CHAPTER 12: PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD (PCB) DESIGN ISSUES SECTION 12.1: PARTITIONING

CHAPTER 12:  PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD (PCB) DESIGN ISSUES  SECTION 12.1: PARTITIONING
PRINTER CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
CHAPTER 12: PRINTED CIRCUIT
BOARD (PCB) DESIGN ISSUES
INTRODUCTION
SECTION 12.1: PARTITIONING
SECTION 12.2: TRACES
RESISTANCE OF CONDUCTORS
VOLTAGE DROP IN SIGNAL LEADS—"KELVIN FEEDBACK"
SIGNAL RETURN CURRENTS
GROUND NOISE AND GROUND LOOPS
GROUND ISOLATION TECHNIQUES
STATIC PCB EFFECTS
SAMPLE MINIDIP AND SOIC OP AMP PCB GUARD LAYOUTS
DYNAMIC PCB EFFECTS
INDUCTANCE
STRAY INDUCTANCE
MUTUAL INDUCTANCE
PARASITIC EFFECTS IN INDUCTORS
Q OR "QUALITY FACTORS"
DON'T OVERLOOK ANYTHING
STRAY CAPACITANCE
CAPACITATIVE NOISE AND FARADAY SHIELDS
BUFFERING ADCs AGAINST LOGIC NOISE
HIGH CIRCUIT IMPEDANCES ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO NOISE
PICKUP
SKIN EFFECT
TRANSMISSION LINES
DESIGN PCBs THOUGHTFULLY
DESIGNNING+B46 CONTROLLED IMPEDANCE TRACES ON
PCBs
MICROSTRIP PCB TRANSMISSION LINES
SOME MICROSTRIP GUIDELINES
SYMMETRIC STRIPLINE PCB TRANSMISSION LINES
SOME PROS AND CONS OF EMBEDDING TRACES
DEALING WITH HIGH SPEED LOGIC
LOW VOLTAGE DIFFERENTIAL SIGNALLING (LVDS)
REFERENCES
12.1
12.3
12.5
12.5
12.7
12.7
12.9
12.11
12.15
12.17
12.19
12.21
12.21
12.22
12.24
12.25
12.26
12.27
12.28
12.29
12.30
12.33
12.35
12.36
12.36
12.38
12.39
12.40
12.42
12.43
12.49
12.51
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
SECTION 12.3: GROUNDING
STAR GROUND
SEPARATE ANALOG AND DIGITAL GROUNDS
GROUND PLANES
GROUNDING AND DECOUPLING MIXED SIGNALS ICs WITH
LOW DIGITAL CONTENT
TREAT THE ADC DIGITAL OUTPUTS WITH CARE
SAMPLING CLOCK CONSIDERATIONS
THE ORIGINS OF THE CONFUSION ABOUT MIXED SIGNAL
GROUNDING
SUMMARY: GROUNDING MIXED SIGNAL DEVICES WITH LOW
DIGITAL CURRENTS IN A MULTICARD SYSTEM
SUMMARY: GROUNDING MIXED SIGNAL DEVICES WITH
HIGH
DIGITAL CURRENTS IN A MULTICARD SYSTEM
GROUNDING DSPs WITH INTERNAL PHASE-LOCKED LOOPS
GROUNDING SUMMARY
GROUNDING FOR HIGH FREQUENCY OPERATION
BE CAREFUL WITH GROUND PLANE BREAKS
REFERENCES
SECTION 12.4: DECOUPLING
LOCAL HIGH FREQUENCY BYPASS / DECOUPLING
RINGING
REFERENCES
SECTION 12.5: THERMAL MANAGEMENT
THERMAL BASICS
HEAT SINKING
DATA CONVERTER THERMAL CONSIDERATIONS
REFERENCES
12.53
12.54
12.55
12.56
12.60
12.62
12.64
12.66
12.67
12.68
12.69
12.70
12.70
12.73
12.75
12.77
12.77
12.80
12.82
12.83
12.83
12.85
12.90
12.96
PRINTER CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER 12: PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD (PCB)
DESIGN ISSUES
Introduction
Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are by far the most common method of assembling modern
electronic circuits. Comprised of a sandwich of one or more insulating layers and one or
more copper layers which contain the signal traces and the powers and grounds, the
design of the layout of printed circuit boards can be as demanding as the design of the
electrical circuit.
Most modern systems consist of multilayer boards of anywhere up to eight layers (or
sometimes even more). Traditionally, components were mounted on the top layer in holes
which extended through all layers. These are referred as through hole components. More
recently, with the near universal adoption of surface mount components, you commonly
find components mounted on both the top and the bottom layers.
The design of the printed circuit board can be as important as the circuit design to the
overall performance of the final system. We shall discuss in this chapter the partitioning
of the circuitry, the problem of interconnecting traces, parasitic components, grounding
schemes, and decoupling. All of these are important in the success of a total design.
PCB effects that are harmful to precision circuit performance include leakage resistances,
IR voltage drops in trace foils, vias, and ground planes, the influence of stray capacitance,
and dielectric absorption (DA). In addition, the tendency of PCBs to absorb atmospheric
moisture (hygroscopicity) means that changes in humidity often cause the contributions
of some parasitic effects to vary from day to day.
In general, PCB effects can be divided into two broad categories—those that most
noticeably affect the static or dc operation of the circuit, and those that most noticeably
affect dynamic or ac circuit operation, especially at high frequencies.
Another very broad area of PCB design is the topic of grounding. Grounding is a problem
area in itself for all analog and mixed signal designs, and it can be said that simply
implementing a PCB based circuit doesn’t change the fact that proper techniques are
required. Fortunately, certain principles of quality grounding, namely the use of ground
planes, are intrinsic to the PCB environment. This factor is one of the more significant
advantages to PCB based analog designs, and appreciable discussion of this section is
focused on this issue.
Some other aspects of grounding that must be managed include the control of spurious
ground and signal return voltages that can degrade performance. These voltages can be
due to external signal coupling, common currents, or simply excessive IR drops in
ground conductors. Proper conductor routing and sizing, as well as differential signal
12-1
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
handling and ground isolation techniques enables control of such parasitic voltages.
One final area of grounding to be discussed is grounding appropriate for a mixed-signal,
analog/digital environment. Indeed, the single issue of quality grounding can influence
the entire layout philosophy of a high performance mixed signal PCB design—as it well
should.
12.2
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
PARTITIONING
SECTION 1: PARTITIONING
Any subsystem or circuit layout operating at high frequency and/or high precision with
both analog and digital signals should like to have those signals physically separated as
much as possible to prevent crosstalk. This is typically difficult to accomplish in practice.
Crosstalk can be minimized by paying attention to the system layout and preventing
different signals from interfering with each other. High level analog signals should be
separated from low level analog signals, and both should be kept away from digital
signals. TTL and CMOS digital signals have high edge rates, implying frequency
components starting with the system clock and going up form there. And most logic
families are saturation logic, which has uneven current flow (high transient currents)
which can modulate the ground. We have seen elsewhere that in waveform sampling and
reconstruction systems the sampling clock (which is a digital signal) is as vulnerable to
noise as any analog signal. Noise on the sampling clock manifests itself as phase jitter,
which as we have seen in a previous section, translates directly to reduced SNR of the
sampled signal. If clock driver packages are used in clock distribution, only one
frequency clock should be passed through a single package. Sharing drivers between
clocks of different frequencies in the same package will produce excess jitter and
crosstalk and degrade performance.
The ground plane can act as a shield where sensitive signals cross. Figure 12.1 shows a
good layout for a data acquisition board where all sensitive areas are isolated from each
other and signal paths are kept as short as possible. While real life is rarely as simple as
this, the principle remains a valid one.
There are a number of important points to be considered when making signal and power
connections. First of all a connector is one of the few places in the system where all
signal conductors must run in parallel—it is therefore imperative to separate them with
ground pins (creating a Faraday shield) to reduce coupling between them.
Multiple ground pins are important for another reason: they keep down the ground
impedance at the junction between the board and the backplane. The contact resistance of
a single pin of a PCB connector is quite low (typically on the order of 10 mΩ) when the
board is new—as the board gets older the contact resistance is likely to rise, and the
board's performance may be compromised. It is therefore well worthwhile to allocate
extra PCB connector pins so that there are many ground connections (perhaps 30% to
40% of all the pins on the PCB connector should be ground pins). For similar reasons
there should be several pins for each power connection.
Manufacturers of high performance mixed-signal ICs, like Analog Devices, often offer
evaluation boards to assist customers in their initial evaluations and layout. ADC
evaluation boards generally contain an on-board low jitter sampling clock oscillator,
output registers, and appropriate power and signal connectors. They also may have
additional support circuitry such as the ADC input buffer amplifier and external
reference.
12-3
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
SAMPLING
CLOCK GENERATOR
REFERENCE
ANALOG
ADC
CONTROL
LOGIC
BUFFER
REGISTER
DEMULTIPLEXER
DIGITAL
FILTER
AMPLIFIER
POWER
TIMING
CIRCUITS
MULTIPLE
ANALOG GROUNDS
INPUT
DSP
OR
µP
DATA
BUS
ADDRESS
BUS
BUFFER
MEMORY
MULTIPLE
GROUNDS
Figure 12.1: Analog and Digital Circuits Should Be Partitioned on PCB Layout
The layout of the evaluation board is optimized in terms of grounding, decoupling, and
signal routing and can be used as a model when laying out the ADC section of the PC
board in a system. The actual evaluation board layout is usually available from the ADC
manufacturer in the form of computer CAD files (Gerber files). In many cases, the layout
of the various layers appears on the data sheet for the device. It should be pointed out,
though, that an evaluation board is an extremely simple system. While some guidelines
can be inferred from inspection of the evaluation board layout, the system that you are
designing is undoubtedly more complicated. Therefore, direct use of the layout may not
be optimum in larger systems.
12.4
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
SECTION 2: TRACES
Resistance of Conductors
Every engineer is familiar with resistors. But far too few engineers consider that all the
wires and PCB traces with which their systems and circuits are assembled are also
resistors (as well as inductors as well, as will be discussed later). In higher precision
systems, even these trace resistances and simple wire interconnections can have
degrading effects. Copper is not a superconductor—and too many engineers appear to
think it is!
Figure 12.2 illustrates a method of calculating the sheet resistance R of a copper square,
given the length Z, the width X, and the thickness Y.
