You can also see that I’ve made it very easy for heat to move away from the regulator (U1) and into the ambient environment or into other portions of the PCB. U1’s thermal tab is connected to a large copper pour, and this copper pour is shot through with vias that conduct heat down to the internal ground plane. If I were really worried about thermal issues I could also connect these vias to a copper pour on the bottom side of the board, but in this case, it would have been total overkill.
Care should be taken when depaneling the perforated-tab PCB array; otherwise, an incorrect method will splinter or tear the solder-mask or active surface layer. The ideal breakout method should not cause any damage to the board or transfer stress from the PCB surface to the components.
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