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Browse our library of resources to learn more about pcb design and signal integrity.
xSignals in Altium Designer
Signal Integrity Stimulus Design Rules
Basics of Signal Integrity Analysis
The Benefits of High-Dk PCB Materials
The terms “high-speed design” and “low-Dk PCB laminate” are often used in the same articles, and often in the same sentence. Low-Dk PCB materials have their place in high speed and high-frequency PCBs, but high-Dk PCB materials provide power integrity. Low-Dk PCBs are typically chosen as they tend to have lower loss tangent. Thus high-DK PCB materials tend to get overlooked for high speed and high-frequency PCBs. When we look at power integrity
Which Capacitor Types Should You Use?
Capacitors are used in far more applications than just bypassing noise, and there are many more types of capacitors than just ceramic and aluminium electrolytic.
Using Cellular Modules for Internet of Things Devices and Design
Cellular internet of things products are widely accessible and easy to design thanks to standard cellular modem modules and transceiver components.
Determining the Parasitic Inductance of a DC to DC Converter
Unwanted parasitic inductance from capacitors and transformer leakage inductance in DC/DC converters cause power instability in digital systems. Here's how you can determine parasitic inductance in your power system.
The Basics of Signal Integrity Analysis in Your PCB
The basics of signal integrity analysis in your PCB can be anything but basic. Signal integrity simulation tools are great for calculating the behavior of signals in different nets during schematic and layout design, but you’ll still need to take some steps to interpret the results. As advanced as some signal integrity and EM simulation tools can get, they simply can’t compare to the information you can glean from measurements. Whichever method
Using Altium Designer for the Cellular Industrial IoT
Industrial IoT can benefit hugely from cellular connectivity, and new cellular IoT hardware solutions are making it easy for innovators to build new products.
Oscilloscope Basics: A Beginner's Guide
Wondering how to use an oscilloscope? Read this guide from Mark Harris to learn more about some oscilloscope basics for new electronics engineers.
CAN-Bus: Introduction and History
Take a look at our controller area network bus introduction. You'll learn about the history of CAN buses, their purpose, and how they were created.
How Material Characteristics Factor into High Speed PCB Signal Performance
Evaluating laminates for a particular PCB implementation can be a complex, multilevel process, especially when it comes to the operation of key components on the board, such as high-speed differential pairs. This article will examine some of the factors that come into play with the evaluation process: materials with a low dielectric content versus materials that are low loss; comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each of them; taking into
EMI Case History — Noise Problems and Their Solutions — Part 2
In Part 1 of this article, I described an EMI noise problem occurring in a LCD touch screen display of an autonomous robot cleaning machine. In order to provide consulting services we needed to solve a problem which originated because of the ground and supply bounce in the leads of the IC devices that were incorporated into that display. In Part 1, I also described the type of equipment in which the operation problem arose, the origin of the
Modeling Copper Foil Roughness Factor in Altium Designer's Impedance Profiler
Advanced transmission line models for long interconnects require that designers include copper foil roughness calculations in order to determine accurate impedance. Without the right models or design software, you’ll be left to estimate the skin effect impedance, dispersion, and parasitics in your PCB. These models can be difficult to work with by hand if you’re not mathematically inclined, but the right design tools can be used to quickly
GNSS + LTE Asset Tracker Project, Part 1
In this week’s project, I’m building an LTE-based asset tracking system that could be used for a range of objectives, such theft prevention (and recovery), delivery or transit vehicle tracking, as well as predictive maintenance if data that is collected is paired with a suitable machine learning service. All of my previous projects have been two layer boards without any space constraints, but I miss building really compact high density circuit
Power Delivery Systems Design
This article is intended to define the new challenges and provide guidance in how to successfully engineer the Power Delivery System (PDS) so it meets the needs of new technologies. As integrated circuit technology allows for billions of transistors on a single IC, it has resulted in very powerful systems on a chip. This has made it possible to put the equivalent of supercomputers inside video games, cell phones, and a host of other products that
Bluetooth 5.1 SoC vs. Module: Which is Best for Your Design?
The list of features available in Bluetooth just got a little longer since the release of Bluetooth 5.1. Component manufacturers have taken this mobile technology to the next level for IoT devices by integrating wireless comms with an MCU for embedded processing. This is just another step in the continuous push to pack more functionality into a smaller footprint. If you want to incorporate a Bluetooth 5.1 SoC into your new product, you have two
How Copper Foil Roughness Affects Your Signals and Impedance
The history of engineering, both electrical and mechanical, is littered with approximations that have fallen by the wayside. These approximations worked well for a time and helped advance technology significantly over the decades. However, any model has limits on its applicability, and the typical RLCG transmission line model and frequency-independent impedance equations are no different. So what’s the problem with these equations? Senior PCB
PCB Mountable Connectors: SMD vs. Through-hole
When I designed some of my first boards, I was always working at DC or low speed, and any signal integrity problems from my connectors were an afterthought. These initial boards were for low frequency measurements of an electrochemical sensor. The only circuitry involved was a low-pass filter circuit with through-hole passives, a PCB mountable connector for a lab-grade power supply, and a parallel connection to an SMU. After learning the finer
How to Design Your PCB Test Coupon and What You Can Test
As the operating speed of components has increased, controlled impedance is becoming more common in digital, analog, and mixed-signal systems. If the controlled impedance value for an interconnect is incorrect, it can be very difficult to identify this problem during an in-circuit test. Minor mismatches may not cause a board to fail, but it can be difficult to pinpoint incorrect impedance as the cause of any test failure, especially if correct