Category Archives: Printed Circuit Design

PCB Reverse Engineering Australia USA UK India

PCB Reverse engineering

PCB Reverse engineering 

PCB Reverse engineering is the process of analyzing an existing product or design for the desire & purpose of replicating the similar functionality or the behavior without the aid of original manufacturing or actual design documents. It’s a challenging task as the information given is limited and the task requires committed experienced professional to start from minimal information to the cusp where the production of the new design can take place.

Do we have any standard to govern PCB Reverse engineering?

Before understanding the steps used for PCB Reverse engineering, let’s understand, is it ethical to use Reverse engineering or are there any standards which mentions about reverse engineering ?  Reverse engineering as such is a wide term and is applicable in multiple fields of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, software engineering, chemical engineering, and systems biology.

From software perspective In 1990, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) had defined reverse engineering as “The process of analyzing a subject system to identify the system’s components and their interrelationships and to create representations of the system in another form or at a higher level of abstraction”, where the “subject system” is to be considered as the end product of software development.

In electronic engineering there is as such, no standard or guidelines which mentions about reverse engineering. Jerry can, Panzerschreck, Tupolev Tu-4, SCR-584 radar, V-2 rocket
BGM-71 are historic few examples which are reverse engineered to make similar powerful weapons.

Top Reasons for Reverse Engineering.

  1. Obsolescence : Obsolete part replacement
  2. Interfacing of different parts of system.
  3. Product security analysis.
  4. Cost Optimization
  5.  Re-positioning of obsolete components.
  6. Competitor Analysis and gain

Tools used for PCB Reverse Engineering

  • Good multi-meter
  • Continuity Tester
  • Inductive short tracer
  • Milli-Ohm meter
  • Microscope
  • Light panel  & Torch for detailed PCB inspection.
  • X-Ray imaging of PCB
  • Lot of Patience & Passion

Steps for PCB Reverse Engineering

  • Assign reference designations (U, J, R, C, D) to unmarked components before starting PCB reverse engineering.
  • Create a Component level BOM
  • Design -Identify the system’s components and their interrelationships.
  • Components Placement & Mechanical
    • XY locations of Connectors, LED, Switches etc
    •  Board mechanical Mounting holes & any special cuts on Boards, Board size etc
  • Download datasheets, application notes, and architecture information
  • Create net list
  • Make the Schematic Drawing and PCB Layout

PCB reverse engineering is grueling process which seems impossible sometimes but right experience, dedication and success gives paramount satisfaction and overshadows the hurdles faced in the journey.   .

Argus Embedded System  Re-Engineering Services are designed and developed in accordance with the specific customer’s needs and demands.  If the product or the PCB is re-engineered by us, we take responsibility of the custom developed hardware to test the functionality as per the original product. This assurance can not be given by most of the design bureau as either they are in to only manufacturing or only in the electronic product design.

Our services are widely appreciated by the clients for their quality, timely execution and genuine prices.

Where we can help 

  • Obsolete products where the artwork no longer exists.
  • Obsolete products with no  circuit diagrams
  • Products Re-designed for RoHS/ WEEE compliance
  • Through-hole to SMD parts Migration
  • While retaining the core features and logic of existing systems migration to emerging technologies.
  • Design Changes
    • To improve operations, maintenance and support issues on older circuit Boards
    •  For increased performance.
    •  Reduced life-cycle costs and lower System Cost.

Argus Embedded System is  Industry’s leading company in providing electronic product design and Electronics Manufacturing for Security, Home and Industrial automation, Medical, Transport & Logistics, Automotive, Networking, Telecom, IoT and  Connected devices. Our IoT Product line can help you in defining and designing any of your product ideas.

Our professional experts  are available via phone or email for your consultation. Ask for a free quote on any of our services or products. Our Major customers are from India, Australia, USA and UK.

Quick Comparison SIMCOM 800C-DS/800F/800C/800/800H

Quick Comparison SIMCOM 800C-DS/800F/800C/800/800H

SIM800C-DS/800F/800C/800/800H are GSM and GPRS module which can be used in various domain and devices. These modules are sub-system of the Internet-of-everything hardware and are used to send the updates.

