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Ground for multiple voltages

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  • Ground for multiple voltages

    I have a schematic containing 5v , 3v3 and 12v circuits. I want to know if I can use the same ground (in form of a ground pour) for all those different voltages. Or do I have to separate those grounds for different voltages ?

  • #2
    It may depend on the circuits you are connecting to these voltages, but in general, you can use one solid GND plane for all the voltages. For example, I almost always use one GND plane for all the voltages on my digital boards.

    If you are connecting sensitive circuits, analogue circuits, high current circuits etc, you may consider other possibilities e.g. separating grounds or connecting them in one point etc

    PS: If you do ground pour, do you mean you are doing 2 layer PCB? If yes, try to make the GND as solid and as big as possible on one layer.


    • #3
      Yes I was talking about ground pour in 2 layer PCBs. I got your point. I will make a single GND as solid and as big as possible for all my low current circuits. Also I was wondering what's the difference between a pour and a solid region ?


      • #4
        By solid GND I mean one layer fully dedicated to GND plane. In this concept, people usually say pour when when fill up empty spaces with GND.


        • #5
          Essentially both are copper itself the difference lies in how your software tools handle them.

          For Altium users:
          There are several features which a Polygon Pour supports in terms of filtering, Assigning rules etc.
          One important feature that a Pour has and Region does not is shelving.

          In simple terms, A pour is more configurable than a region to meet the design requriements.

          Thank you.


          • #6
            chitransh92 Yes you are right !