R=
ρZ
XY
ρ = RESISTIVITY
R
Z
Y
X
SHEET RESISTANCE CALCULATION FOR
1 OZ. COPPER CONDUCTOR:
ρ = 1.724 X 10-6 Ω cm, Y = 0.0036cm
R = 0.48
Z
mΩ
X
Z
= NUMBER OF SQUARES
X
R = SHEET RESISTANCE OF 1 SQUARE (Z=X)
= 0.48m Ω /SQUARE
Figure 12.2: Calculation of Sheet Resistance and Linear Resistance
for Standard Copper PCB Conductors
-6
At 25°C the resistivity of pure copper is 1.724X10 Ω/cm. The thickness of standard
1 ounce PCB copper foil is 0.036 mm (0.0014"). Using the relations shown, the
resistance of such a standard copper element is therefore 0.48 mΩ/square. One can
12-5
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
readily calculate the resistance of a linear trace, by effectively "stacking" a series of such
squares end to end, to make up the line’s length. The line length is Z and the width is X,
so the line resistance R is simply a product of Z/X and the resistance of a single square,
as noted in the figure.
For a given copper weight and trace width, a resistance/length calculation can be made.
For example, the 0.25 mm (10 mil) wide traces frequently used in PCB designs equates to
a resistance/length of about 19 mΩ/cm (48 mΩ /inch), which is quite large. Moreover, the
temperature coefficient of resistance for copper is about 0.4%/°C around room
temperature. This is a factor that shouldn’t be ignored, in particular within low
impedance precision circuits, where the TC can shift the net impedance over temperature.
As shown in Figure 12.3, PCB trace resistance can be a serious error when conditions
aren’t favorable. Consider a 16-bit ADC with a 5 kΩ input resistance, driven through
5 cm of 0.25 mm wide 1 oz. PCB track between it and its signal source. The track
resistance of nearly 0.1 Ω forms a divider with the 5 kΩ load, creating an error. The
resulting voltage drop is a gain error of 0.1/5 k (~0.0019%), well over 1 LSB (0.0015%
for 16 bits). And this ignores the issue of the return path! It also ignores inductance,
which could make the situation worse at high frequencies.
5cm
SIGNAL
SOURCE
16-BIT ADC,
RIN = 5kΩ
0.25mm (10 mils) wide,
1 oz. copper PCB trace
Assume ground path
resistance negligible
Figure 12.3: Ohm’s law predicts >1 LSB of error due to drop in PCB conductor
So, when dealing with precision circuits, the point is made that even simple design items
such as PCB trace resistance cannot be dealt with casually. There are various solutions
that can address this issue, such as wider traces (which may take up excessive space), and
may not be a viable solution with the smallest packages and with packages with multiple
rows of pins, such as a ball grid array (BGA), the use of heavier copper (which may be
too expensive) or simply choosing a high input impedance converter. But, the most
important thing is to think it all through, avoiding any tendency to overlook items
appearing innocuous on the surface.
12.6
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
Voltage Drop in Signal Leads—Kelvin Feedback
The gain error resulting from resistive voltage drop in PCB signal leads is important only
with high precision and/or at high resolutions (the Figure 12.3 example), or where large
signal currents flow. Where load impedance is constant and resistive, adjusting overall
system gain can compensate for the error. In other circumstances, it may often be
removed by the use of "Kelvin" or "voltage sensing" feedback, as shown in Figure 12.4.
In this modification to the case of Figure 12.3 a long resistive PCB trace is still used to
drive the input of a high resolution ADC, with low input impedance. In this case
however, the voltage drop in the signal lead does not give rise to an error, as feedback is
taken directly from the input pin of the ADC, and returned to the driving source. This
scheme allows full accuracy to be achieved in the signal presented to the ADC, despite
any voltage drop across the signal trace.
FEEDBACK "SENSE" LEAD
S
SIGNAL
SOURCE
HIGH RESISTANCE
SIGNAL LEAD
F
ADC with
low R IN
Assume ground path
resistance negligible
Figure 12.4: Use of a Sense Connection Moves Accuracy to the Load Point
The use of separate force (F) and sense (S) connections (often referred to as a Kelvin
connection) at the load removes any errors resulting from voltage drops in the force lead,
but, of course, may only be used in systems where there is negative feedback. It is also
impossible to use such an arrangement to drive two or more loads with equal accuracy,
since feedback may only be taken from one point. Also, in this much-simplified system,
errors in the common lead source/load path are ignored, the assumption being that ground
path voltages are negligible. In many systems this may not necessarily be the case, and
additional steps may be needed, as noted below.
Signal Return Currents
Kirchoff's Law tells us that at any point in a circuit the algebraic sum of the currents is
zero. This tells us that all currents flow in circles and, particularly, that the return current
must always be considered when analyzing a circuit, as is illustrated in Figure 12.5 (see
References 7 and 8).
12-7
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
SIGNAL
SOURCE
I
LOAD
RL
G1
GROUND RETURN CURRENT
I
I
G2
AT ANY POINT IN A CIRCUIT
THE ALGEBRAIC SUM OF THE CURRENTS IS ZERO
OR
WHAT GOES OUT MUST COME BACK
WHICH LEADS TO THE CONCLUSION THAT
ALL VOLTAGES ARE DIFFERENTIAL
(EVEN IF THEY’RE GROUNDED)
Figure 12.5: Kirchoff’s Law Helps in Analyzing Voltage Drops Around a
Complete Source/Load Coupled Circuit
In dealing with grounding issues, common human tendencies provide some insight into
how the correct thinking about the circuit can be helpful towards analysis. Most engineers
readily consider the ground return current "I," only when they are considering a fully
differential circuit.
However, when considering the more usual circuit case, where a single-ended signal is
referred to "ground," it is common to assume that all the points on the circuit diagram
where ground symbols are found are at the same potential. Unfortunately, this happy
circumstance just ain’t necessarily so!
This overly optimistic approach is illustrated in Figure 12.6 where, if it really should
exist, "infinite ground conductivity" would lead to zero ground voltage difference
between source ground G1 and load ground G2. Unfortunately this approach isn’t a wise
practice, and when dealing with high precision circuits, it can lead to disasters.
A more realistic approach to ground conductor integrity includes analysis of the
impedance(s) involved, and careful attention to minimizing spurious noise voltages.
12.8
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
SIGNAL
ADC
SIGNAL
SOURCE
G1
INFINITE GROUND
CONDUCTIVITY
→ ZERO VOLTAGE
G2
DIFFERENTIAL
BETWEEN G1 & G2
Figure 12.6: Unlike this Optimistic Diagram, it Is Unrealistic to Assume Infinite
Conductivity Between Source/Load Grounds in a Real-World System
Ground Noise and Ground Loops
A more realistic model of a ground system is shown in Figure 12.7. The signal return
current flows in the complex impedance existing between ground points G1 and G2 as
shown, giving rise to a voltage drop ΔV in this path. But it is important to note that
additional external currents, such as IEXT, may also flow in this same path. It is critical to
understand that such currents may generate uncorrelated noise voltages between G1 and
G2 (dependent upon the current magnitude and relative ground impedance).
Some portion of these undesired voltages may end up being seen at the signal’s load end,
and they can have the potential to corrupt the signal being transmitted.
It is evident, of course, that other currents can only flow in the ground impedance, if there
is a current path for them. In this case, severe problems can be caused by a high current
circuit sharing an unlooped ground return with the signal source.
Figure 12.8 shows just such a common ground path, shared by the signal source and a
high current circuit, which draws a large and varying current from its supply. This current
flows in the common ground return, causing an error voltage ΔV to be developed.
12-9
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
SIGNAL
LOAD
SIGNAL
SOURCE
ISIG
ΔV = VOLTAGE DIFFERENTIAL
DUE TO SIGNAL CURRENT AND/OR
EXTERNAL CURRENT FLOWING IN
GROUND IMPEDANCE
G2
G1
IEXT
Figure 12.7: A More Realistic Source-to-Load Grounding System View Includes
Consideration of the Impedance Between G1-G2, Plus the Effect of Any
Nonsignal-Related Currents
+Vs
HIGH
CURRENT
CIRCUIT
SIGNAL
SOURCE
SIGNAL
ADC
ΔV
ΔV = VOLTAGE DUE TO SIGNAL CURRENT PLUS
CURRENT FROM HIGH CURRENT CIRCUIT FLOWING
IN COMMON GROUND IMPEDANCE
Figure 12.8: Any Current Flowing Through a Common Ground Impedance Can
Cause Errors
12.10
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
From Figure 12.9, it is also evident that if a ground network contains loops, or circular
ground conductor patterns (with S1 closed), there is an even greater danger of it being
vulnerable to EMFs induced by external magnetic fields. There is also a real danger of
ground-current-related signals "escaping" from the high current areas, and causing noise
in sensitive circuit regions elsewhere in the system.
HIGH
CURRENT
CIRCUIT A
SIGNAL A
ZA
CLOSING S1 FORMS A GROUND LOOP.
NOISE MAY COME FROM:
‹ MAGNETIC FLUX CUTTING THE
GROUND LOOP
MAGNETIC
FLUX
S1
HIGH
CURRENT
CIRCUIT B
GROUND
IMPEDANCES
NEXT
STAGE
‹ GROUND CURRENT OF A IN ZB
‹ GROUND CURRENT OF B IN ZA
ZB
SIGNAL B
Figure 12.9: A Ground Loop
For these reasons ground loops are best avoided, by wiring all return paths within the
circuit by separate paths back to a common point, i.e., the common ground point towards
the mid-right of the diagram. This would be represented by the S1 open condition.
Ground Isolation Techniques
While the use of ground planes does lower impedance and helps greatly in lowering
ground noise, there may still be situations where a prohibitive level of noise exists. In
such cases, the use of ground error minimization and isolation techniques can be helpful.
Another illustration of a common-ground impedance coupling problem is shown in
Figure 12.10. In this circuit a precision gain-of-100 preamp amplifies a low level signal
VIN, using an AD8551 chopper-stabilized amplifier for best dc accuracy. At the load end,
the signal VOUT is measured with respect to G2, the local ground. Because of the small
700 μA ISUPPLY of the AD8551 flowing between G1 and G2, there is a 7 μV ground
error—about 7 times the typical input offset expected from the op amp!
12-11
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
+5V
U1
AD8551
R1
99kΩ
V IN
5mV FS
V OU T
ISUPPLY
700μA
R2
1kΩ
G1
RGR OUND
0.01Ω
ΔV ≅ 7μV
G2
Figure 12.10: Unless Care Is Taken, Even Small Common Ground Currents Can
Degrade Precision Amplifier Accuracy
This error can be avoided simply by routing the negative supply pin current of the op amp
back to star ground G2 as opposed to ground G1, by using a separate trace. This step
eliminates the G1-G2 path power supply current, and so minimizes the ground leg
voltage error. Note that there will be little error developed in the "hot" VOUT lead, so long
as the current drain at the load end is small.