Below is the quick comparison sheet for the  SIM800C-DS/800F/800C/800/800H  modules. These modules can be used in any devices which caters to the security, retail, smart metering, vehicle tracking , people tracking and other domains.

 As per application and requirement the module should be selected. This comparison is between simcom wireless modules sim800 and other SIM8xx series modules. It omits the common features which are present in all the modules and highlights only the differences for making informed decision.

Argus electronic project design team is working on exciting IoT hardwares which includes integration of SIM900 and SIM800 modules.

 

Quick Comparison SIMCOM 800C-DS/800F/800C/800/800H

FeaturesSIM800C-DSSIM800FSIM800CSIM800SIM800H
General Quad-Band GSM/GPRSQuad-Band GSM/GPRSQuad-Band GSM/GPRSQuad-Band GSM/GPRSQuad-Band GSM/GPRS
17.6*15.7*2.3mm24*24*3mm17.6*15.7*2.3mm24*24*3mm15.8*17.8*2.4mm
850/900/1800/1900MH 850/900/1800/1900MH 850/900/1800/1900MH 850/900/1800/1900MH 850/900/1800/1900MH
LCC and LGA pads, support Dual-SIM, SMT typeSMT typeSMT typeLGA type
NANANABluetooth and Embedded ATBluetooth, FM and Embedded AT
NANANABluetooth: compliant with 3.0+EDRBluetooth: compliant with 3.0+EDR
Software•SSL•SSL• SSL• TTS (optional)• TTS
•TTS_CN (optional)•Bluetooth 3.0 (optional)• Bluetooth 3.0(optional)• Embedded AT (optional)• Embedded AT (optional)
• Java (optional)
GPRS DataNANANA• Non transparent mode• Non transparent mode
NANANA• CSD up to 14.4 kbps• CSD up to 14.4 kbps
Interfaces77 SMT pins with68 SMT pins with42 SMT pins with• 68 SMT pads with88 LGA pads with
•SIM Card Interfaces (Dual Standby)• Analog audio interface• Analog audio interface• Analog audio interface• Analog audio interface
---SIM card 1: 3V/ 1.8V• RTC backup• RTC backup• PCM interface(optional)• PCM interface
---SIM card 2: 3V/ 1.8V• USB interface• USB interface• SPI interface (optional)• RTC backup
•Analog audio interface• Serial interface• Serial interface• RTC backup• Serial interface
•I2C interface• GPIO• GPIO• USB interface• Interface to external SIM 3V/1.8V
•USB interface• ADC• ADC• Interface to external SIM 3V/1.8V• Keypad interface
•Serial interface• PWM• GSM Antenna pad• Keypad interface• GPIO
•PCM• I2C• Bluetooth Antenna pad• GPIO• ADC
•SD• GSM Antenna pad• ADC• GSM Antenna pad
•GPIO• Bluetooth Antenna pad• GSM Antenna pad• FM Antenna pad
•ADC• Bluetooth Antenna pad• Bluetooth Antenna pad
•GSM Antenna pad
Certifications•ROHS• ROHS• CE• CE• CE
•REACH• REACH• FCC• GCF• GCF
• TA• FCC• FCC
• ROHS• TA• ROHS
• REACH• CTA• REACH
• CTA• CCC• PTCRB
• CCC (on going)• ROHS• CCC
• REACH• Anatel
• ANATEL• A-TICK
• A-TICK• CTA
• TA

 

Key points:

  1. Dual-SIM support  : Sim800C-DS
  2. Bluetooth and Embedded AT : SIm800
  3. Bluetooth, FM and Embedded AT : Sim800H
  4. Java : Sim800
  5. SPI interface (optional) : Sim800
  6. I2C Interface : SIM800C-DS, SIM800F

For other differences the Quick Comparison SIMCOM 800C-DS/800F/800C/800/800H table can be referred. 

