Mixed-Signal PCB Design
by NWES

We're a PCB layout services company with extensive experience designing and producing mixed-signal circuit boards. We build advanced mixed-signal systems like sensor interface platforms, industrial control systems, and IoT products. Our designs operate with multiple digital and analog interfaces running at a range of frequencies. In addition to PCB design and layout services, we provide embedded systems development services for client projects and help streamline the transition to volume production.

We're passionate about advanced technology and we're dedicated to helping you take your new products to market quickly. Whether you're a small startup with a great idea or a large enterprise, we'll take your design from idea to full-scale manufacturing. We look forward to working with you!


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Mixed-Signal Design Capabilities


Fusing Digital and Analog Domains

Miniaturization and feature diversity in modern electronics is driving integration of digital and analog capabilities in many applications. The systems we design mix digital protocols with one or more specialized analog interfaces, ensuring low-noise operation and scalable manufacturability.

  • Control systems in robotics, aerospace, power electronics, and industrial systems
  • Sensor fusion interfaces operating with multiple frequencies and data formats
  • IoT/IIoT and embedded systems with multiple wireless protocols
  • Modules, carrier boards, and custom computers integrating analog interfaces


Atlium Designer

Cadence

Ansys

Simberian




Success in Mixed-Signal PCB Design


Placing analog and digital sub-circuits on the same PCB creates potential for crosstalk that destroys analog signal fidelity if the layout is not floorplanned and routed correctly. We bring digital and analog design expertise to mixed-signal systems with a major focus on physical layout to ensure proper functionality:

  • Interface design - Analog interfaces mist be carefully designed to support low-noise signal acquisition and processing. ADC/DAC selection, front-end interface design, and signal conditioning are all essential in mixed-signal PCBs.

  • Processor selection - The processor or SoC used in your system can help minimize system size by consolidating some interfaces and peripherals into a single component. FPGAs are a great option when on-board DSP is needed as processing can be instantiated in hardware.

  • Layout and routing - Placement and routing of digital and analog components is a major determinant of noise coupling between circuit blocks. Best practices in mixed-signal designs demand segmentation of analog and digital circuits.

  • PCB stackup design - Another important aspect of floorplanning is designing a PCB stackup that can support separation between analog and digital board sections. Appropriate layer count and arrangement ensures low noise and low interference.

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Application Areas

We serve multiple industries and markets with advanced electronic systems operating in demanding environments.

  • Aerospace and defense electronics
  • Precision measurement systems
  • Military IoT and embedded systems
  • Sensors and vision products
  • ADAS sensor suites in automotive
  • Robotics and industrial electronics

As an advanced electronics design company, our goal is to successfully transition your mixed-signal designs from concept to product. Our network of manufacturing partners can help you produce your mixed-signal systems at scale while streamlining sourcing and ensuring quality.

Some mixed-signal circuit board design requirements in contemporary application areas are outlined in the table below.

Application Area Design Requirements
Mil-Aero & Commercial Space • Wide dynamic range requirements
• May require multiple high-speed computing protocols (PCIe, Gbps Ethernet, SerDes, DDR3+, etc.)
• May integrate a wireless protocol alongside low-frequency senmsor interface
• Rugged construction with high power handling, shock, thermal, and vibration requirements
IoT/IIoT Products • May be dedicated to a small number of analog interfaces with on-board acquisition and processing
• Highly integrated MCU, MPU, or FPGA used for system control
• Low-layer counts and small form factor
• Low power requirements with power management on-board
Sensor Interfaces • System may operate with multiple frequency ranges and bandwidths
• Multiple high-speed computing protocols (PCIe, Gbps Ethernet, SerDes, DDR3+, etc.)
• Typically built around an MPU or custom application processor, but FPGAs are becoming more popular
• Aggressive form factor with thermal management challenges
Industrial Systems • May require high power handling and exposure to harsh operating conditions
• May be part of a multi-board system where an external controller collects and processes data
• Multiple digital and analog interfaces used to collect and transmit sensor data
• Rugged construction with strict environmental requirements
Precision Measurement • Typically low SNR measurements required in presence of a digital sub-system
• Requires precise interface design to couple desired signal to the signal acquisition sub-system
• May be built around a feature-dense application processor with multiple interfaces
• On-board specialty processing may be implemented in an FPGA
Automotive systems • Typically low-frequency measurements with few digital interfaces
• Significant potential for EMI within a vehicle
• Small form factor and lowest possible layer count typically demanded
• Rugged construction required to withstand vibration, shock, and heat


Our Mixed-Signal Design Process

Mixed-signal PCB design can be challenging, but we're here to help guide you to success.
  • Contact us for a consultation and quote.

  • Schematic capture begins with a focus on interface design to support analog and digital signals without interference.

  • Mixed-signal PCB layout requires a PCB stackup that can support segmentation between analog and digital elements. We'll qualify your stackup with fabrication and finalize material requirements.

  • Floorplanning, placement, and routing are completed with a focus low-noise operation and preventing crosstalk between digital and analog board sections.

  • All mixed-signal designs go through a final DFM/DFA check, stackup review, and routing review before generating your complete PCB manufacturing data package.


How We Work

Why Work With NWES?


  • Broad expertise - We're a digitally-driven remote-first organization with diverse talent and experience. We know your technology because we've used it and built it.

  • Manufacturing partners - We work with local and overseas CMs and EMS providers that are ISO-9001, AS9100, ISO-13485, IPC-A-610, NADCAP, and/or ITAR/JCP certified. We help you find the best option to produce prototypes and scale to volume production.

  • Supply chain management - We take a proactive approach on projects to ensure your design can be produced at the required volume. We'll manage procurement from major distributors or brokers throughout your project.


Get Started


Need a hand with a current or future PCB design project? Find out the difference our experts can make.


Contact us today for more information.


    

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