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BoardworX system Information and usage

How BoardworX products solve this problem

BoardworX is a new SMT Prototyping System that utilizes the “Universal Grid” concept which allows fast and easy prototyping of almost all surface mount parts (except BGA’s) on a single board.

What is BoardworX?

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A brief summary of what has  led to this product


The Problem

Through hole and wire wrap prototyping has been with us for many years.  Historically, this has been a very effective prototyping methodology. However, the advent of surface mount (SMT) parts has created a problem for engineers, technicians, and hobbyists due to an inability to:

             a) mount the SMT parts on the existing through hole boards, and

             b) wire the SMT parts effectively to achieve your circuit design. 

Using the old perforated boards worked fine until through hole parts started to become unavailable.  Many of today's semiconductors are available only in SMT packages.

As an interim measure, certain boards were developed that would accept standard SMT parts and adapt (fan out) the pins to the standard pin spacing (typically 0.100”) of the prototype boards.  This allows one to use the standard board with some specific SMT parts, but it is still largely through hole in nature and does not fully account for the complexity of mounting SMT parts.

Other boards have evolved to provide standard SMT footprints for specific SMT packages and allow a certain level of SMT prototyping, but they lack the ability to mount alternate SMT packages and pitches.



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Te Solution

SMT technology is different than through hole so it follows that a prototyping system needs to be different.  BoardworX takes a different approach in providing the user a free form platform on which to place parts by utilizing the “Universal Grid” concept. It is designed to accommodate the many standard packages and allow parts to be arranged in the best placement to make and wiring as easy as possible. The flexibility is only limited by the designers imagination. The fundamental idea is to give the circuit designer a board on which to place parts as desired and wire the board as fits the need. Three basic ideas allow this:

1.  Best Fit Placement

Since there exists a wide and varied range of pin spacing and geometries in the surface mount world, it is not feasible to have standard spacing grids for all parts. BoardworX draws on the ingenuity of the user by utilizing a best fit approach for mounting parts. Generally, most parts will fit the grid easily because the part pads will bridge two or more grid pads so mounting these is simple, just drop the part down and tack it in place.

For smaller and finer pitch parts, the grid is designed to allow the user to shift the part around to get the best fit so that all pins have a pad and there are no inter-pin shorts.  This works fine for most pitches down to 0.5 mm. The grid spacing has been specifically chosen to accommodate as many pin pitches as possible.  In addition some boards are available with a different pitch on each side of the board so the user can choose their preference.  Click here to see an animation of part placement.

The pads can also be ripped up in strategic locations to eliminate pin shorting in cases  where special packages require it.  The pads can be cut in half with a sharp knife to ease use as well. 

2.  Flexible part location

Rather than be tied to a fixed part location as exists with through hole perforated boards, BoardworX allows any parts to be placed in any location to make circuit creation faster and easier.  Laying down an 0603 resistor across 2 pins on and IC and connecting to another part with the other end is one example, This way circuit component layout can be made simpler and closer to the schematic physically  which allows for easier wiring and faster prototyping.

3.  Shape and structure

Pads are arranged and designed to accommodate easy mounting of parts with sufficient  exposed pad area to make for easy soldering.




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The BoardworX systems allows you to:

Immediately try out new circuits since no “PCB layout + fab + populate” delay time is introduced.

Rapidly modify existing designs with tiny “Daughter board” fixes that affix to the design under development to test out a circuit correction.

Expedite creation of your own Surface Mount adaptor boards if you don’t have one handy and don't have time to wait.

Quickly rewire a prototype circuit to try a new configuration  without the usual cut and jumper of prototype PCB.

Easily create Surface Mount Circuits that mates to a through hole style commercial evaluation board.

Click here to see the three simple steps to produce a fast and effective prototype.


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The Problem