Panelization is the arranging of arrays of multiple PCBs onto a single substrate that fits in the standard processing machine. A panel may hold multiple boards with similar or different sizes and shapes. This method is faster and less costly compared to the fixtures, which require a custom carrier for every new PCB design.
It’s always good to be cognizant of trace lengths when you’re laying out a parallel bus, though at moderate frequencies it is nothing to stress about. The propagation time for a signal traveling through a trace is maybe 150 picoseconds/inch. So if you have two traces with a length mismatch of one inch, one signal will arrive 150 ps after the other signal. If your signals are transitioning at a frequency whose corresponding period is much greater than 150 ps, this one-inch mismatch won’t cause problems. Even at 100 MHz (which is pretty fast for a parallel bus), the period is 10 ns, i.e., ~67 times larger than the time-of-arrival discrepancy for a one-inch mismatch.
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