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Breakaway Printed Circuit Board

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117484D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 44K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Boaz, TL: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method that will allow design verification and significantly reduce development cycle time on Printed Circuit Boards (PCB). Key signals are routed, on an external layer, to a breakaway section which is used to connect verification equipment. During early design phases, the breakaway section is intact or part of the card. The breakaway section is designed to 'snap-off' (or be cut) after the card is debugged and running.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 75% of the total text.

Breakaway Printed Circuit Board

      Disclosed is a method that will allow design verification and
significantly reduce development cycle time on Printed Circuit Boards
(PCB).  Key signals are routed, on an external layer, to a breakaway
section which is used to connect verification equipment.  During
early design phases, the breakaway section is intact or part of the
card.  The breakaway section is designed to 'snap-off' (or be cut)
after the card is debugged and running.

      New products such as notebooks and Personal Digital Assistants
(PDA) require PCB which are much more dense than in the past.  A
problem arises in the early design phase of developing these cards in
that there is no way to connect debug tools (logic analyzers,
peripheral devices, monitors) to the card.  The cards are so dense
that it has become increasingly difficult to analyze the signals,
mainly because of fine pitch components, new packaging (ball grid
array), and component density (components are placed so close
together it is impossible to insert a probe).

      The implementation of this idea was done on a sub-notebook
planar design.  The key signals were brought out to an extension of
the card (the breakaway section) and bussed to a 160 pin connector
that was used to connect to test equipment and an Industry Standard
Architecture (ISA) bus to run personal computer cards.  The ISA bus
also allowed the use of a 'checkpoint card' which displays POST
checkpoints and displays...