In some cases, there may be simply unavoidable ground voltage differences between a
source signal and the load point where it is to be measured. Within the context of this
"same-board" discussion, this might require rejecting ground error voltages of several
tens-of-mV. Or, should the source signal originate from an "off-board" source, then the
magnitude of the common-mode voltages to be rejected can easily rise into a several volt
range (or even tens-of-volts).
Fortunately, full signal transmission accuracy can still be accomplished in the face of
such high noise voltages, by employing a principle discussed earlier. This is the use of a
differential-input, ground isolation amplifier. The ground isolation amplifier minimizes
the effect of ground error voltages between stages by processing the signal in differential
fashion, thereby rejecting CM voltages by a substantial margin (typically 60 dB or more).
Two ground isolation amplifier solutions are shown in Figure 12.11. This diagram can
alternately employ either the AD629 to handle CM voltages up to ±270 V, or the
AMP03, which is suitable for CM voltages up to ±20 V.
In the circuit, input voltage VIN is referred to G1, but must be measured with respect to
G2. With the use of a high CMR unity-gain difference amplifier, the noise voltage ΔV
existing between these two grounds is easily rejected. The AD629 offers a typical CMR
of 88 dB, while the AMP03 typically achieves 100 dB. In the AD629, the high CMV
rating is done by a combination of high CM attenuation, followed by differential gain,
realizing a net differential gain of unity. The AD629 uses the first listed value resistors
12.12
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
noted in the figure for R1 to R5. The AMP03 operates as a precision four-resistor
differential amplifier, using the 25 kΩ value R1 to R4 resistors noted. Both devices are
complete, one package solutions to the ground-isolation amplifier.
R5
21.1kΩ
(AD629 only)
G2
R1
380kΩ / 25kΩ
R2
380kΩ / 25kΩ
CMV(V) CMR(dB)
AD629 ± 270
88
AMP03 ± 20
100
VIN
AD629 / AMP03
DIFFERENCE
AMPLIFIERS
R3
380kΩ / 25kΩ
G1
INPUT
COMMON
ΔV
GROUND
NOISE
R4
20kΩ / 25kΩ
VOUT
G2
OUTPUT
COMMON
Figure 12.11: A Differential Input Ground Isolating Amplifier Allows High
Transmission Accuracy by Rejecting Ground Noise Voltage Between Source
(G1) and Measurement (G2) Grounds
This scheme allows relative freedom from tightly controlling ground drop voltages, or
running additional and/or larger PCB traces to minimize such error voltages. Note that it
can be implemented either with the fixed gain difference amplifiers shown, or also with a
standard in-amp IC, configured for unity gain. The AD623, for example, also allows
single-supply use. In any case, signal polarity is also controllable, by simple reversal of
the difference amplifier inputs.
In general terms, transmitting a signal from one point on a PCB to another for
measurement or further processing can be optimized by two key interrelated techniques.
These are the use of high impedance, differential signal-handling techniques. The high
impedance loading of an in-amp minimizes voltage drops, and differential sensing of the
remote voltage minimizes sensitivity to ground noise.
When the further signal processing is A/D conversion, these transmission criteria can be
implemented without adding a differential ground isolation amplifier stage. Simply select
an ADC which operates differentially. The high input impedance of the ADC minimizes
load sensitivity to the PCB wiring resistance. In addition, the differential input feature
allows the output of the source to be sensed directly at the source output terminals (even
if single-ended). The CMR of the ADC then eliminates sensitivity to noise voltages
between the ADC and source grounds.
12-13
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
An illustration of this concept using an ADC with high impedance differential inputs is
shown in Figure 12.12. Note that the general concept can be extended to virtually any
signal source, driving any load. All loads, even single-ended ones, become differentialinput by adding an appropriate differential input stage. The differential input can be
provided by either a fully developed high Z in-amp, or in many cases it can be a simple
subtractor stage op amp, such as Figure 12.11.
SIGNAL
SOURCE
HIGH-Z
DIFFERENTIAL
INPUT ADC
VOUT
Ground path errors
not critical
Figure 12.12: A High-Impedance Differential Input ADC Also Allows High
Transmission Accuracy Between Source and Load
12.14
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
Static PCB Effects
Leakage resistance is the dominant static circuit board effect. Contamination of the PCB
surface by flux residues, deposited salts, and other debris can create leakage paths
between circuit nodes. Even on well-cleaned boards, it is not unusual to find 10 nA or
more of leakage to nearby nodes from 15-volt supply rails. Nanoamperes of leakage
current into the wrong nodes often cause volts of error at a circuit's output; for example,
10 nA into a 10 MΩ resistance causes 0.1 V of error. Unfortunately, the standard op amp
pinout places the −VS supply pin next to the + input, which is often hoped to be at high
impedance! To help identify nodes sensitive to the effects of leakage currents ask the
simple question: If a spurious current of a few nanoamperes or more were injected into
this node, would it matter?
If the circuit is already built, you can localize moisture sensitivity to a suspect node with
a classic test. While observing circuit operation, blow on potential trouble spots through a
simple soda straw. The straw focuses the breath's moisture, which, with the board's salt
content in susceptible portions of the design, disrupts circuit operation upon contact.
There are several means of eliminating simple surface leakage problems. Thorough
washing of circuit boards to remove residues helps considerably. A simple procedure
includes vigorously brushing the boards with isopropyl alcohol, followed by thorough
washing with deionized water and an 85°C bake out for a few hours. Be careful when
selecting board-washing solvents, though. When cleaned with certain solvents, some
water-soluble fluxes create salt deposits, exacerbating the leakage problem.
Unfortunately, if a circuit displays sensitivity to leakage, even the most rigorous cleaning
can offer only a temporary solution. Problems soon return upon handling, or exposure to
foul atmospheres, and high humidity. Some additional means must be sought to stabilize
circuit behavior, such as conformal surface coating.
Fortunately, there is an answer to this, namely guarding, which offers a fairly reliable and
permanent solution to the problem of surface leakage. Well-designed guards can
eliminate leakage problems, even for circuits exposed to harsh industrial environments.
Two schematics illustrate the basic guarding principle, as applied to typical inverting and
noninverting op amp circuits.
Figure 12.13 illustrates an inverting mode guard application. In this case, the op amp
reference input is grounded, so the guard is a grounded ring surrounding all leads to the
inverting input, as noted by the dotted line.
12-15
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
INVERTING MODE GUARD:
RING SURROUNDS ALL LEAD
ENDS AT THE "HOT NODE"
AND NOTHING ELSE
Figure 12.13: Inverting Mode Guard Encloses All Op Amp Inverting Input
Connections Within a Grounded Guard Ring
Guarding basic principles are simple: Completely surround sensitive nodes with
conductors that can readily sink stray currents, and maintain the guard conductors at the
exact potential of the sensitive node (as otherwise the guard will serve as a leakage
source rather than a leakage sink). For example, to keep leakage into a node below 1 pA
(assuming 1000-megohm leakage resistance) the guard and guarded node must be within
1 mV. Generally, the low offset of a modern op amp is sufficient to meet this criterion.
NON-INVERTING MODE GUARD:
Y
Y
RL
RING SURROUNDS ALL "HOT NODE"
LEAD ENDS - INCLUDING INPUT
TERMINAL ON THE PCB
X
Y
Y
LOW VALUE GAIN
RESISTORS
USE SHIELDING (Y) OR
UNITY-GAIN BUFFER
(X) IF GUARD HAS LONG
LEAD
Figure 12.14: Noninverting Mode Guard Encloses all Op Amp Noninverting Input
Connections Within a Low Impedance, Driven Guard Ring
12.16
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
There are important caveats to be noted with implementing a true high quality guard. For
traditional through hole PCB connections, the guard pattern should appear on both sides
of the circuit board, to be most effective. And, it should also be connected along its
length by several vias. Finally, when either justified or required by the system design
parameters, do make an effort to include guards in the PCB design process from the
outset—there is little likelihood that a proper guard can be added as an afterthought.
Figure 12.14 illustrates the case for a noninverting guard. In this instance the op amp
reference input is directly driven by the source, which complicates matters considerably.
Again, the guard ring completely surrounds all of the input nodal connections. In this
instance, however, the guard is driven from the low impedance feedback divider
connected to the inverting input.
Usually the guard-to-divider junction will be a direct connection, but in some cases a
unity gain buffer might be used at "X" to drive a cable shield, or also to maintain the
lowest possible impedance at the guard ring.
In lieu of the buffer, another useful step is to use an additional, directly grounded screen
ring, "Y," which surrounds the inner guard and the feedback nodes as shown. This step
costs nothing except some added layout time, and will greatly help buffer leakage effects
into the higher impedance inner guard ring.
Of course what hasn’t been addressed to this point is just how the op amp itself gets
connected into these guarded islands without compromising performance. The traditional
method using a TO-99 metal can package device was to employ double-sided PCB guard
rings, with both op amp inputs terminated within the guarded ring.
Sample MINI-DIP and SOIC op amp PCB guard layouts
Modern assembly practices have favored smaller plastic packages such as eight pin
MINI-DIP and SOIC types. Some suggested partial layouts for guard circuits using these
packages are shown in the next two figures. While guard traces may also be possible with
even more tiny op amp footprints, such as SOT-23 etc., the required trace separations
become even more confining, challenging the layout designer as well as the
manufacturing processes.
For the ADI "N" style MINI-DIP package, Figure 12.15 illustrates how guarding can be
accomplished for inverting (left) and noninverting (right) operating modes. This setup
would also be applicable to other op amp devices where relatively high voltages occur at
pin 1 or 4. Using a standard eight pin DIP outline, it can be noted that this package’s 0.1"
pin spacing allows a PC trace (here, the guard trace) to pass between adjacent pins. This
is the key to implementing effective DIP package guarding, as it can adequately prevent a
leakage path from the –VS supply at pin 4, or from similar high potentials at pin 1.
12-17
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
1
8
GUARD
INPUT
2
7
GUARD
3
6
4
5
INVERTING MODE
GUARD PATTERN
1
8
GUARD
2
7
INPUT
GUARD
3
6
4
5
NON-INVERTING MODE
GUARD PATTERN
Figure 12.15: PCB Guard Patterns for Inverting and Noninverting Mode Op
Amps Using Eight Pin MINI-DIP (N) Package
For the left-side inverting mode, note that the Pin 3 connected and grounded guard traces
surround the op amp inverting input (Pin 2), and run parallel to the input trace. This guard
would be continued out to and around the source and feedback connections of
Figure 12-36 (or other similar circuit), including an input pad in the case of a cable. In the
right-side noninverting mode, the guard voltage is the feedback divider voltage to Pin 2.
