Taking on PCB Design Using the Best Design Software 29

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This article was written by  Ruchi Gupta.

A Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is an essential component in all but the simplest electronic devices.

These boards support and connect various electronic components through the use of features such as conductive pads and tracks.

Despite their importance, designing PCBs for non-commercial use has not been an easy prospect for anyone but the most experienced electrical engineers. However, the advent of 3D PCB design software has made the process much easier.

As stated earlier, almost all of the electronic products we use today are constructed using one or more PCBs. They are necessary parts of computers, portable electronic devices, and even entertainment products. They are also used for testing equipment and prototypes, manufacturing equipment, and even spacecraft.

A typical PCB holds ICs and other components that facilitate their interconnection. These printed circuit boards are made out of copper sheets that have been laminated onto a nonconductive substrate. The essential components like resistors and capacitors are then soldered onto the board or embedded directly in the substrate.

The PCB Design Process

At one point or another, electrical engineers, technicians, or even amateur designers will need to design and create a functional, high-quality PCB that can meet any objective. Even if you are using PCB design software, it is important to know the fundamentals of how printed circuit boards work.

Printed circuit boards allow the various components and connections in a device to communicate electronically.

Unlike earlier circuits, PCBs prevent short circuits and electrical failures at the wiring junctions. Not only are their connections very durable, but they are also easily changeable.

The PCB design process should begin with the discovery of what functions the board must be able to accomplish.

Then, the designer must finalize its final design concept. This concept should include the PCB’s design features, the functions it has and performs, how it will connect with other circuits, its placements, as well as the board’s final dimension approximations.

The designer should also be able to select the materials to be used on the PCB. A good PCB design software should be able to navigate through all the steps involved in the conceptualization, implementation, and documentation.

Selecting the Best PCB Design Software

Numerous software products are currently available on the market. They vary from the simple to the complex with a number of sophisticated features. They are also sold at a wide range of prices, from freeware to the high-end options.

In the end, your choice of software should be driven by your specific requirements and preferences. That said, you can use this criteria to guide your choice of PBC design software:

1. Ease of Use.

Despite its level of sophistication, good PBC software should be easy to use.

It should not take you an excessive amount of time to perform simple tasks on the program.

2. Standardized Software.

Ensure that the software you choose to use is standardized and widely used in the industry.

It is extremely frustrating to spend time working on a design only to find the output is not compatible with other designs.

This is a critical feature when working on a group project, where different designers work on various parts of the same PCB.

Using standardized software will also encourage collaboration between designers for larger applications.

3. Features.

Depending on the features a particular software has, it may be suitable for certain applications but not for others. Consider a program’s features against your design needs to find the best software for you.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the choice of software is subjective according to your preferences. However, using this guide will help you narrow down the choices and select the best software for your PCB design.

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Data Is Important to Your Business’s Operations: Keep It as Safe as It Is Accessible 4

The Secret to Designing Perfect Landing Pages

Computers have been able to move files between one another since the technology’s very early days. The first File Transfer Protocol (FTP) technology emerged in 1971. Back then, network administrators only needed to move data from one place to the next; security was not an issue. Furthermore, since the computers were probably in the same room, the data did not have very far to go.

Today, there are many ways to move data efficiently and safely over long distances. MOVEit by ipswitch is a good example. It’s very robust yet also very easy to use. It also has a number of audit trail and compliance features that really make it a useful program.

How do you know for sure whether Moveit or some other program is the right one for your business?

What is Secure File Transfer?

FTP still works very well when there is absolutely no need for security, but these instances are few and far between. Some of today’s most popular file transfer options are:

  • Secure File Transfer Protocol: As the name implies, SFTP is FTP plus encryption. The combination is very fast and prevents network eavesdropping. SCP (Secure Copy) is a closely related protocol.
  • Managed File Transfer: MFT is a much more complex option. In addition to file security, it adds a variety of audit, management, reliability, and other features.
  • Email Encryption: Instead of transferring the file as an attachment, a secure email sends a link. Then, the recipient can download the document from a secure site. Moreover, email encryption enables users to send very large files with little drama.
  • Hosting: Originally, file hosting services supported document collaboration and nothing else. Lately, security features have emerged as well, making network hosting a viable secure file transfer option.

All these methods rely on access control. Typically, that involves a username and password. Depending on the organization’s needs, the access control can be much tighter. Usually, this process involves an Identity and Access Management (IAM) system.

Some File Transfer Features

In its most basic form, secure file transfer relies on command line interfaces. This system is automated and not designed for user interface, so there are very few additional features. On the other hand, command line interfaces are very low-cost and allow organizations to maintain control over file security even if they use cloud providers.

SFTP is still the best option for most businesses, but SFTP by itself often falls short. Consider adding additional features like:

  • Auditing: Sometimes, auditing functions are available as an add-on. But organizations that also have compliance issues in this area, such as those that handle Personal Identifying Information (PII), may be better off with MFT.
  • Scheduling: This need is not as common but it’s still out there. Sometimes, users need to send documents at certain times of the day, usually to avoid bandwidth conflicts. Customers with scheduling needs almost always need MFT, because its systems are very robust.
  • Indirect Transfer: Only MFT allows users to send documents to an intermediary server when then forwards them to the recipients. The user and recipient are isolated from each other, and such transfers are easier to track.

Consider the options carefully before making a decision. Then, go with an established provider who stands by its products.