Note that U4, a 10 MHz MEMS oscillator, is also very close to the microcontroller’s clock input pin. It’s always a good idea to minimize the length of traces carrying high-frequency digital signals. First of all, there are noise benefits: a shorter, more direct trace reduces the amount of noise that would otherwise be coupled into adjacent traces, and a shorter trace also reduces electromagnetic interference (EMI) because it is less effective as an antenna. The second issue is related to transmission-line effects. Minimizing trace length is a simple way to avoid problems related to signal reflections. However, reflection is not a significant concern at frequencies in the 10 MHz range, unless you are dealing with long interconnections or a very large PCB.
V-groove panelization involves cutting a third of the board’s thickness from the top and bottom sides. The remaining part joins the separate boards and is then cut with a machine during the depaneling. This helps to reduce the stress on the PCB. One challenge with the V-groove method is that it is restrictive and cannot be used with PCBs that have overhanging components over the edges.
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