This corresponds to the inverting input node of the amplifier, from Figure 12.14.
Note that in both of the cases of Figure 12.15, the guard physical connections shown are
only partial—an actual layout would include all sensitive nodes within the circuit. In both
the inverting and the noninverting modes using the MINI-DIP or other through hole style
package, the PCB guard traces should be located on both sides of the board, with top and
bottom traces connected with several vias.
Things become slightly more complicated when using guarding techniques with the
SOIC surface mount ("R") package, as the 0.05" pin spacing doesn’t easily allow routing
of PCB traces between the pins. But, there is still an effective guarding answer, at least
for the inverting case. Figure 12.16 shows guards for the ADI "R" style SOIC package.
Note that for many single op amp devices in this SOIC "R" package, Pins 1, 5, and 8 are
"no connect" pins. Historically these pins were used for offset adjustment and/or
frequency compensation. These functions rarely are used in modern op amps. For such
instances, this means that these empty locations can be employed in the layout to route
guard traces. In the case of the inverting mode (left), the guarding is still completely
effective, with the dummy Pin 1 and Pin 3 serving as the grounded guard trace. This is a
fully effective guard without compromise. Also, with SOIC op amps, much of the
circuitry around the device will not use through hole components. So, the guard ring may
only be necessary on the op amp PCB side.
12.18
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
NOTE: PINS 1, 5, & 8 ARE OPEN ON MANY “R” PACKAGED DEVICES
GUARD
1
8
GUARD
2
7
6
INPUT
3
6
5
GUARD
4
–VS
5
1
8
INPUT
2
7
GUARD
3
4
–VS
INVERTING MODE
GUARD PATTERN
NON-INVERTING MODE
GUARD PATTERN
Figure 12.16: PCB Guard Patterns for Inverting and Noninverting Mode Op
Amps Using Eight Pin SOIC (R) Package
In the case of the follower stage (right), the guard trace must be routed around the
negative supply at Pin 4, and thus Pin 4 to Pin 3 leakage isn’t fully guarded. For this
reason, a precision high impedance follower stage using an SOIC package op amp isn’t
generally recommended, as guarding isn’t possible for dual supply connected devices.
However, an exception to this caveat does apply to the use of a single-supply op amp as a
noninverting stage. For example, if the AD8551 is used, Pin 4 becomes ground, and some
degree of intrinsic guarding is then established by default.
Dynamic PCB Effects
Although static PCB effects can come and go with changes in humidity or board
contamination, problems that most noticeably affect the dynamic performance of a circuit
usually remain relatively constant. Short of a new design, washing or any other simple
fixes can’t fix them. As such, they can permanently and adversely affect a design's
specifications and performance. The problems of stray capacitance, linked to lead and
component placement, are reasonably well known to most circuit designers. Since lead
placement can be permanently dealt with by correct layout, any remaining difficulty is
solved by training assembly personnel to orient components or bend leads optimally.
Dielectric absorption (DA), on the other hand, represents a more troublesome and still
poorly understood circuit-board phenomenon. Like DA in discrete capacitors, DA in a
printed-circuit board can be modeled by a series resistor and capacitor connecting two
closely spaced nodes. Its effect is inverse with spacing and linear with length.
As shown in Figure 12.17, the RC model for this effective capacitance ranges from 0.1
pF to 2.0 pF, with the resistance ranging from 50 MΩ to 500 MΩ. Values of 0.5 pF and
100 MΩ are most common. Consequently, circuit-board DA interacts most strongly with
high impedance circuits.
12-19
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
0.05" (1.3mm)
50 - 500MΩ
0.1- 2.0 pF
CSTRAY
RLEAKAGE
Figure 12.17: DA Plagues Dynamic Response of PCB-Based Circuits
PCB DA most noticeably influences dynamic circuit response, for example, settling time.
Unlike circuit leakage, the effects aren’t usually linked to humidity or other
environmental conditions, but rather, are a function of the board's dielectric properties.
The chemistry involved in producing plated through holes seems to exacerbate the
problem. If your circuits don’t meet expected transient response specs, you should
consider PCB DA as a possible cause.
Fortunately, there are solutions. As in the case of capacitor DA, external components can
be used to compensate for the effect. More importantly, surface guards that totally isolate
sensitive nodes from parasitic coupling often eliminate the problem (note that these
guards should be duplicated on both sides of the board, in cases of through hole
components). As noted previously, low loss PCB dielectrics are also available.
PCB "hook," similar if not identical to DA, is characterized by variation in effective
circuit-board capacitance with frequency (see Reference 1). In general, it affects high
impedance circuit transient response where board capacitance is an appreciable portion of
the total in the circuit. Circuits operating at frequencies below 10 kHz are the most
susceptible. As in circuit board DA, the board's chemical makeup very much influences
its effects.
12.20
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
Inductance
Stray Inductance
All conductors are inductive, and at high frequencies, the inductance of even quite short
pieces of wire or printed circuit traces may be important. The inductance of a straight
wire of length L mm and circular cross-section with radius R mm in free space is given
by the first equation shown in Figure 12.18.
2R
L, R in mm
L
WIRE INDUCTANCE = 0.0002L ln
( 2L
) - 0.75
R
μH
EXAMPLE: 1cm of 0.5mm o.d. wire has an inductance of 7.26nH
(2R = 0.5mm, L = 1cm)
L
W
H
2L
W+H
STRIP INDUCTANCE = 0.0002L ln ( W+H ) + 0.2235 ( L ) + 0.5 μH
EXAMPLE: 1cm of 0.25 mm PC track has an inductance of 9.59 nH
(H = 0.038mm, W = 0.25mm, L = 1cm)
Figure 12.18: Wire and Strip Inductance Calculations
The inductance of a strip conductor (an approximation to a PC track) of width W mm and
thickness H mm in free space is also given by the second equation in Figure 12.18.
In real systems, these formulas both turn out to be approximate, but they do give some
idea of the order of magnitude of inductance involved. They tell us that 1 cm of 0.5-mm
of wire has an inductance of 7.26 nH, and 1 cm of 0.25-mm PC track has an inductance
of 9.59 nH—these figures are reasonably close to measured results.
At 10 MHz, an inductance of 7.26 nH has an impedance of 0.46 Ω, and so can give rise
to 1% error in a 50-Ω system.
12-21
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Mutual Inductance
Another consideration regarding inductance is the separation of outward and return
currents. As we shall discuss in more detail later, Kirchoff's Law tells us that current
flows in closed paths—there is always an outward and return path. The whole path forms
a single turn inductor.
NONIDEAL SIGNAL TRACE ROUTING
LOAD
LOAD
LOAD
IMPROVED TRACE ROUTING
LOAD
LOAD
LOAD
Figure 12.19: Nonideal and Improved Signal Trace Routing
This principle is illustrated by the contrasting signal trace routing arrangements of Figure
9.10. If the area enclosed within the turn is relatively large, as in the upper "nonideal"
picture, then the inductance (and hence the ac impedance) will also be large. On the other
hand, if the outward and return paths are closer together, as in the lower "improved"
picture, the inductance will be much smaller.
Note that the nonideal signal routing case of Figure 12.19 has other drawbacks—the large
area enclosed within the conductors produces extensive external magnetic fields, which
may interact with other circuits, causing unwanted coupling. Similarly, the large area is
more vulnerable to interaction with external magnetic fields, which can induce unwanted
signals in the loop.
The basic principle is illustrated in Figure 12.20, and is a common mechanism for the
transfer of unwanted signals (noise) between two circuits.
12.22
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
INTERFERENCE CIRCUIT
SIGNAL CIRCUIT
M = MUTUAL INDUCTANCE
B = MAGNETIC REFLUX DENSITY
A = AREA OF SIGNAL LOOP
ωN = 2πfN = FREQUENCY OF NOISE SOURCE
V = INDUCED VOLTAGE = ωNMIN = ωAB
Figure 12.20: Basic Principles of Inductive Coupling
As with most other noise sources, as soon as we define the working principle, we can see
ways of reducing the effect. In this case, reducing any or all of the terms in the equations
in Figure 12.20 reduces the coupling. Reducing the frequency or amplitude of the current
causing the interference may be impracticable, but it is frequently possible to reduce the
mutual inductance between the interfering and interfered with circuits by reducing loop
areas on one or both sides and, possibly, increasing the distance between them.
A layout solution is illustrated by Figure 12.21. Here two circuits, shown as Z1 and Z2,
are minimized for coupling by keeping each of the loop areas as small as is practical.
Z1
V1
V2
Z2
Figure 12.21: Proper Signal Routing and Layout Can Reduce Inductive Coupling
As also illustrated in Figure 12.22, mutual inductance can be a problem in signals
transmitted on cables. Mutual inductance is high in ribbon cables, especially when a
single return is common to several signal circuits (top). Separate, dedicated signal and
return lines for each signal circuit reduces the problem (middle). Using a cable with
12-23
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
twisted pairs for each signal circuit as in the bottom picture is even better (but is more
expensive and often unnecessary).
„
FLAT RIBBON CABLE WITH SINGLE
RETURN HAS LARGE MUTUAL
INDUC TANCE BETWEE N CIRCU ITS
„
SEPARATE AND ALTERNATE
SIGNAL / RETURN LINES FOR
EACH CIRCU IT REDUC ES
MUTUAL INDUC TANCE
„
TWISTED PAIRS REDUC E
MUTUAL INDUC TANCE STILL
FURTHER
Figure 12.22: Mutual Inductance and Coupling Within Signal Cabling
Shielding of magnetic fields to reduce mutual inductance is sometimes possible, but is by
no means as easy as shielding an electric field with a Faraday shield (following section).
HF magnetic fields are blocked by conductive material provided the skin depth in the
conductor at the frequency to be screened is much less than the thickness of the
conductor, and the screen has no holes (Faraday shields can tolerate small holes,
magnetic screens cannot). LF and DC fields may be screened by a shield made of mumetal sheet. Mu-metal is an alloy having very high permeability, but it is expensive, its
magnetic properties are damaged by mechanical stress, and it will saturate if exposed to
too high fields. Its use, therefore, should be avoided where possible.
