You’re creating a product for the modern world, and that means pushing the boundaries of PCB technology and design techniques. This isn’t an easy task, so how do you design for high speed interfaces such as DDR4, PCI Express, 40 Gigabit Ethernet and SerDes in an efficient way? What about getting a predictable BER and reducing EMI and crosstalk?
Complicated PCB Design for High Speed Applications
When it comes to PCB layout and routing, high speed application throws another wrench into the mix. It’s no longer about just designing in the quickest, most efficient way possible or simply meeting mechanical housing requirements. You need to take the position of every processor, memory module and connector into account, and carefully determine the interconnect design between them. Good high speed design practice means you already know these specifications ahead of time, but what can you do you to make sure your PCB design is done in a streamlined and efficient manner?
Advanced High Speed PCB Design Tools
Route your board to meet the critical specifications of high speed design
- Speed up and automate high speed routing using dedicated tools for differential pair routing, length matching, impedance calculation, and interactive pin swapping.
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- Manage your layer stack specifications to account for PTFE-based and other high speed materials.
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- Design intricate RF and microwave PCB features quickly with dedicated tools for chamfering and complex land pattern creation.
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High Speed Constraints Are Used in Every Phase of the Design Process
Designers and engineers know that the most successful high speed designs are well-planned right from the start. Anything less than that can lead to a whole host of problems later on. In order to make sure this goes right, you need the tools for setting up and managing design constraints from datasheets, memory specifications, and other sources of information required for optimal design. How do you clearly set your design constraints in a more useful way than using a spreadsheet?
Constraint Management from the Start
Set up high speed constraints early and make use of them throughout the entire design process
- Rules and constraints created during schematic capture are fully synchronized to the PCB so you can be sure the whole design meets specification.
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- Use impedance constraints to dynamically calculate routing widths from the layer stack specifications.
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- Easily manage the complex design hierarchy and class structures required for high speed applications.
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Analyzing the Design for Consistent Operation that Meets Specification
It doesn’t matter how many precautions you’ve taken to ensure that your device follows specifications; if the design doesn’t operate correctly, you need to go back to the drawing board. Having the tools to check for BER, crosstalk, termination, SSN and EMI during design means you can potentially avoid several re-spins, and the associated cost of physical prototypes. What can you do to ensure correct device operation?
Signal Integrity Analysis and High Speed Simulation Tools
Fully model your design to make sure it works as expected
- Simulate analog and digital circuits for high speed applications to verify concepts before going to layout.
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- Perform full impedance, signal reflection and crosstalk analysis to verify the high speed performance on your board is as expected.
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