High-Speed PCB design

As a technology leader in PCB design, High-speed, signal integrity and EMC, Zuken understands your development challenges.

No matter where you need help in the high-speed design process or how complex your design, Zuken adds to your PCB design capability by taking on the high-speed design issues that impact you the most. We have structured our offerings to match how and where you need it. Our EDA experts are available to assist with the technical aspects of your high-speed design challenges. If needed, our services take you from initial technical problem assessment to final benefit analysis, and full implementation in between.

What is high-speed design?

Due to the high speeds of nearly all electronic designs in modern technologies, the physical characteristics of the design-implementation (PCBs, packages, interconnects, etc.) contribute to the behavior of the circuits just as much as the parts of the electrical design that are included in the schematic. Non-intended and non-ideal characteristics such as transmission-line propagation, delay, attenuation, dispersion, impedance of the conductors, metal planes and power-supply structures, discontinuities due to imperfect interconnects such as power and ground inductance, properties of connectors and selected pin out, unintended current-paths, crosstalk, emission and immunity are some of the factors that must be considered during today’s electronic design.

These characteristics are not included in the schematics, yet they play a significant role in the circuit performance. If not seriously considered they may cause problems with signal integrity (SI), power-integrity (PI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

Being an integral part of the physical implementation of the design, these electrical characteristics are directly influenced by board-level and system-level features such as PCB material, size and stack-up, placement of components, decoupling and bypassing, routing topology, motherboard-daughterboard configuration, connectors, grounding etc. They must therefore be addressed and taken care of during transition from the schematic to the PCB and system level.

For this reason a high-speed design is not characterized by its clock speed, but the very fast switching devices it contains and the subsequent high-speed effects in PCBs – which makes understanding and addressing such issues mandatory for today's and tomorrow's challenges in PCB design.

Why is understanding high-speed important?

  • As high-speed finds its way onto every designer's desk, not addressing it properly will lead to the danger of:
  • Increased time to market and budget overruns
  • Problems in achieving the full time to volume potential
  • Board turns due to longer transmission line delays, crosstalk, overshoot and ringing
  • Over-defensive design rather than a real exploration of the design limits
  • Increased radiated emissions caused by costly and time-consuming EMC test and certification sessions.

With Zuken’s high-speed design tools, the emphasis is on solving the problem cost-effectively and early in the design process (design-right-the-first-time) rather than the traditional 'find it-fix it' problem solving strategy.

Overview of services offered

Zuken's high-speed services cover several aspects, including signal integrity on PCBs, EMI-related radiation effects in near and far field for PCBs or selected PCB substructures. Other services available include device modeling and specific high-speed design training courses.

Signal and power integrity process

Signal integrity (SI) and power integrity (PI) are factors in achieving optimum board/system performance and are a main concern in today's high-speed designs.

EMI process

EMI (electromagnetic interference) describes the interaction of electrical and electronic equipment with its electromagnetic (EM) environment and with other equipment.