Electronics development workflow note

This is an off-topic post, a kind of personal note: short overview of PCB development process.

Main phases in the development workflow:

  1. Initial logical scheme
    sketching idea of the hardware aspect of the device
  2. Breadboard proto-device
    the purpose of this step is to make real-world environment for firmware development
  3. Development of firmware
  4. Breadboard proof of concept
    this is laboratory confirmation of operational feasibility
  5. Final logical scheme of the circuit
  6. Development of the circuit board physical design
  7. Creation of manufacturing file package

Screenshot cut-out of PDF logical schema, created with KiCAD


Creation of PCB 3D model, using KiCAD, is desirable thing to do. It will ensure computer aided feasibility check of PCB’s compliance with mechanical engineering parts of the final product.

Rendering of an PCB model, created within KiCAD

The manufacturing file package should contain:

  • BOM – Excel file with list of elements for the PCB
  • Gerber PCB layers/layout files
    • Copper layer
    • Mask layer
    • Silk layer
    • drilling map
    • layout edge cuts

Example of the BOM Excel file:

Designator Package Value Description MPN Suplier Remark Qty
C101 C301 0603 103 CAP CER 10000PF 25V NP0 0603 C0603C103J3GACTU Kemet 2
C302 C305 C306 C401 0603 104 Unpolarized capacitor C0603C104K3RAC7411 Kemet 4



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