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Spectral Methods for Signal & Power Integrity

Scott Wedge (Principal Engineer, Synopsys, Inc.)

Location: Ballroom G

Date: Wednesday, January 31

Time: 10:00am - 10:45am

Pass Type: 2-Day Pass, All Access Pass, Alumni All Access Pass - Get your pass now!

Track: 02. Mixed Signal Modeling: Algorithmic and Simulation Solutions

Audience Level: Intermediate

Format: 45-Minute Technical Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: Intermediate

Eye diagrams are essential measurements in determining the success or failure of a signal integrity challenge. Yet closed eyes rarely reveal the influences that shaped them. When seeking a thorough understanding of an SI issue, unique insights are often found in the frequency domain. The near random signals of non-periodic data channels are best described using power spectral density (PSD) as a function of frequency. Power flow concepts are fundamental to electronic engineering and power waves help define scattering parameters. But examining the spectral distribution of power as it propagates through a channel or delivery network is an often-bypassed step during design despite its significance. This paper is intended to augment the SI/PI engineer's toolbox by reviewing valuable frequency-domain concepts and show how they are applied for identifying and resolving engineering problems. The influences of dispersion, group delay, attenuation, encoding, pre/de-emphasis, and equalization shall be explored in the context of multi-Gigabit signaling case studies to provide an extra layer of understanding and problem solving skills for the SI/PI engineer.


Basic understanding of power spectral density (PSD) and applications for signal and power integrity. Methods for examining frequency domain content of random signals, and computing effects such as dispersion and group delay. Differences between PSD and FFT calculations. Anticipating EMI issues. Spectral shaping of encoding, emphasis, equalization, and spread-spectrum clocks.

Intended Audience

Knowledge of basic electrical engineering and signal integrity principles