Manual removal of the tabs depends on the design and thickness of the board. Extra care is required since using some tools such as the hook-shaped blade to break the solid tabs between the boards can be challenging and inefficient. For example, if the blade rotates within the small clearance between the boards, it can easily take a bite out of the useful part of the PCB. Also, taping the blade-cutting edge leaves a small part of the tab protruding from the board.
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.
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