Design engineers working on high-speed PCB projects want to use more simulation techniques, and then move efficiently through prototyping, measurement and delivery. A new white paper describes a step-by-step strategy for doing that, illustrating the process through a low-cost example.
“DDR4 PDN simulation and measurement” by Wilfried Wessel of Siemens EDA breaks down the work in six sections with conclusions.
The target is defined. The components and their electrical characteristics are described. The simulation tools and an optimal configuration are set out. Test board assembly then takes place. Next, best practice measurement techniques are described. Then filtering techniques that improve the fit between earlier simulation and measurement are applied.
Each area and then the final results of the Siemens experiment are considered in full detail.
Wessel has focused specifically on a DDR4 power rail example because it is an area where, despite the memory technology’s maturity, many engineers still find it hard to “implement reliable interfaces that operate at maximum speed”.
However, the main purpose of the exercise is to introduce designers to various tips and techniques with wider potential use.
“One application of these methods could be during PCB production testing. Normally, PDN performance verification cannot be performed as part of in-circuit test and automatic optical inspection is needed. These methods might be used to create a test setup and adapter that can measure actual power delivery network performance in a production setting,” Wessle writes.
“The same methods might be used to verify the characteristics of blank PCBs or manufactured panels.”