Category Archives: Featured Columns

Technical articles about SI design, measurement and analysis solutions

Words Matter in Engineering

I think a significant reason why some aspects of engineering are so confusing to many is because we get sloppy with the words we use. Changing our habits will make us all less confusing and increase the signal to noise … Continue reading

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Why do Microwave Ovens Operate at 2.45 GHz?

I get this question all the time when we discuss dielectric loss in my classes. The common answer I get back is that this is the frequency for the resonance of a water molecule. It would make it the ideal … Continue reading

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Really Cool Signal Chart For Download

Every signal integrity engineer should be bilingual- able to speak in both the time domain and the frequency domain. This applies to signals and to the electrical properties of interconnects. The basis of translating between the time domain and the … Continue reading

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My Rules for New Graduate Students

I am tired of telling my new graduate students the same things over and over again, so I wrote up the most important ones in a list, posted on the Signal Integrity Academy web site, for anyone to download. There … Continue reading

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More on the dB

I thought I’ve written a lot about the dB. But, I’ve met my match in this app note from Rhode Swartz on the dB. The dB is a unit used to describe the log of the ratio of two powers. … Continue reading

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Should Return Loss be Positive or Negative?

In the graduate signal integrity class I teach at the University of Colorado, Boulder, posted in full at the Signal Integrity Academy,  most of my students come in with an rf background. Every year, I get students that argue with … Continue reading

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Fundamental Myth-Conceptions: Test Yourself

It is remarkable that with all the high performance systems shipping today at 28 Gbps, in which very complicated electromagnetic effects play a dominant role, many engineers carry around miss-conceptions about the fundamental nature of how signals interact with interconnects. … Continue reading

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The Turbo Encabulator- a Lesson for Every Engineer

An important skill I try to teach in all of my live and online classes is to think critically, and question authority. The line I like to use is every engineer should become their own expert. The real purpose of … Continue reading

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Feature 2015 Feb Why are there reflections?

I get this question all the time from our Signal Integrity Academy subscribers. While I show the details in my textbook, I thought it would be good to show them here in my blog. This is a great fundamental question … Continue reading

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2014 December Feature- Non Functional Pads- Use Them or Lose them?

Non-functional pads (NFP) are pads on through-vias on layers with no connections. Historically they’ve been used to reduce barrel cracking in plated through holes. But, they have a detrimental impact on via performance at 5 Gbps and above. Are they … Continue reading

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