High Speed design is one of the most challenging tasks that an electrical engineer can take on. There are any number of factors that can affect the way a high speed signal will respond. A common misconception is that High Speed Design is a function of the System Clock Frequency. This is not the case. Rather, high speed is determined by Rise Time, Impedance Control with PCB Stack-up, Trace Width, and Terminations.
Faster switching speeds essentially mean two things for engineers and PCB designers:
Signal Integrity Issues
Reflections, crosstalk, etc.
Signal Integrity goals are met through controlled impedance routing, terminations, and PCB stack-up.
Ensures that multiple signals reach their destination pins at approximately the same time
Matches route lengths of signal paths
Old Methods of High-Speed Design
In the past, engineers were forced to deal with signal integrity and time constraint issues by keeping track of everything in spreadsheets. This allowed them to keep track of each individual segment length for a net, via depths, resistor lengths, and pin lengths. After adding them all up for each net, then adding signal length wherever needed, this enabled them to equalize the lengths of all the nets in the group. This is an antiquated method of length matching, which is both cumbersome and time-consuming.
What if you could automatically scope relevant design rules such as Length and Match Lengths without having to waste time tracking data in spreadsheets? Download our free High-Speed Design and xSignals whitepaper to learn how to automate your high-speed design process.
About the Author
Pierre is the current Sales Applications Engineer for Altium’s North America region. He worked in Mechatronics Design and Fabrication at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Bioinspired Robotics as an Electro-Mechanical Engineer. Pierre recently joined Altium’s engineering team, and continues his hobbies in design and fabrication of miniature PCBs, CNC machines, and IOS app development.More Content by Pierre Meyitang