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The Impact of Lead-Free on Design and Fabrication

Designers will take on minimal changes, but fabricators are not so lucky.

The advent of lead-free manufacturing is impacting PCB design and fabrication, but its effect on design is minimal. Fortunately for designers, in general, the design rules for lead-free soldering are similar to those for tin-lead soldering. Many steps in the design process – bringing up the netlist, making physical aspects of components or foot-prints, assuring component connections are correct, and making board thickness calculations for impedance control or dielectric constant calculations – do not typically change with lead-free.

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