Articles by Melinda Piket-May

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Assessing the Accuracy of EM Simulation Tools

Electromagnetic simulation tools will almost always give a result for any problem after pressing the run button. But is the result accurate? A methodology is introduced to establish the best practices for using the Ansys 2D Extractor and HFSS tools that include recommendations for the setup conditions, balancing accuracy, and computation time. With this methodology, an error in the absolute accuracy when solving for some electrical features can be achieved to better than 0.3%.

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Utilizing Fine Line PCBs with High Density BGAs

With the recent introduction of the Averatek Semi-Additive Process (A-SAP) process, linewidths under 1 mil are possible using the same fabrication processing line as for traditional 4 mil wide lines. This opens up the possibility of using narrower traces in the BGA escape region than in long-path routing regions. However, using this routing architecture means the narrower traces in the BGA escape field are at a higher impedance than the wider, 50 ohm traces in the routing region. So, how long can these traces be before the impedance mismatch is a problem? The authors of this piece propose an analysis methodology to find out.

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Use a 2D Field Solver to Accurately Predict Characteristic Impedance

The first goal in any high-speed board stack up design is to engineer interconnects with a target impedance, and the first step in this process is to use a 2D field solver to explore design space with a virtual prototype. Just how well can a field solver predict the impedance of traces on a real board? This article aims to answer this question.

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