Parasitic Effects in Inductors
Although inductance is one of the fundamental properties of an electronic circuit,
inductors are far less common as components than are resistors and capacitors. As for
precision components, they are even more rare. This is because they are harder to
manufacture, less stable, and less physically robust than resistors and capacitors. It is
relatively easy to manufacture stable precision inductors with inductances from nH to
tens or hundreds of µH, but larger valued devices tend to be less stable, and large.
As we might expect in these circumstances, circuits are designed, where possible, to
avoid the use of precision inductors. We find that stable precision inductors are relatively
rarely used in precision analog circuitry, except in tuned circuits for high frequency
narrow-band applications.
12.24
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
Of course, they are widely used in power filters, switching power supplies and other
applications where lack of precision is unimportant (more on this in a following section).
The important features of inductors used in such applications are their current carrying
and saturation characteristics, and their Q. If an inductor consists of a coil of wire with an
air core, its inductance will be essentially unaffected by the current it is carrying. On the
other hand, if it is wound on a core of a magnetic material (magnetic alloy or ferrite), its
inductance will be nonlinear, since at high currents, the core will start to saturate. The
effects of such saturation will reduce the efficiency of the circuitry employing the
inductor and is liable to increase noise and harmonic generation.
As mentioned above, inductors and capacitors together form tuned circuits. Since all
inductors will also have some stray capacity, all inductors will have a resonant frequency
(which will normally be published on their data sheet), and should only be used as
precision inductors at frequencies well below this.
Q or "Quality Factor"
Q = 2πf L/R
„
The Q of an inductor or resonant circuit is a
measure of the ratio of its reactance to its
resistance.
The resistance is the HF and NOT the DCvalue.
„
„
„
The other characteristic of inductors is their Q (or "Quality Factor"), which is the ratio of
the reactive impedance to the resistance, as indicated in Figure 12.23.
The 3 dB bandwidth of a single tuned circuit is
Fc/Q where Fc is the center frequency.
Figure 12.23: Inductor Q or Quality Factor
It is rarely possible to calculate the Q of an inductor from its dc resistance, since skin
effect (and core losses if the inductor has a magnetic core) ensure that the Q of an
inductor at high frequencies is always lower than that predicted from dc values.
Q is also a characteristic of tuned circuits (and of capacitors—but capacitors generally
have such high Q values that it may be disregarded, in practice). The Q of a tuned circuit,
which is generally very similar to the Q of its inductor (unless it is deliberately lowered
by the use of an additional resistor), is a measure of its bandwidth around resonance. LC
tuned circuits rarely have Q of much more than 100 (3 dB bandwidth of 1%), but ceramic
resonators may have a Q of thousands, and quartz crystals tens of thousands.
12-25
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Don't Overlook Anything
Remember, if your precision op amp or data-converter-based design does not meet
specification, try not to overlook anything in your efforts to find the error sources.
Analyze both active and passive components, trying to identify and challenge any
assumptions or preconceived notions that may blind you to the facts. Take nothing for
granted.
For example, when not tied down to prevent motion, cable conductors, moving within
their surrounding dielectrics, can create significant static charge buildups that cause
errors, especially when connected to high impedance circuits. Rigid cables, or even costly
low noise Teflon-insulated cables, are expensive alternative solutions.
As more and more high precision op amps become available, and system designs call for
higher speed and increased accuracy, a thorough understanding of the error sources
described in this section (as well those following) becomes more important.
Some additional discussions of passive components within a succeeding power supply
filtering section complements this one. In addition, the very next section on PCB design
issues also complements many points within this section. Similar comments apply to the
chapter on EMI/RFI.
12.26
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
Stray Capacitance
When two conductors aren’t short-circuited together, or totally screened from each other
by a conducting (Faraday) screen, there is a capacitance between them. So, on any PCB,
there will be a large number of capacitors associated with any circuit (which may or may
not be considered in models of the circuit). Where high frequency performance matters
(and even dc and VLF circuits may use devices with high Ft and therefore be vulnerable
to HF instability), it is very important to consider the effects of this stray capacitance.
Any basic textbook will provide formulas for the capacitance of parallel wires and other
geometric configurations (see References 9 and 10). The example we need consider in
this discussion is the parallel plate capacitor, often formed by conductors on opposite
sides of a PCB. The basic diagram describing this capacitance is shown in Figure 12.24.
C=
A
d
0.00885 E r A
d
pF
A = plate area in mm
2
d = plate separation in mm
E r = dielectric constant relative to air
u Most common PCB type uses 1.5mm
glass-fiber epoxy material with E r = 4.7
u Capacitance of PC track over ground
plane is roughly 2.8 pF/cm2
Figure 12.24: Capacitance of two parallel plates
Neglecting edge effects, the capacitance of two parallel plates of area A mm2 and
separation d mm in a medium of dielectric constant Er relative to air is:
0.00885 Er A/d pF.
Eq. 12-1
where:
Er = the dielectric constant of the insulator material relative to air
A = the plate area
D = the distance between the plates
From this formula, we can calculate that for general purpose PCB material (Er = 4.7,
d = 1.5 mm), the capacitance between conductors on opposite sides of the board is just
under 3 pF/cm2. In general, such capacitance will be parasitic, and circuits must be
designed so that it does not affect their performance.
12-27
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
While it is possible to use PCB capacitance in place of small discrete capacitors, the
dielectric properties of common PCB substrate materials cause such capacitors to behave
poorly. They have a rather high temperature coefficient and poor Q at high frequencies,
which makes them unsuitable for many applications. Boards made with lower loss
dielectrics such as Teflon are expensive exceptions to this rule.
Capacitive Noise & Faraday Shields
There is a capacitance between any two conductors separated by a dielectric (air or
vacuum are dielectrics). If there is a change of voltage on one, there will be a movement
of charge on the other. A basic model for this is shown in Figure 12.25.
C
IN
Z1
VN
VCOUPLED
Z1 = CIRCUIT IMPEDANCE
Z2 = 1/jωC
VCOUPLED = VN
Z1 ⎞
⎛
⎟
⎜
⎝ Z1 + Z2 ⎠
Figure 12.25: Capacitive Coupling Equivalent Circuit Model
It is evident that the noise voltage, VCOUPLED appearing across Z1, may be reduced by
several means, all of which reduce noise current in Z1. They are reduction of the signal
voltage VN, reduction of the frequency involved, reduction of the capacitance, or
reduction of Z1 itself. Unfortunately however, often none of these circuit parameters can
be freely changed, and an alternate method is needed to minimize the interference. The
best solution towards reducing the noise coupling effect of C is to insert a grounded
conductor, also known as a Faraday shield, between the noise source and the affected
circuit. This has the desirable effect of reducing Z1 noise current, thus reducing VCOUPLED.
A Faraday shield model is shown by Figure 12.26. In the left picture, the function of the
shield is noted by how it effectively divides the coupling capacitance, C. In the right
picture the net effect on the coupled voltage across Z1 is shown. Although the noise
current IN still flows in the shield, most of it is now diverted away from Z1. As a result,
the coupled noise voltage VCOUPLED across Z1 is reduced.
A Faraday shield is easily implemented and almost always successful. Thus capacitively
coupled noise is rarely an intractable problem. However, to be fully effective, a Faraday
12.28
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
shield must completely block the electric field between the noise source and the shielded
circuit. It must also be connected so that the displacement current returns to its source,
without flowing in any part of the circuit where it can introduce conducted noise.
CAPACITIVE
SHIELD
C
IN
VCOUPLED
Z1
VN
VN
IN
Z1
V COUPLED
Figure 12.26: An Operational Model of a Faraday Shield
Buffering ADCs Against Logic Noise
If we have a high resolution data converter (ADC or DAC) connected to a high speed
data bus which carries logic noise with a 2 V/ns to 5 V/ns edge rate, this noise is easily
connected to the converter analog port via stray capacitance across the device. Whenever
the data bus is active, intolerable amounts of noise are capacitively coupled into the
analog port, thus seriously degrading performance.
ADC
IC
CMOS
BUFFER/LATCH
ANALOG
INPUT
PORT(S)
N
N
NOISY
DATA BUS
‹ THE OUTPUT BUFFER/LATCH ACTS AS A FARADAY
SHIELD BETWEEN “N” LINES OF A FAST, NOISY DATA
BUS AND A HIGH PERFORMANCE ADC.
‹ THIS MEASURE ADDS COST, BOARD AREA, POWER
CONSUMPTION, RELIABILITY REDUCTION, DESIGN
COMPLEXITY, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY,
IMPROVED PERFORMANCE!
Figure 12.27: A High Speed ADC IC Sitting on a Fast Data Bus Couples Digital
Noise into the Analog Port, thus Limiting Performance
12-29
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
This particular effect is illustrated by the diagram of Figure 12.27, where multiple
package capacitors couple noisy edge signals from the data bus into the analog input of
an ADC.
Present technology offers no cure for this problem, within the affected IC device itself.
The problem also limits performance possible from other broadband monolithic mixed
signal ICs with single chip analog and digital circuits. Fortunately, this coupled noise
problem can be simply avoided, by not connecting the data bus directly to the converter.
ADC
IC
ANALOG
INPUT
PORT(S)
NOISY
DATA
BUS
Figure 12.28: A High Speed ADC IC Using a CMOS Buffer/Latch at the Output
Shows Enhanced Immunity of Digital Data Bus Noise
Instead, use a CMOS latched buffer as a converter-to-bus interface, as shown by
Figure 12.28. Now the CMOS buffer IC acts as a Faraday shield, and dramatically
reduces noise coupling from the digital bus. This solution costs money, occupies board
area, reduces reliability (very slightly), consumes power, and it complicates the design—
but it does improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the converter! The designer must decide
whether it is worthwhile for individual cases, but in general it is highly recommended.
High Circuit Impedances are Susceptible to Noise Pickup
Since low power circuits tend to use high value resistors to conserve power, this tends to
make the circuit more susceptible to externally induced radiated noise and conducted
noise. Even a small amount of parasitic capacitance can create a significant conduction
path for noise to penetrate.
12.30
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
For example, as little as 1 pF of parasitic capacitance allows a 5 V logic transition to
cause a large disturbance in a 100 kΩ circuit as illustrated in Figure 12.29
This serves to illustrate that high impedance circuits are full of potential parasitics which
can cause a good paper design to perform poorly when actually implemented. One needs
to pay particular attention to the routing of signals. Interestingly, many high frequency
layout techniques for eliminating parasitics can also be applied here for low frequency,
low power circuits—for different reasons. While circuit parasitics cause unwanted phase
shifts and instabilities in high frequency circuits, the same parasitics pick up unwanted
noise in low power precision circuits.
