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It is not enough to find the available circuit board trace or utilize a simple method or operation to precisely identify your trace resistance. Nevertheless, to ensure that your circuit board traces properly turn on, you should determine your PCB traces and trace width. Establishing and considerably increasing your PCB trace width will enable you to minimize your circuit board traces’ resistance.

What You Should Know Before Calculating the PCBs Trace Width?

Determining the PCB trace width is more complicated than finding a given conductor. This is because there exist numerous aspects you should consider before calculating your circuit board trace breadth. For instance, you should know the maximum current that your PCB functions well with, like the trace thickness.

PCB Trace Width and Spacing

For you to get the trace width using a PCB trace width calculator, you need to consider various factors, like:

· Your trace’s current conduction capacity.

· The pitch and dimensions of the pads your trace will be linking.

· The space between your traces.

Other than your trace width, it is equally important to check out the gap between your traces. It prevents short-circuiting and permits maximum space between atoms for effective running.

Circuit boards are usually small in relation to the production expenses. But if your PCB is too small, you will experience challenges routing the traces and keeping the correct gaps between them. Most PCB manufacturers recommend a spacing of 6-30 miles- adequate for many trace widths.

PCB Trace Width Formula

You can still determine your PCB trace width using the trace width formula. The method allows you to calculate the tolerable current you can transmit through a specific trace. The IPC 2221 standard defines the formula, as shown below.


Now, the letter I stands for current, and you should always consider it as a constant. ΔT represents the temperature change, while A stands for the trace cross-sectional area. It is important to note that you can reorganize the equation to establish the trace width by determining the cross-sectional area for a specific current to flow safely.

Area [mils^2] = (Current [Amps]/ (k*(Temp_Rise [deg. C]) ^ 0.44)) ^ (1/0.725)

Remember, to establish a desirable width; you have to factor in the thickness of your trace.

Width [mils] = Area [mils^2]/ (Thickness [oz]*1.378[mils/oz])

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