Author Topic: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone  (Read 4588 times)

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Offline recharged

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Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« on: August 03, 2012, 04:20:14 am »
Hey guys, just trying to satisfy a little curiosity of mine. How much does it cost to design a PCB board for either a PC motherboard or an Android phone?
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2012, 04:57:54 am »
Should be on the same level but obviously phone motherboards require mad amounts of precision
So a android phone might be cheaper because of less area but per mm square is much more i guess
 

Offline Zad

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Re: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 05:06:50 am »
Difficult to say really. With PCs there is inherently a lot of re-usability and designs have gradually evolved over the years. The problem is fairly well constrained and tends not to change that much, even with a new chipset.

Offline T4P

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Re: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 05:10:07 am »
Difficult to say really. With PCs there is inherently a lot of re-usability and designs have gradually evolved over the years. The problem is fairly well constrained and tends not to change that much, even with a new chipset.

Yeah, the sockets only change ever so slightly unless it's from LGA 1155 to 2011

 

Offline recharged

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Re: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 05:24:46 am »
Interesting, makes one even more curious because it seems significant improvements have been made in the manufacturing process. On top of that you have the even smaller components which all suggest major shift in design process or how everything is connected.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2012, 07:25:16 am »
There is a massive difference in terms of design methodology.
A PC motherboard has oodles of space and really doesn't have to be concerned much with physical envelope design.
Mobile phone board design is the complete opposite.

The higher density construction of mobile phone boards would also make them more fiddly and expensive to assemble and test.

Dave.
 

Offline Jon Chandler

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Re: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2012, 11:17:09 am »
I should think the shape is a factor too.  A large (as Dave said) rectangular board with a few restraints for connector and mounting hardware locations verses a small odd-shaped board that must accommodate user interface and display(s).
 

Offline recharged

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Re: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2012, 10:21:41 pm »
Hi Dave and Jon thanks for dropping by - btw you guys have a rough number on the cost?
 

Offline HardBoot

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Re: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2012, 12:47:34 am »
There is a massive difference in terms of design methodology.
A PC motherboard has oodles of space and really doesn't have to be concerned much with physical envelope design.
Mobile phone board design is the complete opposite.
The higher density construction of mobile phone boards would also make them more fiddly and expensive to assemble and test.
Dave.
My IBM friend is going haywire because he's feeling under-appreciated.

Computer motherboards regularly have 4x to 20x more traces than a smartphone while having to deal with higher frequencies over larger areas.
Multiple power systems, long lists of standards to comply with, lots of ICs to engineer in and sockets to cause trouble.

The smallest mainstream motherboard standard, ITX, generally has 3000 traces.

ARM smartphone... BGA-423 + other stuff, so 1000 traces, space is tight which makes design hard, but you don't need to worry about RF wizardry since the only HF thing is the RAM chip located 1 cm away, not several inches, and generally 200MHz, not 600-900 like modern desktop RAM.
Phones are a bitch to route though.

Laptop motherboards, those are harder than desktop or phone...

Servers can be brutal... 2-8 cpu sockets with 1366 pins, 4 to 32 240-pin memory slots, and IO slots, and lots of integrated stuff.
 

Offline yanir

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Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2012, 01:24:59 am »
Hey guys, just trying to satisfy a little curiosity of mine. How much does it cost to design a PCB board for either a PC motherboard or an Android phone?

You might want to be more specific. Design schematic, board or both. The cost will depend on the requirements of the project. Like others have said small and dense vs high speed both have their challenges. If you are actually looking to make a mobile phone it will need to pass certifications (which can cost more then the engineering)

What do you actually want to do?
 

Offline recharged

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Re: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2012, 02:17:29 am »
Hey yanir, this is nothing more than trying to get a general idea. I was going through Google with the usual question and answer but couldn't find anything and thought some folks here might have some general numbers...
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2012, 02:20:43 am »
There is a massive difference in terms of design methodology.
A PC motherboard has oodles of space and really doesn't have to be concerned much with physical envelope design.
Mobile phone board design is the complete opposite.
The higher density construction of mobile phone boards would also make them more fiddly and expensive to assemble and test.
Dave.
My IBM friend is going haywire because he's feeling under-appreciated.

Computer motherboards regularly have 4x to 20x more traces than a smartphone while having to deal with higher frequencies over larger areas.
Multiple power systems, long lists of standards to comply with, lots of ICs to engineer in and sockets to cause trouble.

The smallest mainstream motherboard standard, ITX, generally has 3000 traces.

ARM smartphone... BGA-423 + other stuff, so 1000 traces, space is tight which makes design hard, but you don't need to worry about RF wizardry since the only HF thing is the RAM chip located 1 cm away, not several inches, and generally 200MHz, not 600-900 like modern desktop RAM.
Phones are a bitch to route though.

Laptop motherboards, those are harder than desktop or phone...

Servers can be brutal... 2-8 cpu sockets with 1366 pins, 4 to 32 240-pin memory slots, and IO slots, and lots of integrated stuff.

... with the latest introduction from Intel : LGA 2011
2011 ... there are boards for the consumer market that accept dual 2011 Xeons ...
Plus dealing with the super high speed PCI-E and 6Gbps SATA 3
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2012, 06:13:20 am »
I see computer motherboards with 16 layers, and mobile boards with the same number, but a lot thinner. Think of trying to align 16 sheets of ultra thin tracing paper to a sub millimeter accuracy using A0 sheets.
 

Offline yanir

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Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2012, 11:59:11 am »
Hey yanir, this is nothing more than trying to get a general idea. I was going through Google with the usual question and answer but couldn't find anything and thought some folks here might have some general numbers...

Gotchya, it expensive.

There is a reason both google and this forum can't give you a number. There are way to many factors involved in the answer. That's why I wanted to get some specifics.

Typical engineering hourly rates are anywhere from 80-150USD/ hour. Specialties demand more. Both cell phones and computer mother board designs are specialties that require a mix of skills rarely found in just one person. So your talking a team of engineers. You can imagine the costs starting to skyrocket.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Cost to design PCB layout for PC vs Phone
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2012, 12:18:00 pm »
Hi Dave and Jon thanks for dropping by - btw you guys have a rough number on the cost?

As others have said, there are just too many factors involved here, to the point were the cost difference is essentially incalculable. Essentially a question that cannot be answered.
Although I'd have to say that the mobile phone would require more cooperation with other design, test, housing, interface, production, procurement teams etc. And is likely to have an entirely different design and layout to the previous unit.
I'd expect the PC motherboard to be more incremental design than the phone. i.e. it would fit the existing housing, using the same mounting holes, maybe the same or similar cooling system etc.
So at the board design level I'd expect the mobile phone layout to take longer and involve more people in the overall process.

Dave.
 


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