DFM & Valor Services

FREEDOMCAD performs Valor DFM on all customer designs we ship. These reviews are done primarily through the use of ValorNPI software. As a supplement to the automated analysis, a visual check is done to review items not automatically checked.

Automated Valor Checks

The automated Valor checks fall into the categories below. The primary checks performed are listed in each category. The checks done are predominantly fab checks. The ValorNPI tool has limited automatic checks for potential assembly issues. The rules used for these checks have been developed by FREEDOMCAD based on industry standards, along with experience and feedback from suppliers. 

Netlist analysis

  • All shorts and opens identified by net name
  • Intentional shorts or opens need to be specified

Drill Checks

Note : Checks are based on finished hole sizes

  • Minimum drill size
  • Duplicate holes
  • Touching holes
  • Hole spacing
  • Missing or extra holes
  • Hole to board edge spacing
  • Unique checks for backdrills
  • Soldered PTH thermal connections

Signal Layer Checks

Note : Checks for inner and outer layers are separate. Line width and spacing values are unique to each job

  • Line width and spacing
  • Line/pad and pad/pad spacing
  • Non-plated hole to copper spacing
  • Copper to board edge spacing
  • Via and plated hole annular ring
  • Trace stubs
  • Bottlenecks and slivers

Power/Ground Plane Checks

  • Non-plated hole to copper spacing
  • Via/plated hole pad to plane spacing
  • Thermal relief connections (negative planes only)
  • Plane spacing
  • Copper to board edge clearance
  • Via and plated hole annular ring/clipped holes

Soldermask checks

  • Consistent clearance on pads (cleared or 1:1)
  • Via mask – cleared, encroached, or tented
  • Tented vias (unless specified as intentional)
  • Mask coverage of adjacent features
  • Board edge mask clearance
  • Mask web/sliver width
  • Missing mask openings

Solderpaste Checks

  • Presence of paste on all SMT pads
  • Size of paste matches SMT pad (1:1)
  • Stray/misplaced paste shapes

Silkscreen checks (all checks related to text only)

  • Silkscreen on via pads, SMT pads, PTH pads
  • Silkscreen to board edge
  • Silkscreen line width
  • Silkscreen text height
  • Silkscreen text overlapping
  • Silkscreen under parts
  • Reference designators misplaced/swapped

Fiducial Checks

  • Minimum 3 fids on both sides
  • Fiducial design (pad/mask size)
  • Fiducials cleared from any copper or silkscreen

Manual Checks

To supplement the automatic Valor checks, we perform a manual review of the data provided. This allows us to provide feedback for the types of issues that Valor cannot find.

Fab/Assembly drawings

  • Breakaway or panelization recommendations
  • Review notes for any inconsistencies, specs, etc.
  • Review Drill tables for consistency with data
  • Review fab dimensioning
  • Review for part numbers, revs, dates, etc.

Design data

  • Review board for pin 1 presence in silkscreen
  • Review connections of small discretes for thermal connections
  • General observations to identify unusual issues
  • Unique Class 3 requirements