White PaperElectronics & Computers

Flexible Footprint to the Rescue: A Unique Design Approach for Adding Component Redundancy


Unless you live under a rock, you have heard about part shortages and how they are impacting everything in the PCB world. From defense projects to consumer electronics, not being able to source parts has slowed prototypes and production builds nearly to a halt.

Engineers have three options for building redundancy into their Bill of Materials (BOM) for hard-to-find parts. The first option is to incorporate two land patterns side-by-side on their PCB and leave one unpopulated. The second option is to make a new version of the board that can use currently available parts. The third option is to go line-down and wait weeks or months for the parts to become available. None of these options is ideal since the first option wastes valuable PCB space and the second and third options waste valuable time.

To help bridge the gap, Advanced Assembly’s Research & Development team, in partnership with electronics engineer Mike Drake, developed and tested a flexible-footprint stepped land pattern you can use on your next design! This whitepaper will talk through how to use flexible footprints, advantages, and things to look out for when using them.

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