I always prefer to maintain a logical flow of signals and functionality in my PCB layouts. I think that this approach results in an easier design process and a better board. The AWG layout progresses from left to right: from power input and communication input/output, to the power supply circuitry, to the processor, to the DAC (which is controlled by the processor and constitutes the board’s transition from digital to analog), to the analog signal-conditioning circuitry, and finally to the output connector. Parts that don’t have a specific position in the functional flow—such as the oscillator (U4), the DAC’s passives (C16, R5, etc.), and the voltage reference (U3)—are arranged near the components that they support.
However, the SMT components and the traces must be at least 3.00 mm from the perforation holes. This prevents the damage to the PCB or components which can occur due to surface stress and splinter when separating the boards. One drawback with this method is that it may leave some unwanted board protrusions on the edges.
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