily mounted and soldered in place. To do this, designers must consider the distance between pins, the type of insulation material that is used within the connector, and the effects of added impedance on traces.
In addition, it is important to consider the layout of the connectors, and how they will be connected to other PCBs. For example, if the PCB has multiple mezzanine connectors that need to be mated together, the connectors should be positioned so that each set of mating components can be connected to a single socket.
Another issue to consider when designing a connector PCB is the placement of the headers. Headers can be a great way to save space on the circuit board and allow for easier connectivity between components. However, it is important to ensure that the headers Connector PCB are placed properly so that they do not interfere with other components or the board itself.
To ensure that the headers are placed correctly, it is a good idea to use a combination of scoring and routing. Using both methods will ensure that the board’s edge is 0.04″ away from all components, including capacitors and resistors. This will help prevent flexing of the board, which can lead to broken components and shorts.
Optimal Design Specifications
Connector PCBs are an integral part of many electronics designs. However, they also have many specific design requirements that must be met. The design process for a connector requires consideration of the signal quality, placement, and assembly. Optimal design specifications for these components will depend on the application and environment in which the board will operate.
To ensure optimal signal performance, the following design rules are recommended:
– Place connectors away from the edge of the board. This will minimize the amount of tab scoring required and reduce material waste and manufacturing costs.
# Use V-scoring or jump scoring instead of routing (perforations or solid tabs) if connectors are close to, on, or overhanging the board edge. This will reduce manufacturing costs and allow the board to be assembled in a single panel.
#3 Consider tolerance control on the LCD glass, polarizers, reflectors, and PC board materials used for contact pads. These materials are subject to various flatness and parallelism tolerances. These tolerances must be controlled to develop a flat and parallel contact interface between the ZEBRA(r) connector and the LCD and PC board.
#4 Incorporate the ZEBRA(r) height into the LCD and PC board tolerance stack-up calculations. This will provide the uncompressed ZEBRA(r) connector height, which is necessary to ensure adequate contact between the ZEBRA(r) and LCD and PC boards in areas where the minimum separation distance prevails.
5. Incorporate locating pins into the bottom of the ZEBRA(r) connector holder to help assure registration between the LCD and PC board contacts. This will minimize the possibility of cross-talk between ZEBRA(r) and LCD.
6. For space-constrained applications, a ZEBRA(r) connector is a viable alternative to the traditional pin header and socket designs of a PCB connector. This type of connector consists of alternating layers of conductive and non-conductive silicone rubber that provides the ideal combination of contact density between the ZEBRA(r) connector contacts and matched contact pads on the LCD and PC boards.
For space-constrained applications, a connector that is designed with a high aspect ratio of H/W is recommended to maximize the connection density between the ZEBRA(r) and the LCD and PC board. This is especially important when the ZEBRA(r) height exceeds 0.200″/5.08mm to prevent potential interconnect problems.