3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 24, 2014 6:19 PM by MichaelF_56

    BCM20732S layout design check

      Hey guys,


      I'm working on a sensor board with the BCM20732S. I have attached part of the schematic and the layout. It would be great if any FAE can do a sanity check on my design. Some questions I have are:

      • Is it fine using a 2-layer design? I can change to 4 layer if necessary, but 2 layer is cheaper and allows more budget for design iterations.
      • Is vias under the components fine?
      • Lastly, the outer L ground is just the minimum required right? Can I do polygon pour over them, creating a ground plane?






      PCB Top (red)



      PCB Bottom (blue)



        • 1. Re: BCM20732S layout design check

          Could it possible to shrink thy L-ground polygon a little bit? (the question is to the BT module designers)

          • 2. Re: BCM20732S layout design check

            Hello Myron,


            I will consult with the Module Design team, but I know (and you know too) what they will tell you.


            Broadcom provides example layout guidelines to maintain optimum RF efficiency for our embedded module RF characteristics.


            Any deviation from these sample layouts may not provide the desired performance.


            Modeling deviations from the layouts provided will change the performance, as you are aware.


            RF design is a mathematical layout "art form" and although many techniques are implemented and copied, many are not successful because of reducing the Keep Out areas on the layout.

            We engineers want to "cheat" RF Design with reducing size of Ground Planes and it usually never works.


            That being said, since the embedded antenna in our module reduces the board floor plan that would normally be taken up by a Chip or PIFA antenna, you already have the best of both worlds - smaller PCB and NO real estate needed for an external antenna!


            I will consult with the Module BT Team and relay your request.


            Hope this helps.



            • 3. Re: BCM20732S layout design check

              Modifying the ground plane and speculation on the associated tradeoffs are discussed in this thread: Re: BCM20732 layout options


              It seems that other users have made changes to our recommendations and accepted the associated tradeoffs.