a printed circuit board
One common misconception
about reverse engineering printed circuit boards,
is that it’s the same as copying. It’s not – a reverse
engineered PC board is electronically identical
to the original PCB, but it’s not a copy or a clone.
Beyond ethical considerations,
there are four important reasons why it’s better
to reverse engineer a circuit board.
Making a direct copy
of an existing circuit board limits you to using
the technologies available when it was first designed
– which means you’re stuck using older systems and
obsolete, hard-to-find components.
Reverse engineering the circuit
board retains 100% functionality while reducing
costs by using readily available, cheaper, easier-to-handle
parts and processes.
in a universal format
Making a direct copy of a
circuit board may not be possible, particularly
with multi-layered PCBs. Some people X-ray PCBs
or actually abrade the board, layer-by-layer, to
make photocopies. These approaches, however, introduce
errors that can impair functionality.
Reverse engineering the PCB gives
you a first-generation set of plans no matter how
complex the circuit board.
There may be copyright issues
to circuit board cloning that could expose your
organization to liability if you don’t own all the
intellectual property rights.
In contrast, according to U.S.
copyright law, the result of reverse engineering
is not a copy. Although the new PCB is functionally
identical to the old one, there are enough differences,
including current trace routing and updated component
specifications, to make it an original piece of
4.The ability to
Unlike simply copying the
circuit board, reverse engineering reveals how the
circuit board does what it does. You get all-new
manufacturing files, including schematics, Gerber
files, and drill files for each layer. That enables
you or your design team to improve the product or
add capabilities going forward.
We’ve done numerous projects in
which an existing circuit board was simultaneously
reverse engineered and upgraded. We can even build
pre-production prototypes for testing.
If you need to duplicate
a printed circuit board, reverse engineering offers
long-term value over cloning the board. To find
out how Deltasoft Technologies can help, just give
us a call, or contact
us with your project details!