Among the many electronics standards organizations, the organization that all designers should be aware of is IPC. These industry standards are designed to ensure the reliability and manufacturability of printed circuits (PCBs) and other electronic assemblies. The goal of the IPC standards is to ensure that electronics products are reliable, safe, and manufacturable. No matter which industry you work in, IPC likely defines standards that specify important requirements for your products.
Very few people have ever read the entirety of the IPC standards, simply due to their breadth and depth. If you are a PCB designer, there are some very important standards with which you should become familiar. When you use the right design software with integrated compliance tools, it may be easier than you think to comply with IPC standards and design to different IPC product classes. Altium Designer’s integrated design rule engine lets you define important IPC standards as design constraints, which helps you comply with these important standards.
IPC Standards on PCB Design and assembly
There are many sections of the IPC standards, and not all sections are applicable to every circuit board design. In addition, each standard is a very long document that includes a range of requirements for designers, manufacturers, or both. Some of the important IPC design standards include:
IPC 2221: Establishes some generic design and performance requirements in PCBs and other forms of component mounting or interconnecting structures.
IPC 4101: Defines material requirements for PCB laminate materials and other materials used to build stacks.
IPC 2152: A newer standard that defines current carrying requirements in copper traces and planes in a number of different applications.
IPC 4761: Covers design guidelines for via protection to ensure reliability, manufacturability, and quality.
IPC 6012: Defines generic performance requirements as compiled from IPC 2221, IPC 4101, and other quality requirements. The related IPC 6013 standard applies the same ideas to flex circuit boards.
IPC-A-600 series: Defines acceptance metrics for PCBs, as well as the three standard IPC Classes for various PCBs assemblies.
IPC 7351: Specifies footprint and land pattern requirements for SMT components. Component manufacturers use these specifications when designing their land patterns to ensure solderability and reliable electrical connections.
IPC-1752A: Material Declaration Management standard defines reporting formats for data exchanged between designers, distributors, and manufacturers.