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.
The ease of loading and unloading the PCBs, as well as the ability to handle multiple PCBs, are important in high production lines. In addition, fixtures should provide thermal protection to the heat sensitive areas of the PCB.
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