Every electronic device that you use consists of over a hundred meters of wires, along with dozens of small copper components. These components work seamlessly together to run a specific electronic device, whether it is a Smartphone, television, or remote control.
All of the wires and components perfectly attach to a thin-layered board, or PCB (Printed circuit board). When engineers mount all the components on this surface, it provides an organized framework for all the small structures to communicate with each other.
PCBs consist of conductive material that sits on insulating material, or the substrate. When you categorize PCBs based on this, you get two classifications, the single-layer PCB, and the double-layer PCB. The single-layer PCB includes a one-sided conductive coating, while the double layer has a coating on both sides.
One of the many ways to decrease the build-up of heat in a PCB design is to widening the traces on the board. This is one of the routing rules out of many that creators follow when designing PCBs. The wider the distance between the traces, the lesser will be the resistance of the flowing current. To calculate trace widths, you can seek the help of online trace width calculators.
Similarly, you can find methods that encompass the manual routing process. In an electronic design, automated trace routing is the way to go amidst modern technological advances.
WHAT IS AUTOMATED TRACE ROUTING?
This is a method of design for the printed circuit board, along with the integrated circuits, or (ICs). This step automates the process of placement when integrating a PCB. The dynamics of this method predicates upon identifying the placement for each active component of a PCB.
The automated trace routing method allows you to enable an automatic routing system that systematically makes all the placements themselves. You can find auto-routing software such as Altium, which provides users an interface that helps access automated trace routing.
With the help of automated trace routers, encoders can increase their productivity and not waste their time in manual routing solutions.
SHOULD YOU USE AN AUTOMATED TRACE ROUTER?
Auto-routing tools can be of immense help, especially if you are a beginner designer. They have incredible use and benefits for simpler designs. However, skilled and experienced designers that incorporate complex routing placements do not use automated routers.
This is because the automated routing tools will often not have the complex routing strategy or layout in their systems. Therefore, whether you should use an automated trace routing tool depends entirely on the layout of your PCB, the complexity of your strategy, and the settings that you are particularly looking for.
AUTOMATED TRACE ROUTING ALGORITHMS
Algorithms ultimately define the function of an automated trace router. They are the fundamental construct of the different routing topologies. In other words, they are a set of instructions that automate the routing process, speeding it up, and making this lengthy task easier.
The three main algorithms for auto-routing involve random search, directed search, and river routing. Each of these algorithms has its advantages and setbacks and suits each encoder for a different set of tasks.
If you are new to PCB design, then auto-routing tools can be emphatic to get you started on your PCB projects. In hindsight, the benefits of an automated trace router outweigh some of the drawbacks, especially if you consider the recent advances in their technology.