PCB Component

How to Design a PCB Component Layout Using Altium Designer™ V20

In this tutorial, we will show you how to use Altium Designer 20 to create a basic PCB component layout. We will begin by creating a new project using the “New Project” dialog box. Then we will import our schematic into the project. Next, we will set up the board dimensions and place the component symbols on the board. Finally, we will add the power plane and ground plane layers.

I talk about PCB Design in more depth here.

Create a Blank Board

You can use any software package to create a blank board. However, I recommend using Altium Designer because it has an easy-to-learn interface and powerful features.

blank pcb component

PCB Components

PCBs (printed circuit boards) are used in many electronic devices, including computers, cell phones, and appliances. They’re made by printing conductive traces on an insulating substrate using photolithography techniques.

Route Signals

In order to route signals and power planes correctly, you need to understand how these two elements work together. A signal plane is where the signal travels through the board. It’s usually connected to ground at one end and to a reference voltage at the other.

Each distinct layer in your PCB plays a specific role in determining electrical behavior. Your signal plane layers carry power and electrical signals between PCB components, but they may not function properly unless you place the right arrangement of copper planes in the internal layers. Your PCB needs power and ground layers, as well as signal layers, and you’ll need to place these in your PCB stackup to ensure your new board functions properly.

So where is the best place to install your power, ground, and signal layers? This is one of those questions in PCB design that forces designers to think carefully about their board’s intended application, how components function, and of the signaling tolerances in a board. If you understand the limits on impedance variations, jitter, voltage ripple vs. PDN impedance, and crosstalk suppression, you can determine the right arrangement of signal and plane layers to place in your board.

Add Footprints

You’ll also need to add footprints to the power planes so that you can connect them to the rest of the circuit.

Add Solder Pads

In addition to adding solder pads, you should also add traces between them. This will help you connect the various parts of your circuit together.