Figure 12.29 High Circuit Impedances Increase Susceptibility to Noise Pickup
As discussed in the chapter on amplifiers, current feedback amplifiers do not like to have
capacitances on their inputs. To that end, ground planes should be cut back from the input
pins as shown in Fig. 12.30, which is an evaluation board for the AD8001 high speed
current feedback amplifier. The effect of even small capacitance on the input of a current
feedback amplifier is shown in Fig. 12.31. Note the ringing on the output.
12-31
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Fig. 12.30a: AD8001AR (SOIC) Evaluation Board—Top View
Fig. 12.30b: AD8001AR (SOIC) Evaluation Board—Bottom View
12.32
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
Figure 12.31: Effects of 10 pF Stray Capacitance on the Inverting Input on
Amplifier (AD8001) Pulse Response
Skin Effect
At high frequencies, also consider skin effect, where inductive effects cause currents to
flow only in the outer surface of conductors. Note that this is in contrast to the earlier
discussions of this section on dc resistance of conductors.
The skin effect has the consequence of increasing the resistance of a conductor at high
frequencies. Note also that this effect is separate from the increase in impedance due to
the effects of the self-inductance of conductors as frequency is increased.
MICROSTRIP
CONDUCTOR
(CURRENT FLOW NORMAL
TO DIAGRAM)
PC BOARD
(DIELECTRIC)
HF CURRENT FLOWS IN ONE
SIDE OF THE CONDUCTOR ONLY
GROUND PLANE
REGION OF RETURN
CURRENT FLOW
Figure 12.32: Skin Depth in a PCB Conductor
12-33
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Skin effect is quite a complex phenomenon, and detailed calculations are beyond the
scope of this discussion. However, a good approximation for copper is that the skin depth
in centimeters is 6.61/√f, (f in Hz). A summary of the skin effect within a typical PCB
conductor foil is shown in Figure 12.32. Note that this copper conductor cross-sectional
view assumes looking into the side of the conducting trace. Assuming that skin effects
become important when the skin depth is less than 50% of the thickness of the conductor,
this tells us that for a typical PC foil, we must be concerned about skin effects at
frequencies above approximately 12 MHz.
Where skin effect is important, the resistance for copper is 2.6 x 10-7 √f Ω/square, (f in
Hz). This formula is invalid if the skin thickness is greater than the conductor thickness
(i.e., at dc or LF).
Figure 12.33 illustrates a case of a PCB conductor with current flow, as separated from
the ground plane underneath.
‹HF Current flows only
in thin surface layers
TOP
COPPER CONDUCTOR
BOTTOM
‹Skin Depth: 6.61 √ f cm, f in Hz
-7
‹Skin Resistance: 2.6 x 10 √ f ohms per square, f in Hz
‹Since skin currents flow in both sides of a PC track, the
value of skin resistance in PCBs must take account of this
Figure 12.33: Skin Effect with PCB Conductor and Ground Plane
In this diagram, note the (dotted) regions of HF current flow, as reduced by the skin
effect. When calculating skin effect in PCBs, it is important to remember that current
generally flows in both sides of the PC foil (this is not necessarily the case in microstrip
lines, see below), so the resistance per square of PC foil may be half the above value.
12.34
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
Transmission Lines
We earlier considered the benefits of outward and return signal paths being close together
so that inductance is minimized. As shown previously in Figure 7-30, when an HF signal
flows in a PC track running over a ground plane, the arrangement functions as a
microstrip transmission line, and the majority of the return current flows in the ground
plane directly underneath the line.
Figure 12.34 shows the general parameters for a microstrip transmission line, given the
conductor width, w, dielectric thickness, h, and the dielectric constant, Er.
The characteristic impedance of such a microstrip line will depend upon the width of the
track and the thickness and dielectric constant of the PCB material. Designs of microstrip
lines are covered in more detail later in this chapter.
CONDUCTOR
DIELECTRIC
w
h
GROUND PLANE
Figure 12.34: A PCB Microstrip Transmission Line Is an Example of a
Controlled Impedance Conductor Pair
For most dc and lower frequency applications, the characteristic impedance of PCB
traces will be relatively unimportant. Even at frequencies where a track over a ground
plane behaves as a transmission line, it is not necessary to worry about its characteristic
impedance or proper termination if the free space wavelengths of the frequencies of
interest are greater than ten times the length of the line.
However, at VHF and higher frequencies it is possible to use PCB tracks as microstrip
lines within properly terminated transmission systems. Typically the microstrip will be
designed to match standard coaxial cable impedances, such as 50 Ω, 75 Ω, or 100 Ω,
simplifying interfacing.
Note that if losses in such systems are to be minimized, the PCB material must be chosen
for low/high frequency losses. This usually means the use of Teflon or some other
comparably low-loss PCB material. Often, though, the losses in short lines on cheap
glass-fiber board are small enough to be quite acceptable.
12-35
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Design PCBs Thoughtfully
Once the system's critical paths and circuits have been identified, the next step in
implementing sound PCB layout is to partition the printed circuit board according to
circuit function. This involves the appropriate use of power, ground, and signal planes.
Good PCB layouts also isolate critical analog paths from sources of high interference
(I/O lines and connectors, for example). High frequency circuits (analog and digital)
should be separated from low frequency ones. Furthermore, automatic signal routing
CAD layout software should be used with extreme caution. Critical signal paths should
be routed by hand, to avoid undesired coupling and/or emissions.
Properly designed multilayer PCBs can reduce EMI emissions and increase immunity to
RF fields, by a factor of 10 or more, compared to double-sided boards. A multilayer
board allows a complete layer to be used for the ground plane, whereas the ground plane
side of a double-sided board is often disrupted with signal crossovers, etc. If the system
has separate analog and digital ground and power planes, the analog ground plane should
be underneath the analog power plane, and similarly, the digital ground plane should be
underneath the digital power plane. There should be no overlap between analog and
digital ground planes, nor analog and digital power planes.
Designing Controlled Impedances Traces on PCBs
A variety of trace geometries are possible with controlled impedance designs, and they
may be either integral to or allied to the PCB pattern. In the discussions below, the basic
patterns follow those of the IPC, as described in standard 2141 (see Reference 16).
Note that the figures below use the term "ground plane." It should be understood that this
plane is in fact a large area, low impedance reference plane. In practice it may actually be
either a ground plane or a power plane, both of which are assumed to be at zero ac
potential.
D
WIRE
DIELECTRIC
H
GROUND PLANE
Figure 12.35: A Wire Microstrip Transmission Line With Defined Impedance is
Formed by an Insulated Wire Spaced From a Ground Plane
The first of these is the simple wire-over-a-plane form of transmission line, also called a
wire microstrip. A cross-sectional view is shown in Figure 12.35. This type of
transmission line might be a signal wire used within a breadboard, for example. It is
12.36
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
composed simply of a discrete insulated wire spaced a fixed distance over a ground
plane. The dielectric would be either the insulation wall of the wire, or a combination of
this insulation and air.
The impedance of this line in ohms can be estimated with Eq. 12-2.
Zo (Ω ) =
⎡ 4H ⎤
ln ⎢ ⎥ .
εr ⎣ D ⎦
60
Eq. 12-2
where:
D = the conductor diameter
H = the wire spacing above the plane
εr = the dielectric constant of the material relative to air.
For patterns integral to the PCB, there are a variety of geometric models from which to
choose, single-ended and differential. These are covered in some detail within IPC
standard 2141 (see Reference 16), but information on two popular examples is shown
here.
Before beginning any PCB-based transmission line design, it should be understood that
there are abundant equations, all claiming to cover such designs. In this context, "Which
of these are accurate?" is an extremely pertinent question. The unfortunate answer is,
none are perfectly so! All of the existing equations are approximations, and thus accurate
to varying degrees, depending upon specifics. The best known and most widely quoted
equations are those of Reference 16, but even these come with application caveats.
Reference 17 has evaluated the Reference 16 equations for various geometric patterns
against test PCB samples, finding that predicted accuracy varies according to target
impedance. Reference 18 also evaluates the Reference 16 equations, offering an
alternative and even more complex set (see Reference 19). The equations quoted below
are from Reference 16, and are offered here as a starting point for a design, subject to
further analysis, testing and design verification. The bottom line is, study carefully, and
take PCB trace impedance equations with a proper dose of salt.
12-37
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Microstrip PCB Transmission Lines
For a simple two-sided PCB design where one side is a ground plane, a signal trace on
the other side can be designed for controlled impedance. This geometry is known as a
surface microstrip, or more simply, microstrip.
A cross-sectional view of a two-layer PCB illustrates this microstrip geometry as shown
in Figure 12.36.
TRACE
W
T
H
DIELECTRIC
GROUND PLANE
Figure 12.36: A Microstrip Transmission Line with Defined Impedance Is
Formed by a PCB Trace of Appropriate Geometry, Spaced from a Ground Plane
For a given PCB laminate and copper weight, note that all parameters will be
predetermined except for W, the width of the signal trace. Eq. 12-3 can then be used to
design a PCB trace to match the impedance required by the circuit. For the signal trace of
width W and thickness T, separated by distance H from a ground (or power) plane by a
PCB dielectric with dielectric constant εr, the characteristic impedance is:
Z o (Ω ) =
⎡
87
ε r + 1.41
⎤
⎥
⎣ (0.8W + T )⎦
ln ⎢
5.98H
Eq. 12-3
Note that in these expressions, measurements are in common dimensions (mils).
These transmission lines will have not only a characteristic impedance, but also
capacitance. This can be calculated in terms of pF/in as shown in Eq. 12-4.
C o (pF/in ) =
0.67 (ε r + 1.41 )
ln [5.98H (0.8W + T )]
Eq. 12-4
As an example including these calculations, a 2-layer board might use 20-mil wide (W),
1 ounce (T = 1.4) copper traces separated by 10-mil (H) FR-4 (ε = 4.0) dielectric
material. The resulting impedance for this microstrip would be about 50 Ω. For other
standard impedances, for example the 75 Ω video standard, adjust "W" to about 8.3 mils.
12.38
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
Some Microstrip Guidelines
This example touches an interesting and quite handy point. Reference 17 discusses a
useful guideline pertaining to microstrip PCB impedance. For a case of dielectric
constant of 4.0 (FR-4), it turns out that when W/H is 2/1, the resulting impedance will be
close to 50 Ω (as in the first example, with W=20 mils).
