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The columns contained in this SI/PI/EMC & EMI Fundamentals section come from members of the Signal Integrity Journal community who are experts in their field and have a commitment to providing training and education in SI/PI/EMI issues for other engineers.

Planning PCB Layouts for High-Speed Digital Signals

As circuits shrink and bit rates increase, achieving acceptable signal integrity (SI) requires experience and creativity. It calls for foresight in layout planning to keep signal paths short, which helps minimize interference between closely spaced circuits. Circuit materials must support electrical and mechanical design specifications, and components must be selected for optimum size and placement. All these factors combine to create many challenges when developing an HSD PCB.

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How Interconnects Work: Anatomy of Crosstalk

Crosstalk in PCB and packaging interconnects is arguably one of the most complicated phenomena that may cause signal degradation. Crosstalk effects can be treated statistically as a deterministic jitter with a bounded distribution, but the distribution is usually not known. A direct analysis of a worst-case crosstalk scenario may lead to a system overdesign. Neglecting it in design may cause a system failure that is difficult to find and fix later in a design process. Distortions caused by crosstalk cannot be corrected by signal conditioning techniques at a receiver side. It is very important to understand the sources of crosstalk, how to quantify it and how to mitigate it efficiently, as Yuriy Shlepnev demonstrates in this installation of the "How Interconnects Work" series.

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How Interconnects Work: Bandwidth for Modeling and Measurements

Modeling and measurement of digital serial interconnects is usually done in the frequency domain. That means that the minimal and maximal frequencies (or bandwidth) should be defined even before the analysis or measurement begins. This post introduces a simple and practical way to identify the bandwidth with a numerical analysis of defects in a single bit (SBR) or single symbol response (SSR).

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DDR5 Signal Integrity Fundamentals

The most notable difference between DDR5 and previous generations is the introduction of decision feedback equalization, a technique used in serial link systems to improve the integrity of received signals.  In the wake of the new technology, this short article outlines some of the fundamental signal integrity concepts in the context of DDR5.

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