Learn How to Design PCB Layout for Specialty Components and Beyond
Your PDC design software tools can help with any PCB design layout challenge.
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Utilizing all your CAD tools to design PCB layout for any challenge.
Designing PCB layouts, in general, can be quite tricky. Whether it’s a simple circuit with fairly average power needs or a board with specialty component requirements, even the slightest misstep in a design rule or trace width could cause a costly board failure. Making sure you have the PCB design software to layout for even a specialty request is necessary for modern PCB design. We’ll go through how to utilize your PCB design tools
Traditional full-wave bridge rectifiers that use four silicon diodes continue to serve as the mainstays of power supplies. However, those circuits have several drawbacks that present efficiency problems. The constant voltage drop that occurs across a conducting diode and the conducting resistance of the diodes results in power losses. Power sensitive applications—such as cell phones, AC/DC converters, and GPS power management—rely on extremely low voltages that are interrupted by voltage drops and require more efficient power supply options. Bridge rectifiers that use Schottky diodes have reduced voltage drops. However, the level of voltage drops—even with Schottky diodes—can continue to cause problems.
The simple concept of bridge rectifiers has evolved from four or more rectifier diodes arranged in a bridge configuration, to the use of thyristors, to diodes placed within surface mount packages, and to more efficient full-wave rectifiers that that solely consist of MOSFETs. With the many power supply and power management applications available for bridge rectifiers, Altium Designer provides the tools needed to select the bridge rectifier components that match your PCB design needs. No matter the simplicity or complexity of your design, the unified design environment found within Altium Designer allows you to move your design from schematic to layout and to the final version for fabrication.
Full-wave rectifiers convert both half cycles of an input alternating current into the direct current needed by most consumer and industrial products. While some product designs may use a center-tapped full-wave rectifier that relies on two diodes and a center-tapped transformer, most use a bridge rectifier.
As the name implies, bridge rectifiers arrange rectifiers in a bridge configuration. We categorize bridge rectifiers by the maximum average rectified current, the maximum reverse voltage, the maximum peak current, the forward voltage, the maximum reverse current, and the packaging type. Full-wave rectifiers have a pulsating output voltage. To achieve a constant and smooth output voltage, power supply designs add a capacitor or inductor to the filter.
How to Design PCB Layout for Specialty Components
The unified tools found within Altium Designer allow you to easily move your bridge rectifier circuit from schematic to PCB layout. Tools such as 3D PCB rendering allow you to check the mechanical design of the power supply as you move from layout to product. And don’t forget the necessary layer stackup functions that can help manage anything from a ground plane to massive numbers of vias on your printed circuit board.
Altium Designer provides the schematic symbols and physical footprints that match the 3D model of your rectifier circuit. Each of the PCB layout tools—from datasheets to CAD drawings and the PCB Editor--ensures proper pin numbering and layout. 3D PCB rendering automatically scales and positions files for correct component placement, pin-to-hole matching, and precise paths.
- Learn more flipping and rotating components in Altium Designer.
- Learn more about utilizing an integrated library for sourcing components.
- Learn more about standard versus specialized components.
You can ease the process of checking your circuit design by using Altium Designer to check for errors according to the design rules that you have established for your project. After you select the Error Reporting tab, Altium Designer provides drafting and component checks for your use. You can use separate error levels ranging from “No Report” to “Fatal Error” for your design rule checking. Altium Designer includes the capability to compile drafting and electrical rules errors for your project.You can use design rules that cover every aspect of routing trace widths, routing via styles, and other issues and to define the requirements of a PCB design. Altium’s Online DRC (Design Rule Check) software interactively monitors PCB design rules and immediately highlights any rule violations.
PCB Design Software Utilizing Helpful Layout Tools
You can use Altium Designer circuit analysis tools to verify the operation of your design. When working with bridge rectifiers, you may want to simulate the peak and output currents before moving from schematic to PCB layout. You can also measure the RMS or effective value of current flowing through the load resistor or the RMS value of voltage across the load. Altium Designer also assists with monitoring the rectification efficiency or the power delivered to the load, the ripple factor of the full wave rectifier, and the dc output voltage for the components that you select for your bridge rectifier.
Circuit analysis and simulation software included within Altium Designer provide the models needed to simulate the behavior of diodes, thyristors, and MOSFETs used in bridge rectifiers. The simulation software allows you to evaluate performance, power efficiency, conduction, loss, and thermal behavior. When checking the voltage across the load resistor, we can vary the resistance within the simulation model. In addition, you can connect an oscilloscope across the load resistor to check the waveforms during the positive and negative half-cycles of the AC source.
- Learn more about how design-layout integration can affect your design process.
- Learn more about multi-channel design and fully using its capabilities.
- Learn more about the potential for high-speed design analysis.
Designing PCB layout can be as simple as you need it to be with the right CAD tool
Altium Designer assists with establishing the bridge circuit used for bridge rectifiers. You can create the schematic symbols using the schematic libraries and apply the symbols to components by adding links to the PCB footprint. You can search for components across installed libraries or libraries created on your drive by using Altium’s Libraries Search Dialog. Altium’s unified approach allows you to compile the component elements into an integrated library. The Altium Designer tools allow you to check for problems such as mismatches between pads and schematic pins.
Altium’s Content Vault and ECAD libraries provide the information needed for selecting the correct components for the application. The Vault stores generic and manufacturer-specific components. You can store your components in the cloud for access anytime and anywhere and then place the components from the Libraries or Explorer panel on to your schematic sheet.
Manufacturing Outputs with Altium Designer
Finding ways to get your circuit board through to manufacturing accurately requires having some solid PCB design guidelines and schematic capture tools to help along the way. The number of vias your printed circuit has, and the number of layers you need to work through to get put the printed in printed circuit board can really affect the manufacturing process.
Thankfully, along with unlimited parts access and the capability to create the components needed for the most efficient bridge rectifier design, Altium Designer offers the interactive connection routing for the best schematic to layout design. Up-to-date design documentation assists with selecting the right components and enables your manufacturing outputs to be complete without error.
- Learn more about resuable batch output configurations within Altium Designer.
- Learn more about automated project release.
- Learn more about the seamless drawing process for manufacturing outputs.
Getting your manufacturing outputs in order has never been easier
Use Altium Designer and trust it with your circuit board. You won’t be disappointed in how it manages layer stackup for your printed circuit board, or in how easy you might find it to optimize a printed circuit for any necessary type of layout. Furthermore, the software is consistently striving to give you the tools you need to create any circuit board, so you can trust it to be a software that grows with you in your future of printed circuit creation.