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PCB Design Blog

16 Dec, 2014

In Memoriam: 2014 PCB Design

Posted by Vern Wnek

Vern Wnek Typically my blogs speak of PCB layout technology and the company I work for, but this one is a bit different. During this season of reflection and celebration, I’d like to take some time to honor the special friends that have passed during the year. We place these friends and our fondest thoughts “into memory,” in hopes to keep their legacies alive. I’d also like to recognize another great PCB … Read More

4 Dec, 2014

Vern Wnek As I sit here still recovering from the Thanksgiving feast of turkey and all of the trimmings, I am reminded that this is the time of year we give thanks and gifts to our friends and loved ones. Christmas is just around the corner, and the holiday season is in full swing. Speaking of giving thanks…I’d like to thank you for following along with me here on the blog! I also have an exciting announcement … Read More

18 Nov, 2014

Sketch Routing: A New Paradigm

Posted by Vern Wnek

Vern Wnek In my last post I mentioned my recent conversation about autorouting with several PCB designers at the IPC Council meeting in Irvine, California. Take a look at the previous post, Auto Assisted Routing: “I ain’t got time for that!” You will see that there are mixed feelings about autorouting, and many think we needed something better. The IPC meeting that I’m referring to happened to be all about routing … Read More

12 Nov, 2014

Length matching for 10GHz links

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier For most busses, length-matching a group of signals to 5 mils is a bit of overkill.  But, if length-matching to 5 mils is as easy for your layout personnel as length-matching to 100 mils, why not get the extra margin?  However, for very fast serial links, length-matching the two side of a differential pair is absolutely crucial.  That is one of the key steps I discuss in my article “Ten Steps … Read More

6 Nov, 2014

DO sweat the small stuff

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier My grandma always told me not to sweat the small stuff, and since she just celebrated her 100th birthday, I am inclined to take her advice.  Unfortunately, that advice does not extend well to 10GHz serial links on a PCB, where you really DO need to sweat the small stuff.  With edge rates on the order of 50ps (that’s about 300 mils long on a PCB), 10GHz signals get affected by almost any discontinuity … Read More

5 Nov, 2014

Hitting 100 ohms, the right way

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier When designing the trace configuration for your differential pairs, you are typically targeting 100 ohms differential.  That means each trace would be a 50-ohm trace, if there were no coupling between the traces.  But, you usually want some decent coupling between the traces, so a good single-ended impedance target for each trace is between 60 and 75 ohms.  That means that the differential pairs will … Read More

27 Oct, 2014

Charles Pfeil When tuning a set of nets in Xpedition Layout, there are methods to do it automatically or manually – or both. The previous post in this routing series explored the use of Auto Tune and the Target Lengths dialog. In this post, we will look at the manual tuning features and the options available for using them in a productive manner. The intent here is to reveal the new capabilities in the context of … Read More

16 Oct, 2014

Vern Wnek Recently at the IPC Council Meeting in Orange County, California, two of the top PCB design EDA vendors presented some of their current and upcoming technology for routing automation. The day was geared towards PCB designers and the methods they use for routing their designs. The day started off with the typical questions that we spoke of in my first blog in this series, The Myth of the Pretty Design, … Read More

29 Sep, 2014

Defining the “Perfect” Taxonomy

Posted by Andre Mosley

Andre Mosley Defining the “Perfect” Taxonomy (Catalog Structure) A taxonomy is the “classification” of elements otherwise known as “catalogs” or “partitions”; and is an important component in your design process to help users find the ECAD data they are looking for. You can imagine that a confusing or complicated structure increases the overall design process and that the best developed classifications can translate … Read More

29 Sep, 2014

Recent Articles Published

Posted by Charles Pfeil

Charles Pfeil A couple articles that I wrote have been published and I invite you to check them out: The PCB Design Magazine – August 2014 Sketch Routing, Part 1: Taking Control The article begins on page 42. It is the first of three parts that discuss the essence of sketch routing in the Xpedition Layout product. The three parts are: control, quality, and performance. Electronic Design – September 2014 What’s … Read More

15 Sep, 2014

Andre Mosley It’s like moving furniture around and then finding out later you don’t like the sofa. Much of the your end PCB product costs can be directly influenced by the parts selected up front during the schematic capture phase of the design process.  When you incorporate information into the designer’s part selection interface such as preferred part status, compliance, and/or obsolescence; you can reduce the … Read More

9 Sep, 2014

The Future of Integrity

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier I have recently been blogging about signal and power integrity, how the two are related, and how they can cross over.  This was prompted by an article I recently wrote for the DesignCon branch of EDN.  Twenty years ago, one of the biggest barriers to designing high-speed PCBs was ensuring signal integrity.  About ten years ago, power integrity started becoming a serious issue.  So what is next?  Is … Read More

8 Sep, 2014

An Integrity Cocktail - Mixing SI and PI

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier There are a lot of reasons to mix SI and PI analysis – trying to figure out a worst-case stimuli to determine PDN performance, trying to see the effect of a poor PDN on signals due to SSN issues, or just being able to properly analyze a single-ended via.  In fact, to get an accurate model of a single-ended via, you have to mix SI and PI.  The reason is that the power distribution network, or PDN … Read More

3 Sep, 2014

SI and PI - two flavors of Integrity

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier Power integrity (PI) is an analysis discipline that has been around for years.  Signal integrity (SI) has been around for a few more years.  Basically, they both deal with the proper analog operation of digital circuits.  So why these specific realms of analysis?  The main issue is that there is no such thing as “digital” – what we call “digital” data transmission is really … Read More

25 Aug, 2014

Charles Pfeil I’m taking a brief break from the routing series to share this upcoming event with you because it’s a great opportunity for you to learn more about the new release of Xpedition. Mentor Graphics is sponsoring a U2U conference for the automotive community at the Adoba Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan on Wednesday, September 10 from 8am to 5pm. If you are able to attend, share your feedback and questions in … Read More


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