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The hidden gremlins

Ignore signal integrity and timing gremlins hiding in the undergrowth of the high speed pcb design, and they could jump up and bite you in the… field. By Christopher Swaim.

This was the feedback given by a broad spread of industry participants at a packed Mentor Graphics-sponsored signal integrity seminar back in April. What follows is a summary, which applies to pretty much anyone doing high speed pcb design.

An acronym to represent the key issues is ZT3. That is to say: Zo (characteristic impedance); termination; topology, and timing. Each characteristic builds on the previous and is integral to high speed designs.

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Graham Pitcher

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