Careful readers will note that Eq. 9.21 predicts Zo to be about 46 Ω, generally consistent
with accuracy quoted in Reference 17 (>5%). The IPC microstrip equation is most
accurate between 50 Ω and 100 Ω, but is substantially less so for lower (or higher)
impedances. Reference 20 gives tabular results of various PCB industry impedance
calculator tools.
The propagation delay of the microstrip line can also be calculated, as per Eq. 12-5. This
is the one-way transit time for a microstrip signal trace. Interestingly, for a given
geometry model, the delay constant in ns/ft is a function only of the dielectric constant,
and not the trace dimensions (see Reference 21). Note that this is quite a convenient
situation. It means that, with a given PCB laminate (and given ε r), the propagation delay
constant is fixed for various impedance lines.
t pd (ns/ft ) = 1.017 0.475 ε r + 0.67
Eq. 12-5
This delay constant can also be expressed in terms of ps/in, a form which will be more
practical for smaller PCBs. This is:
t pd (ps/in ) = 85 0.475 ε r + 0.67
Eq. 12.6
Thus for an example PCB dielectric constant of 4.0, it can be noted that a microstrip's
delay constant is about 1.63 ns/ft, or 136 ps/in. These two additional guidelines can be
useful in designing the timing of signals across PCB trace runs.
12-39
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Symmetric Stripline PCB Transmission Lines
A method of PCB design preferred from many viewpoints is a multilayer PCB. This
arrangement embeds the signal trace between a power and a ground plane, as shown in
the cross-sectional view of Figure 9.142. The low impedance ac-ground planes and the
embedded signal trace form a symmetric stripline transmission line.
DIELECTRIC
W
GROUND,
POWER
PLANES
H
T
EMBEDDED
TRACE
B
H
Figure 12.37: A Symmetric Stripline Transmission Line With Defined Impedance
is Formed by a PCB Trace of Appropriate Geometry Embedded Between Equally
Spaced Ground and/or Power Planes
As can be noted from the figure, the return current path for a high frequency signal trace
is located directly above and below the signal trace on the ground/power planes. The high
frequency signal is thus contained entirely inside the PCB, minimizing emissions, and
providing natural shielding against incoming spurious signals.
The characteristic impedance of this arrangement is again dependent upon geometry and
the εr of the PCB dielectric. An expression for ZO of the stripline transmission line is:
Zo (Ω ) =
60
εr
ln
⎡ 1.9 (B ) ⎤
⎢⎣ (0.8W + T )⎥⎦ .
Eq. 12.7
Here, all dimensions are again in mils, and B is the spacing between the two planes. In
this symmetric geometry, note that B is also equal to 2H + T. Reference 17 indicates that
the accuracy of this Reference 16 equation is typically on the order of 6%.
Another handy guideline for the symmetric stripline in an εr = 4.0 case is to make B a
multiple of W, in the range of 2 to 2.2. This will result in an stripline impedance of about
50 Ω. Of course this rule is based on a further approximation, by neglecting T.
Nevertheless, it is still useful for ballpark estimates.
12.40
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
The symmetric stripline also has a characteristic capacitance, which can be calculated in
terms of pF/in:
C o (pF/in ) =
1.41 (ε r )
ln [3.81H (0.8W + T )]
Eq. 12-8
The propagation delay of the symmetric stripline is shown in Eq. 12-9.
t pd (ns/ft ) = 1.017 ε r
Eq. 12-9
or, in terms of ps:
t pd (ps/in ) = 85 ε r
Eq. 12-10
For a PCB dielectric constant of 4.0, it can be noted that the symmetric stripline’s delay
constant is almost exactly 2 ns/ft, or 170 ps/in.
12-41
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Some Pros and Cons of Embedding Traces
The above discussions allow the design of PCB traces of defined impedance, either on a
surface layer or embedded between layers. There of course are many other considerations
beyond these impedance issues.
Embedded signals do have one major and obvious disadvantage—the debugging of the
hidden circuit traces is difficult to impossible. Some of the pros and cons of embedded
signal traces are summarized in Figure 12.38.
NOT EMBEDDED
EMBEDDED
Route
Power
Power
Route
Ground
Route
Route
Ground
„ Advantages
Signal traces shielded and protected
Lower impedance, thus lower emissions and crosstalk
Significant improvement > 50MHz
„ Disadvantages
Difficult prototyping and troubleshooting
Decoupling may be more difficult
Impedance may be too low for easy matching
Figure 12.38: The Pros and Cons of Not Embedding vs. Embedding of Signal
Traces in Multilayer PCB Designs
Multilayer PCBs can be designed without the use of embedded traces, as is shown in the
left-most cross-sectional example. This embedded case could be considered as a doubled
two layer PCB design (i.e., four copper layers overall). The routed traces at the top form a
microstrip with the power plane, while the traces at the bottom form a microstrip with the
ground plane. In this example, the signal traces of both outer layers are readily accessible
for measurement and troubleshooting purposes. But, the arrangement does nothing to
take advantage of the shielding properties of the planes.
This nonembedded arrangement will have greater emissions and susceptibility to external
signals, vis-à-vis the embedded case at the right, which uses the embedding, and does
take full advantage of the planes. As in many other engineering efforts, the decision of
embedded vs. nonembedded for the PCB design becomes a tradeoff, in this case one of
reduced emissions vs. ease of testing.
12.42
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
Dealing with High Speed Logic
Much has been written about terminating PCB traces in their characteristic impedance, to
avoid signal reflections. A good guideline to determine when this is necessary is as
follows: Terminate the transmission line in its characteristic impedance when the oneway propagation delay of the PCB track is equal to or greater than one-half the applied
signal rise/fall time (whichever edge is faster). For example, a 2 inch microstrip line over
an Er = 4.0 dielectric would have a delay of ~270 ps. Using the above rule strictly,
termination would be appropriate whenever the signal rise time is < ~500 ps. A more
conservative rule is to use a 2 inch (PCB track length)/nanosecond (rise/fall time) rule. If
the signal trace exceeds this trace-length/speed criterion, then termination should be used.
For example, PCB tracks for high speed logic with rise/fall time of 5 ns should be
terminated in their characteristic impedance if the track length is equal to or greater than
10 inches (where measured length includes meanders).
As an example of what can be expected today in modern systems, Figure 12.39 shows
typical rise/fall times for several logic families including the SHARC DSPs operating on
+3.3V supplies. As would be expected, the rise/fall times are a function of load
capacitance.
‹ GaAs: 0.1ns
‹ ECL: 0.75n s
‹ ADI SHARC DSPs: 0.5ns TO 1n s (OPERATING ON +3.3V SUPPLY)
ASDP-21060l
SHARC:
RISE AND FALL TIMES – n s (10%–90%)
18
16
14
Y = 0.0796X + 1.17
12
10
RIS E T IME
8
6
Y = 0.0467X + 0.55
4
F A L L T IME
2
0
0
20
40
60
80
1 00 1 20
1 40 1 60 1 80 2 00
LOAD CAPACITANCE – p F
Figure 12.39: Typical DSP Output Rise Times and Fall Times
In the analog domain, it is important to note that this same 2 inch/nanosecond rule of
thumb should also be used with op amps and other circuits, to determine the need for
transmission line techniques. For instance, if an amplifier must output a maximum
frequency of fmax, then the equivalent rise time tr is related to this fmax. This limiting rise
time, tr, can be calculated as:
Eq. 12-11
tr = 0.35/fmax
12-43
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
The maximum PCB track length is then calculated by multiplying tr by
2 inch/nanosecond. For example, a maximum frequency of 100 MHz corresponds to a
rise time of 3.5 ns, so a 7-inch or more track carrying this signal should be treated as a
transmission line.
The best ways to keep sensitive analog circuits from being affected by fast logic are to
physically separate the two by the PCB layout, and to use no faster logic family than is
dictated by system requirements. In some cases, this may require the use of several logic
families in a system. An alternative is to use series resistance or ferrite beads to slow
down the logic transitions where highest speed isn't required. Figure 12.40 shows two
methods.
LOGIC
GATE
R
< 2 inches
LOGIC
GATE
CIN
Risetime = 2.2 R·CIN
> 2 inches
LOGIC
GATE
R
C
LOGIC
GATE
CIN
Risetime = 2.2 R·(C + CIN)
Figure 12.40: Damping Resistors Slow Down Fast Logic Edges to
Minimize EMI/RFI Problems
In the first, the series resistance and the input capacitance of the gate form a low-pass
filter. Typical CMOS input capacitance is 5 pF to10 pF. Locate the series resistor close to
the driving gate. The resistor minimizes transient currents and may eliminate the
necessity of using transmission line techniques. The value of the resistor should be
chosen such that the rise and fall times at the receiving gate are fast enough to meet
system requirement, but no faster. Also, make sure that the resistor is not so large that the
logic levels at the receiver are out of specification because of the voltage drop caused by
the source and sink current which flow through the resistor. The second method is
suitable for longer distances (>2 inches), where additional capacitance is added to slow
down the edge speed. Notice that either one of these techniques increases delay and
increases the rise/fall time of the original signal. This must be considered with respect to
the overall timing budget, and the additional delay may not be acceptable.
12.44
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
Figure 12.41 shows a situation where several DSPs must connect to a single point, as
would be the case when using read or write strobes bidirectionally connected from
several DSPs. Small damping resistors shown in Figure 12.41A can minimize ringing
provided the length of separation is less than about 2 inches. This method will also
increase rise/fall times and propagation delay. If two groups of processors must be
connected, a single resistor between the pairs of processors as shown in Figure 12.41B
can serve to damp out ringing.
A
STAR CONNECTION
DAMPING RESISTORS
SHARC
DSP
USE FOR RD, WR
STROBES
SHARC
DSP
<2"
10Ω
EACH
SHARC
DSP
SHARC
DSP
NOTE: THESE TECHNIQUES
INCR EASE RISE/FALL TIMES
AND PROPAGATION DELAY
B
SHARC
DSP
SINGLE DAMPLING
RESISTOR BETWEEN
PROCESS OR GROUPS
<2"
SHARC
DSP
20Ω
SHARC
DSP
SHARC
DSP
Figure 12.41: Series Damping Resistors for High Speed DSP Interconnections
The only way to preserve 1 ns or less rise/fall times over distances greater than about
2 inches without ringing is to use transmission line techniques. Figure 12.42 shows two
popular methods of termination: end termination and source termination. The end
termination method (Figure 12.42A) terminates the cable at its terminating point in the
characteristic impedance of the microstrip transmission line. Although higher impedances
can be used, 50 Ω is popular because it minimizes the effects of the termination
impedance mismatch due to the input capacitance of the terminating gate (usually 5 pF to
10 pF).