Argus Embedded System  is India’s leading company in providing electronic product design services for Industrial, Networking & Telecom and Defense domains. Our professional experts in India, USA and UK are available via phone or email for your consultation.  Give us a chance to help you, in making your dream come true. Ask for a free quote on any of our services.

Telecom Product Design In India

Argus PCB design business in relevance to telecom product designs

Thermal Management & Reliability

 The Key difference between the telecom industry and the consumer electronics industry is telecom’s need for very high reliability and availability. Electronic Systems reliability is very important to the telecom and data communication service providers in current highly price competitive business environment. Argus PCB Design business has been refined and tuned as per the relevance of telecom product design.

Operating costs for maintenance and replacement of telecom products are higher (especially wireless base stations installed in remote and unmanned locations), unless the equipment is highly dependable throughout its lifetime.

Telecom product availability and reliability primarily depends upon architectural redundancy, software robustness and manufacturing quality, however the reliability of the product on the printed circuit boards is majorly affected by the temperature of the equipment.

Increasing computing requirements and higher network traffic coupled with 24/7 availability mandates are contributing to increased power densities in PCB and enclosures.

This makes sophisticated system-level thermal design and management a vital part of designing telecom equipment’s.  Argus design team has to optimize the thermal design equipment by modeling and analyzing printed circuit board (PCB) temperatures using design analysis tools.

Argus has introduced System Reliability, availability and maintainability analysis as part of its design analysis flow specific to telecom products.

Design complexities

The telecom products are pushing technology envelops with ever increasing features sets as it continuously seeks to reduce the form factor and weight of product. Due to complexity of telecom Printed Circuit Boards Argus had to upgrade to high performance PCB Design & circuit simulation tools, introduce additional design analysis & manufacturing verification tools and upgrade existing design methodologies to match up with advanced PCB design technologies.

  • Mixed digital/analog/RF Designs with embedded Passives
  • High Layer count & High density Designs
  • Impedance controlled Designs
  • High speed interconnects , Multiple High pin count Ultra Fine pitch Devices
  • Designs with Micro Vias, Blind, Buried Via

Continue reading

RF and Microwave PCB design

 

RF and Microwave PCB design

RF and Microwave PCB design is considered to be a niche domain requiring exceptional understanding of constrained, exhaustive guidelines and general pitfalls. Selection and placement of components even PCB material if not chosen wisely could cause complete failure of the RF and Microwave PCB design, which could have been done with utmost care at the design phase. We will delve further on RF and Microwave PCB Design and try to understand why it is highly recommended to give your RF and Microwave PCB design projects to only specialized firm.

RF (Radio Frequency) is a part of electromagnetic spectrum having frequencies from 3 kHz to 300GHz with wavelengths ranging from 1 mm to 100 KM, travelling at the speed of light. A part of Radio frequency spectrum between 300MHz to 300GHz is known as Microwave which includes UHF, EHF and SHF band. RF signals can be characterized as high frequency analogue signals. As the signals are analogue in nature and mostly travel over-the-air the amplitude, voltage and current levels are not defined but vary as per environment and medium. To add to the complexity of the analogue signal, its not single frequency but generally band of frequencies so the RF and Microwave PCB design and circuits are designed to pass the desired band and filter out the rest. 

Issues and Challenges in RF and Microwave PCB Design

  • RF and Microwaves are highly sensitive to noise.
  • Matching Impedance is challenging as higher the frequency the lower the tolerance.
  • Expects Zero Return loss
  • Cross talk is directly proportional to the edge rates of the active line.
  • Dissipation factor and dielectric constant value can cause huge losses
  • Taking account of Skin Depth loss: At higher frequencies electrons flow on the outer surfaces of the conductor knows as skin effect and causes the effective resistance of the conductor to increase. Continue reading

Data Acquisition System (DAQ) for Industrial Applications

Data Acquisition System -Argus Systems Data Acquisition card for Industrial Applications

Any change in physical condition like change in temperature, force, weight, Intensity of light, gas pressure, fluid force etc can be measured using Data Acquisition System. Generally the input is analogue in characteristics which is to be converted into digital and sampled using data acquisition system. The sampled acquired data is given as input to the DAQ software which in turn defines the action to be taken place. Data Acquisition System can be utilized heavily in Power plants, Solar applications, and places where temperature or pressure is to be measured.

