Project Checklists

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General Notes

  • If any checklist item fails and requires any change to the design, start that checklist over from the start after the change.
    • Really. It's important. The 2 extra minutes will save re-spinning a board.
  • Once checklists are all complete, wait 24 hours and take another brief look at the design before sending to manufacturing.
    • Don't have to re-run checklists, just look it over. It's surprising how many things jump out at you after not looking at a design for awhile.

Schematic Completion

  • Does the schematic pass ERC?
  • Is there a way to power the board?
  • Is there a way to program any MCU/CPLD/FPGAs on the board?
  • Are all clock signals routed to clock pins (if CPLD/FPGA)?
  • Are all MCUs on the board clocked (if required)?
  • Are required bypass capacitors included?
  • Are any required protection devices (e.g. PTC resettable fuses) included?
  • Are required test points included?
    • One small SMD point on every net that could conceivably require troubleshooting and does not appear on a connector
    • At least one PTH ground test point for scope/logic analyzer probes
    • PTH test points for nets that are very likely to require extensive troubleshooting, if space is available
    • 8/16-bit test/debug bus connector for CPLD/FPGA projects that could require logic analyzer connection
  • Is there a way for the user to receive status information (like LEDs)?
  • Are all nets named something useful (not N$)? Use the SHOW @ N$* command to check.
  • Are all nets properly classed (if required)?
  • Is there a way to set the address of the board (if on a multidrop bus)?
  • If an Arduino-compatible shield, make sure a reset button and power LED are included.
  • Are all connector pins rated for the current they will be carrying?
  • Do all specified PMICs have appropriate input voltage ranges, power levels, and topologies?
  • Are source/sink-only I/O connectors provided with the correct companion voltages?

PCB Completion

  • Is the DRC engine set up to match the board house being used?
  • Does the board pass DRC?
  • Are all connectors set up so that they won't interfere with each other?
    • Do a physical mockup if required to make sure everything fits in properly.
  • Are all connectors on the correct side of the board?
  • If the design has multiple boards with connectors between them, trace the path of a couple signals and make sure both connectors match up.
  • Has the footprint/pinout of any new components been double checked?
  • Will the test points be easy to get to once the board is stuffed?
  • Are all sharp bends mitered?
  • Are all high-speed signals properly laid out?
  • Is the ground plane set up properly?
  • Are QFN/DFN/high-power parts properly thermally laid out?
  • Will the board plug into a standard 0.1" perfboard/breadboard (if applicable)?
  • Are mounting holes included if required?
  • Is the required silkscreen all added?
    • Connector/pin descriptions
    • Board name
    • Copyright/left information
    • URL (if possible to fit)
    • Revision number
    • ECO tracking boxes
    • Area for serial number
    • Strich
  • Does text on both sides of the board all face the same direction?

CAM Completion

  • Do drills line up with pads?
  • Are vias tented appropriately?
  • Does mask extend between component pins?
  • Are test points left exposed on the correct side of the board?
  • Do silkscreen layers look reasonable and non-overlapping?
  • Does any silkscreen overlap drills?
  • Are required ground ties in place (if required)?
  • Are break-out tabs set up correctly?
  • Does board outline appear correct and contiguous?
  • Are thermal pads left exposed and not covered in solder mask?