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Fast and Accurate Multi-Layer PDN Analysis for Power Integrity and EMC
Keywords: PDN, Power Integrity, Signal Integrity
While there are a number of software tools and techniques to provide fast analysis of a single power/ground pair of planes, they are based on two dimensional analysis. Adding the third dimension usually requires a fullwave approach, making the solution time unacceptably long for real world PCB sizes with complex plane shapes. This work uses a cavity resonance technique to solve each pair of planes in turn. Then, using analytical formulas to calculate the capacitance between vias (used for power or ground connections), the individual pairs can be combined to give the overall response of the entire complex PCB. Coupling from one power island to another power island on the same or on a different layer (for example, a 12 volt supply to a 1.2 volt supply) can be quickly analyzed and includes the via-to-cavity, via-to-via, and cavity-to-cavity coupling. A real world high speed computer board with 18 layers is used as an example of the power of this technique. The power islands under analysis share some of the power/ground planes, and not others. All layers have via transitions where noise from one power island can couple to another power island. Many of the power/ground islands have very irregular shapes and since they do not fill the entire layer, coupling from cavity-to-cavity must be included. In addition to the power-to-power coupling and potential power integrity issues, the noise voltage between planes can be found due to the currents on power/ground vias. This noise can then propagate to other vias and/or connector pins in far corners of the PCB, and cause EMI issues.
Bruce Archambeault, Distinguished Engineer
IBM
Durham, NC
USA


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