A Data Acquisition System consists of sensors, DAQ hardware and software which can interpret the collected data and are generally installed on the host computer. The interfaces which can be used to connect data acquisition hardware to computers are PCI bus, USB and Ethernet, serial I/O, RS232, PXI bus, PCI express and RS485. RS485 interfaces are predominantly used in Industrial data acquisition systems in which typically the data has to travel more than 1.2 km or around 4,000 feet. For smaller distances around 15 m-300 m, RS 232 interfaces can be utilized.

A Data Acquisition system can be entirely developed as an embedded system wherein the the hardware and software works as standalone unit with none dependency on other devices. This type of boards  acts as plug-in board solutions.

Argus Embedded System has designed and developed PCI based data acquisition card which can be used in variety of Industrial applications. These can be customized or developed as per the requirements of the Industry.

 FEATURES:

  • Uses Cyclone 1 , Altera family device EP1C12Q240C6
  • Four high speed FIFO’s IDT2V2113
  • 64 bits,66 MHz PCI 9656
  • High speed, low power Bus LVDS transceiver
  • MAX 7000B devices are high density, high performance

 SPECIFICATION:

  • Input Interface: PCI, Ethernet, HDMI.
  • Power supply: 12VDC, 5VDC, 3VDC.
  • Dimensions: 106.7 x 26.4mm
  • Temperature range: 0 to 80° C
  • Layers:12

Argus Embedded System  is India’s leading company in providing electronic product design services for Industrial, Networking & Telecom and Defense domains.

What are PCB test Jigs, test Fixtures and ATE?

Why PCB Tests are required

Any electronic product even if properly designed and built with utmost care is prone to bug and issues. It is very crucial to test the product or PCB thoroughly in early stages of design to save millions of dollars later. The testing can be done at PCB design level wherein after using various design analysis techniques like EMI, Signal Integrity and Power Integrity, the design issues can be minimized. But how do you test the PCB once bare- board PCB is in your hand or after components population i.e. assembly has been done? How do you make sure that there are no shorts, open or bad solder joints? How to make sure current capacity, performance, component value and Impedance are within proper and expected tolerance level?

What are PCB Test Jigs and ATE?

Also we should know and comprehend the common terms used in the Electronics hardware testing domain. Specialized and custom designed Test jigs and fixtures are used to test pcb. Test Point are identified and probed to identify the input to be given and output to be measured. A test jig can be identified as a device or machinery that holds a piece of machine work which now a days comprised of much electronic intelligence and guides the tools operating on it. It should not be confused with Test fixtures which are used to keep the object firmly in place. However, in PCB testing both the terms test jigs and test fixtures are interchangeably used as is meant as a electro-mechanical solution to test the printed circuit boards or PCB’s. Custom made Test jigs and test fixtures are made as per the application of the board to test its test points. Automated Test Equipment (ATE) are those apparatus which makes these tests automated and help to identify issues even at System-On-Chips and Integrated circuits levels. So how do we test PCBs ? we use test jigs, test fixtures and ATE to test the Printed circuit board.

Board testing at various levels

  1. Bare-Board Tests
  2. Assembly Level Tests

Bare-board tests

Bare-board test are the tests done on unpopulated boards where netlist defined circuit connection is verified properly on the fabricated board. A small voltage is applied and is verified at the appropriate points, a “short”, “open” are identified in these types of tests. Industrial CT scanning can show details of soldered path and connections by generating a 3D rendering of the board along with 2D image slices.

Assembly Level Tests & Functionality Tests

After the board has been properly assembled it may be tested in a variety of ways using either manual inspection or using expensive Automatic test equipment (ATE).

Automatic test equipment enables PCB test, and equipment test to be undertaken very swiftly. Automatic test equipment is quite expensive, and therefore it is necessary to select the proper type suitable for the application and board to be tested.

