Do you have a reliable PCB supplier to recommend?

Technical questions regarding the xTIMEcomposer, xSOFTip Explorer and Programming with XMOS.
Ruby Xiang
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:25 am

Do you have a reliable PCB supplier to recommend?

Postby Ruby Xiang » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:14 am

I'm about to order PCBs in the next week or two for a couple of projects that I'm working on, and I'm considering the website deleted link used for advertisment, this website always occur in the google recommedation.

The place is considerably cheaper in website. So I was wondering if anybody here has ever used them?

The boards that I'll be getting made are about 1.5" x 1.5" (roughly), have 8 mil traces and clearances, SMT parts on both sides and requires silkscreen/soldermask on both sides.
Some specialists, please give me some suggestions.
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Postby mon2 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:38 pm

Hi Ruby. You do not mention the supplier that is on Google. How many layers is your PCB? How many will you have made?

Some comments (as always):

1) 8 mil traces and spaces is a cake walk for any PCB supplier. If not then the supplier should not be in the business.

2) Being SMT parts on both sides, do consider to use a panel shape to shuttle the panel of circuit boards into the automated machinery. Even if you will build by hand, allow for carrier edge strips with fiducials to allow for the automated assembly alignment. We allocate for 10 mm wide carrier strips which are then broken off with pliers. These carrier strips are just blank pieces of FR4 laminate that is V-scored to break off easily by the operator.

3) To be compliant with current industry specs, be sure to use at least ROHS laminate with a high TG so that the PCB does not warp when placed inside the SMD oven during assembly. Suggest a TG170 rated laminate in ROHS. Halogen free is even better but more costly. HF is the new standard for the key OEMs.

4) Do you wish to use some unique solder mask color other than green? Some can support these alternate colors, some cannot.

5) Our company has consumed thousands of different PCBs in our history and we prototype often (every 2-3 weeks). We have used many PCB suppliers but the recommendations will vary with your requirement. For example, we are now designing our most complex design and is based on a tiny WLCSP package which is demanding 0.1mm laser vias inside of 0.25 mm pads. This spec is restricting the vendors we can use. Many do not have the machinery for this feature. Respectively, the costs will be higher for this HDI PCB design.

6) For your project, we recommend:

Shenzhen TieFa Technology Ltd.
Tel: 0086-755-3312 8705
Fax: 0086-755-3312 8706

No issue for them to support down to at least 5 mil traces and 5 mil spaces; different solder masks; different laminates. Note that they do have a small tooling fee and then the cost of the PCB. For us, we are finding that by the time a crowd sourcing PCB shop complies with our specs, Tiefa is a much lower cost. Note that we do use ENIG and/or hard gold plating on our PCBs. Recently we did a 2L board with ENIG and another with HASL and in both cases, they were the lowest cost across a few suppliers we contacted.

Chime back if you need other references to parts suppliers.

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