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PCB Tools & Resources

Where will I find the PCB design tools offered by Sierra Circuits?

You can access all the design tools on our web homepage under the designer’s tool tab.


What is Better DFM?

Better DFM is an online tool to check the Design For Manufacturability. It is run on your PCB design files (Gerber file format) and it gives you detailed information about where it finds design rule issues in your files. For example, if you think your PCB design has a minimum trace of 6 mils, and you run Better DFM, it will highlight any areas where the traces are 5 mils.

Standard PCB Fab

What are the steps in ordering PCBs online?
  1. Go to the instant web quote screen and fill in your PCB specs.
  2. Option to include parameters for assembly and to upload your BOM.
  3. Complete the check-out process and upload your zipped Gerber files.

After you place your order, track your order online. Your design will be reviewed and you will be contacted if there are any discrepancies. Be available to answer questions, respond to suggestions from the review of your files by our technical support center. Even if your design doesn’t meet these specs, you will find our matrix has a place to upload your file for a custom quote. Do so and we’ll email you a custom quote quickly!

What is No-Touch PCB Service?

Our No-Touch PCB service enables you to get cost-effective bare boards through an online service.

You will have to upload your files and run our automatic DFM file verification before you can place an order.

What is Turnkey PRO?

Our Turnkey PRO online self-service offers full PCB fabrication and assembly as a bundle.

This cost-effective service allows you to get your standard technology PCBs fully assembled in as fast as 5 days.

Click here to Get a Turnkey PRO Quote.

Advanced PCB Fab

What industry certifications does Sierra Circuits have to manufacture mil-spec PCBs?

Sierra Circuits has the following industry certifications:

  • ISO 9001:2015 Certificate
  • ISO 13485:2016 Certificate
  • AS9100
  • UL Certified
  • IPC-A-600 Inspectors
  • Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Approval Letter
  • IPC Manufacturers Qualification Profile (MQP) for Sierra Circuits, Sunnyvale, California
  • ITAR Registration Letter
  • Minority Business Certification
  • MIL-PRF-31032 Certificate
  • Mil-PRF-55110 Certificate for GF Materials
  • Mil-PRF-55110 Certificate for GI Materials
  • RoHS / REACH Compliance Material Composition Declaration
  • Conflict Minerals Reporting Template

For more information about our certifications, click here.

Why should I turn to HDI?

At some level of circuit complexity, turning to an architecture with blind and buried vias will result in better yield and lower cost than would a through-hole design.

How do I know if my board is classified as micro electronics?

The following specifications can be termed as micro electronics:

  • 30 micron lines / spaces (1.25 Mils)
  • Very thin film build up down to 1-mil thick
  • Laser hole drilled as small as 2 mils
What are the advantages of using flex versus cables?

Flex provides several advantages to cables. Flex’s higher upfront cost will dramatically reduce cost in the long run. Cables can take several weeks to go through production, while flex PCBs can be completed in several days. In short, using flex eliminates or completely decreases cable cost, reduces assembly time, and produces a lighter end-product.

Customer Support

What is the Sierra Circuits customer portal?

Our customer portal is a self-service portal providing an online communication channel between Sierra Circuits and customers. It enables customers to maintain their profiles, address book, change their password, and track their order history and any communication while order is in process.

What’s an Internet order number?

An internet order number is a number we assign to a job. It is formatted like this: 123456-iRW. It is specifically associated with a board that you have ordered from us.

PCB Services

What is the copper thickness range for high-current PCBs (>2 amps)?

1.4 mil to 2.8 mil is the copper thickness range for high-current PCBs.

What is the significance of RoHS Compliance and Lead-Free PCBs?

Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) EU Directive has prohibited the use of 10 poisonous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. These substances are:

  • Cadmium (Cd) (0.01% maximum)
  • Lead (Pb) (0.1% maximum)
  • Mercury (Hg) (0.1% maximum)
  • Hexavalent chromium (Chromium 6) (0.1% maximum)
  • Polybrominated Biphenyl (PBB) (0.1% maximum)
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl ether (PBDE) (0.1% maximum)
  • Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate (DEHP) (0.1% maximum)
  • Butyl Benzyl Phthalate (BBP) (0.1% maximum)
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) (0.1% maximum)
  • Di-isobutyl phthalate (DIBP) (0.1% maximum)

Cadmium is restricted to 100 parts per million (0.01%) whereas the rest of the substances are limited to 1000 parts per million (0.1%). The above-mentioned maxim concentration of substances applies to each homogeneous material that the product is composed of. A homogeneous material is a material with uniform composition and cannot be separated mechanically into different parts.

The RoHS directive also referred to as lead-free directive was initiated to restrict the pollution of the environment by toxic electronic and electrical waste. The disposal of the products containing the above-mentioned elements even in small traces is harmful to the plants and animals present in the ecosystem. They pollute the surroundings and are also dangerous in terms of occupational exposure. RoHS is closely associated with the Waste Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE). While RoHS controls the utilization of hazardous chemicals in electrical and electronic equipment, the WEEE monitors the disposal of these products. Nowadays in the PCB industry, even the laminates meet the ROHS compliance.

What influences impedance in PCBs?

Factors that influence impedance PCB tolerances include materials’ resin content and tolerance, and trace height and width at the top and bottom of the board.

Our controlled impedance tips will help you with your design.
Controlled impedance

When do I need to choose components?

It can come in handy to choose components early in the design process. This is the best way to ensure there are no conflicts between the actual design and the components being assembled. If you factor in component sizes from the very beginning, component space and sizes are no longer a concern and the PCB assembly process can proceed without barriers.

Zero Defects guaranteed on all PCB fabrication

Reduce Re-Spins with our Zero Defect Guarantee.

Our platform sources the whole package, creating a thread from design to delivery. Fabricating PCBs. Procuring parts. Assembling your boards.

Once you upload your BOM, Our best-in-class software automatically checks for errors and cleans your file for you. After you place an order, your dedicated CAM engineer will run a full DFM and DFA check to ensure your prototype achieves Zero Defect every time—all at no additional cost to you.

Get to market faster and spend less time troubleshooting.

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Talk to a Sierra Circuits PCB Expert today

24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call us: +1 (800) 763-7503
Book a Meeting with a Sales Rep
Email us: through our Customer Care form