In-Circuit Test, ICT

In-Circuit Test, ICT is a form of ATE is very effective form to test printed circuit boards. It can find short circuits, open circuits, component values, and it can checks the operation of ICs.

JTAG boundary scan

JTAG boundary scan uses the dedicated test logic built into Integrated circuits (ICs), to check if each device is correctly soldered and is properly inserted onto the PCB. The devices which include this logic are FPGAs, CPLDs, microprocessors, DSPs, bus logic, SERDES, telecom encoders, PHYs, ASICs, and Bridges (PCI/PCIe).

Functional tester

When the function of the circuit is tested it is known as Functional test. Functional testers typically interface to the PCB or device under test via its test-probe points or edge connectors. This testing is the simulation of the final environment in which the PCB is meant to function. The test equipment can be chassis or rack based or test equipment which uses GPIB.

A company which has specialized knowledge on various aspects of PCB tests, can be in assistance of OEM and suggest the best test method and test equipment to improve and test the product reliability , defect and issues early in the product life cycle and can thus save both  the product development crucial factors cost and time.

 Argus Systems Test engineering team can design and offer customized solution for customer specific Requirements.

Services offered are

  •               In-Circuit Test Development
  •              DFT implementation and Probe accessibility audits
  •              Fixture fabrication data to support the vendor of your choice
  •              Complete documentation and test program conforming to your requirements
  •               Panellized  board testing
  •              Board testing utilizing dual access, bi-level fixturing
  •              Boundary-scan test support
  •              Rapid test program development

Electronic Product Design in India

Electronic Product Design in India 

As per Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity) , Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India,

“While demand increased across all sectors, demand for high technology products, specifically electronic products has registered significant growth and going by current estimates, the demand for electronics hardware in the country is projected to increase from USD 45 billion in 2009 to USD400 billion by 2020 (Source: Task Force Report).

The estimated production will reach USD 104 billion by the year 2020, creating a gap of USD 296 billion in demand and production. This creates a unique opportunity for companies in the ESDM (Electronic System Design & Manufacturing) sector to look at India as their next destination to cater to the domestic Indian demand as well as act as an exports hub. “

Argus Systems is continuously committed  and specializes in the Electronic Design and
Manufacturing Services with experience in NPI, R&D and designing unique products for import substitution. Our core strength is proven turnkey capabilities for executing complex  projects within the specified time frame.  Argus Systems is one of the leading player in electronic product design located in  India, serving client all over the globe including USA and UK.

Power Integrity Analysis at System Level

Power Integrity ( PI ) Analysis at System Level 

Power Integrity is not a new term in high-speed digital design and analysis. Ever increasing count of PCB layout planes, form factor limitation, high IC density, cost constraint are few of many factors which results in complex electronic designs.

Power integrity ( PI ) Analysis is sometimes assumed as a sub discipline of Signal Integrity, but as they are coherently related they have distinctive features of their own which are to be done in different ways.  Signal Integrity analysis is based on transmission lines whereas in Power Integrity analysis we are dealing with power distribution through transmission planes.

Power Integrity can identify the potential problems and with appropriate modifications and validations the analysis can be done again, this trial and error approach helps to identify problem on virtual prototypes and saves in turn cost of actual manufacturing and later re-spin of boards.

As explained in one of the white papers as per IEEE EMC symposium the complete definition of power integrity for a power delivery network can be defined as:

  • A power delivery network (PDN) has to deliver sufficiently clean power supply to ICs.
  • The PDN has to provide low noise reference path to signals.
  • The PDN should not radiate excessively.

Depending on the above definition the Power Integrity analysis has different types of simulations which can be listed as:

  • DC Power Integrity ( IR-Drop analysis) : Analysis of trace and plane shapes to determine how much voltage is lost due to the resistance of copper.
  • Decoupling analysis : To meet low impedance requirements.
  • Noise analysis : Noise analysis of IC Power pins or from via to another.

For high-speed and highly-reliable PCB design it is essential to perform pre-layout PDN analysis and Power Integrity analysis is a must for it.

