Why PCB reverse engineering is re-writing history

We often hear about reverse engineering within mechanical engineering, but how is PCB reverse engineering being used and why?

Firstly, what is PCB Reverse Engineering?

When we hear the phrase ‘reverse engineering’ being applied in an electronic product environment, the default assumption is that the intention is to replicate a product. It’s commonplace for companies to use certain elements of the reverse engineering process to interrogate a competitor’s design. Occasionally the unscrupulous will even clone a competitor’s design using reverse engineering techniques, extracting a schematic from a PCB being the trickiest of all the reverse engineering tasks.  However, the reality is that there can be a genuine demand for reverse engineering on your products because some or all of the data package used to create the original product has gone missing/ no longer stored. An all too common problem.

Why would companies want to reverse engineer a PCB?

Aside from replicating a lost schematic, once a company has started this process, they then have the option to deviate from the product you are replicating.  Reasons for this may be component obsolescence issues, new agency standards that need to be adhered to or a different form factor. Those are general product evolutions either by choice or necessity. But let us focus on the missing element, missing data that is causing us to have to reverse engineer.

Where do you start; the scenarios are many; missing schematics, missing bill of materials, missing gerber or assembly data. Quadra has the ability to extract and replace virtually any piece of missing data working from a PCB assembly or any accompanying electronic data. Our IPC CID+ qualified design team and applications specialists have a wealth of knowledge and insight into data manipulation and extraction across a broad spectrum of EDA tools.

Talk to us about your reverse engineering needs. Our real-world experience and a comprehensive portfolio of EDA tools enable us to help support your Reverse Engineering project.

Tell us about your upcoming PCB design project

Full report available here: https://www.technavio.com/report/global-printed-circuit-board-market

More about Quadra Solutions PCB Design Service

We have been designing, assembling and fabricating PCB’s for over 20 years and our ability to design and manufacture the highest quality PCB designs and prototypes means the world to every single member of the Quadra team.You can rely on our highly experienced and IPC CID+ accredited team of PCB Design Engineers to provide a full range of PCB Design Services that leave you free to focus on the design concept and product strategy.

Our ISO 9001 accredited team deliver complex, high-speed multi-layered circuit board design layout, testing, library management and manufacturing services for hundreds of happy customers each year, using a wide range of PCB design software packages including;


  • Altium
  • Mentor
  • PADS
  • Cadence

For more information about PCB Design Reverse Engineering please contact design@quadrasol.co.uk or call 01254 301 888.

For more information please contact us today!

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Give us a call on +44(0)1254301888, or email us on hello@quadrasolutions.co.uk and let's talk!

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