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.
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.
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