Argus Systems is leader in PCB and system-level design and analysis Services offering Power Integrity AnalysisSI analysis, Thermal Analysis,  Cross-talk analysisEMI Analysis, Reliability, availability and maintainability analysis for applications like Defense, Space, Avionics, Networking,Telecom, Industrial, Medical, Semiconductor, Robotics, Computing and Automotive.

How to become a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Designer ?

PCB Design-When it all started-History of PCB design

Paul Eisler is credited with the invention of printed circuit while working in England around 1936 on a part of radio. Around 1943 USA started using the technology to make proximity fuses which explodes automatically based on pre-set distance. Printed circuits only became popular around 1950’s and since then every decade has seen a new invention which makes this field very exciting and innovating. The advancement of technology has seen hand made PCB’s converted into complex multi-layer PCB’s.

Why you need PCB Designers?

Printed circuit Boards are the Heart of any Electronics. Expanding horizons in Electronics market has brought tremendous demand for trained and experienced PCB designers. There are millions of job opportunities waiting for right designer and thinkers. We need new, different, improved electronics products all the time, so sometimes this  field is also called as ever-green field.

How much PCB designer earn?

As per bls.gov (Bureau of labor statistics, USA) Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians average salary (2012 median pay) can be considered as $57,850 per year or $27.81 per hour.  In India as per statistics by the TimesJobs.com the salary in PCB design ranges from 100,00 to 1,000,000 in rupees as per experience.

Educational Requirements for PCB design Engineers

To work in PCB design on Electronics field a degree in Electronics field is a must. If you have passion to learn and explore and bachelor degree, diploma or masters in Electronics, this could be your career.

What are Courses and Certification to get into PCB DESIGN?

Unfortunately, there are no formal accredited degrees for Printed Circuit Board design. PCB Design tool vendors provide training for specific tools and then there are few leading companies like Argus who has world class training division which helps fresher’s and senior alike to get into PCB design area or to enhance their skill set. To clear C.I.D. through the IPC could be a starting point and can give you theoretical knowledge of PCB Design. But board design could be very specific like analog, digital, RF or high speed depending on the application it will be used. Hands-on experience with proper guidance is the way to make your career in PCB Design area.

How Argus can help you in your PCB Design career?

Argus has offices in USA, UK and India. We are customer-centric and have consistently delivered high quality high-speed multi layer PCB designs requirements. We are in constant lookout for fresher, or senior PCB design professionals who can join our ever growing achievers team. If you are fresher and want to start your career in PCB design drop us an e-mail or call us. If you are experienced and want to work on new and exciting products contact us.

With unpredictable and ever changing technology trends PCB designers gets chance to work on many  revolutionary products. If want to become PCB designer and interested for more information drop us an e-mail or call us.

 

Standards in Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Design

To develop and promote internet standards we have Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)  organization, likewise in Printed circuit boards (PCB) for design, assembly and production, the standards which are followed worldwide are IPC standards.

IPC is an association with more than 90 standard committees which are involved in making printed circuit board and EMS standards. It was founded in 1957 as  Institute for Printed Circuits. This name was later changed to Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits and was again renamed to IPC in 1999.

Given below are design standards as defined by IPC :

IPC-2221 Generic Standard on Printed Board Design
IPC-2222 Sectional Design Standard for Rigid Organic Printed Boards
IPC-2223 Sectional Design Standard for Flexible Printed Boards
IPC-2224 Sectional Standard for Design of PWBs for PC Cards
IPC-2225 Sectional Design Standard for Organic Multichip Modules (MCM-L) and MCM-L Assemblies
IPC-2252 Design and Manufacturing Guide for RF/Microwave Circuit Boards

Argus in-house PCB design team uses IPC compliant industry standard tools to support schematic, library creation and layout of simple to complex PCB technologies. Industry approved standard tools helps in increasing predictability and accelerate turnaround time.

Argus exceptional dedicated team of PCB design engineers with flexible business models in-house/onsite/offshore/near-shore makes sure that customer gets best service with best price.