How is a Circuit Board Designed?

The design process of a printed circuit board (PCB) involves both schematic and board design, which eventually leads to the manufacturing, assembly, and testing of these boards.

The designer first creates a schematic, which is essentially a roadmap for the circuit. It consists of a series of symbols that identify various elements of the circuit, such as resistors, switches, nodes, diodes, etc. A schematic can be useful for later PCB troubleshooting requirements.

The next step is the board design using electronic design automation (EDA) or ECAD software. This schematic design of the circuit is converted into an EDA software package. The design is translated into an industry standard format, which is a language such as the Gerber format, used to define PCB components. The file that is developed from this process consists of a series of instructions for the production of the PCB.