In Figure 12.42A, the cable is terminated in a Thevenin impedance of 50 Ω terminated to
+1.4 V (the midpoint of the input logic threshold of 0.8 V and 2.0 V). This requires two
resistors (91 Ω and 120 Ω), which add about 50 mW to the total quiescent power
dissipation to the circuit. Figure 12.42A also shows the resistor values for terminating
with a +5 V supply (68 Ω and 180 Ω). Note that 3.3-V logic is much more desirable in
line driver applications because of its symmetrical voltage swing, faster speed, and lower
power. Drivers are available with less than 0.5 ns time skew, source, and sink current
12-45
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
capability greater than 25 mA, and rise/fall times of about 1 ns. Switching noise
generated by 3.3 V logic is generally less than 5 V logic because of the reduced signal
swings and lower transient currents.
„
„
A
TYPICAL DRIVERS:
74FCT3807/A (IDT)
74ACTQ240 (Fairchild)
ZO = 50Ω
+1.4V
+3.3V
+5.0V
120Ω
30mW
180Ω
72mW
+1.4V
68Ω
29mW
91Ω
22mW
GROUND PLANE
B
END TERMINATION
ZO ≈ 10Ω
SOURCE TERMINATION
39Ω
RULE OF THUMB:
ZO = 50Ω
USE TRANSMISSION LINE IF DISTANCE IS
MORE THAN 2"/ns OF LOGIC RISE/FALL TIME
50Ω PC BOARD TRANSMISSION LINE DELAY
≈ 1ns / 7"
Figure 12.42: Termination Techniques for Controlled
Impedance Microstrip Transmission Lines
The source termination method, shown in Figure 12.42B, absorbs the reflected waveform
with an impedance equal to that of the transmission line. This requires about 39 Ω in
series with the internal output impedance of the driver, which is generally about 10 Ω.
This technique requires that the end of the transmission line be terminated in an open
circuit, therefore no additional fanout is allowed. The source termination method adds no
additional quiescent power dissipation to the circuit.
Figure 12.43 shows a method for distributing a high speed clock to several devices. The
problem with this approach is that there is a small amount of time skew between the
clocks because of the propagation delay of the microstrip line (approximately 1 ns /7").
This time skew may be critical in some applications. It is important to keep the stub
length to each device less than 0.5" in order to prevent mismatches along the transmission
line.
The clock distribution method shown in Figure 12.44 minimizes the clock skew to the
receiving devices by using source terminations and making certain the length of each
microstrip line is equal. There is no extra quiescent power dissipation as would be the
case using end termination resistors.
12.46
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
Figure 12.45 shows how source terminations can be used in bidirectional link port
transmissions between SHARC DSPs. The output impedance of the SHARC driver is
approximately 17 Ω, and therefore a 33 Ω series resistor is required on each end of the
transmission line for proper source termination.
The method shown in Figure 12.46 can be used for bidirectional transmission of signals
from several sources over a relatively long transmission line. In this case, the line is
terminated at both ends, resulting in a dc load impedance of 25 Ω. SHARC drivers are
capable of driving this load to valid logic levels.
+3.3V
TRANSMISSION LINE ZO = 50Ω
CLOCK
+1.4V
120Ω
30mW
91Ω
22mW
SHARC
DSP
SHARC
DSP
SHARC
DSP
50Ω PC BOARD TRANSMISSION LINE DELAY ≈ 1ns / 7"
NOTE: KEEP STUB LENGTH < 0.5"
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR SYNCHRONIZED SHARC OPERATION!
Figure 12.43: Clock Distribution Using End-of-Line Termination
ZO ≈ 10Ω
39Ω
*
> 4"
ZO = 50Ω
SHARC
DSP
ZO = 50Ω
SHARC
DSP
ZO = 50Ω
SHARC
DSP
ZO ≈ 10Ω
39Ω
CLOCK
*
ZO ≈ 10Ω
* Same
Package
39Ω
*
Figure 12.44: Preferred Method of Clock Distribution
Using Source Terminated Transmission Lines
12-47
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
ADSP-2106x
ADSP-2106x
OFF
LENGTH > 6"
33Ω
ZO = 50Ω
33Ω
ON
ZO ≈ 17Ω
LINK PORT
TRANSMITTER
LINK PORT
RECEIVER
Figure 12.45: Source Termination for Biirectional
Transmission Between SHARC DSPs
SHARC
DSP
SHARC
DSP
SHARC
DSP
+3.3V
+3.3V
120Ω
30mW
ZO = 50Ω
+1.4V
LENGTH > 10"
91Ω
22mW
120Ω
30mW
91Ω
22mW
SHARC
DSP
SHARC
DSP
SHARC
DSP
NOTE: KEEP STUB LENGTH < 0.5"
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CLOCKS IN SYNCHRONIZED SHARC OPERATION!
Figure 12.46: Single Transmission Line Terminated at Both Ends
Emitter-coupled-logic (ECL) has long been known for low noise and its ability to drive
terminated transmission lines with rise/fall times less than 2 ns. The family presents a
constant load to the power supply, and the low level differential outputs provide a high
degree of common-mode rejection. However, ECL dissipates lots of power.
12.48
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS)
Recently, low-voltage-differential-signaling (LVDS) logic has attained widespread
popularity because of similar characteristics, but with lower amplitudes and lower power
dissipation than ECL. The defining LVDS specification can be found in the References.
The LVDS logic swing is typically 350 mV peak-to-peak centered about a commonmode voltage of +1.2 V. A typical driver and receiver configuration is shown in
Figure 12.47. The driver consists of a nominal 3.5 mA current source with polarity
switching provided by PMOS and NMOS transistors as in the case of the AD9430 12-bit,
170-MSPS/210-MSPS ADC. The output voltage of the driver is nominally 350 mV peakto-peak at each output, and can vary between 247 mV and 454 mV. The output current
can vary between 2.47 mA and 4.54 mA. The LVDS receiver is terminated in a 100 Ω
line-to-line. According to the LVDS specification, the receiver must respond to signals as
small as 100 mV, over a common-mode voltage range of 50 mV to +2.35 V. The wide
common-mode receiver voltage range is to accommodate ground voltage differences up
to ±1 V between the driver and receiver.
AD9430 OUTPUT DRIVER
+3.3V)
(3.5mA)
V+
V–
V–
V+
+1.2V
3.5kΩ 3.5kΩ
(3.5mA)
Figure 12.47: LVDS Driver and Receiver
The LVDS edge speed is defined as the 20% to 90% rise/fall time (as opposed to 10% to
90% for CMOS logic) and specified to be less than < 0.3 tui, where tui is the inverse of the
data signaling rate. For a 210 MSPS sampling rate, tui = 4.76 ns, and the 20% to 80%
rise/fall time must be less than 0.3 × 4.76 = 1.43 ns. For the AD9430, the rise/fall time is
nominally 0.5 ns.
12-49
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
LVDS outputs for high performance ADCs should be treated differently than standard
LVDS outputs used in digital logic. While standard LVDS can drive 1 meter to 10 meters
in high speed digital applications (dependent on data rate), it is not recommended to let a
high performance ADC drive that distance. It is recommended to keep the output trace
lengths short (< 2 in.), minimizing the opportunity for any noise coupling onto the
outputs from the adjacent circuitry, which may get back to the analog inputs. The
differential output traces should be routed close together, maximizing common-mode
rejection, with the 100 Ω termination resistor close to the receiver. Users should pay
attention to PCB trace lengths to minimize any delay skew. A typical differential
microstrip PCB trace cross section is shown in Figure 12.48 along with some
recommended layout guidelines.
‹
‹
‹
‹
‹
‹
Keep TW, TS, and D constant over the trace length
Keep TS ~ < 2TW
Avoid use of vias if possible
Keep D > 2TS
Avoid 90° bends if possible
Design TW and TG for ~ 50Ω
Figure 12.48: Microstrip PCB Layout for Two Pairs of LVDS Signals
LVDS also offers some benefits in reduced EMI. The EMI fields generated by the
opposing LVDS currents tend to cancel each other (for matched edge rates). In high
speed ADCs, LVDS offers simpler timing constraints compared to demultiplexed CMOS
outputs at similar data rates. A demultiplexed data bus requires a synchronization signal
that is not required in LVDS. In demuxed CMOS buses, a clock equal to one-half the
ADC sample rate is needed, adding cost and complexity, that is not required in LVDS.
12.50
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
TRACES
References:
PC BOARD DESIGN ISSUES
1.
W. Doeling, W. Mark, T. Tadewald, and P. Reichenbacher, "Getting Rid of Hook: The Hidden
PC-Board Capacitance," Electronics, October 12, 1978, p 111-117.
2.
Alan Rich, "Shielding and Guarding," Analog Dialogue, Vol. 17 N0. 1, 1983, pp. 8.
3.
Ralph Morrison, Grounding and Shielding Techniques, 4th Edition, John Wiley, Inc., 1998,
ISBN: 0471245186.
4.
Henry W. Ott, Noise Reduction Techniques in Electronic Systems, 2nd Edition, John Wiley, Inc.,
1988, ISBN: 0-471-85068-3.
5.
Paul Brokaw, "An IC Amplifier User's Guide to Decoupling, Grounding and Making Things Go Right
for a Change," Analog Devices AN202.
6.
Paul Brokaw, "Analog Signal-Handling for High Speed and Accuracy," Analog Devices AN342.
7.
Paul Brokaw and Jeff Barrow, "Grounding for Low- and High-Frequency Circuits," Analog Devices
AN345.
8.
Jeff Barrow, "Avoiding Ground Problems in High Speed Circuits," RF Design, July 1989.
9.
B. I. & B. Bleaney, Electricity & Magnetism, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1957, pp 23, 24, & 52.
10. G. W. A. Dummer, H. Nordenberg, Fixed and Variable Capacitors, McGraw-Hill, 1960, pp 11-13.
11. William C. Rempfer, Get All the Fast ADC Bits You Pay For, Electronic Design, Special Analog
Issue, June 24, 1996, p.44.
12. Mark Sauerwald, Keeping Analog Signals Pure in a Hostile Digital World, Electronic Design, Special
Analog Issue, June 24, 1996, p.57.
13. Jerald Grame and Bonnie Baker, Design Equations Help Optimize Supply Bypassing for Op Amps,
Electronic Design, Special Analog Issue, June 24, 1996, p.9.
14. Jerald Grame and Bonnie Baker, Fast Op Amps Demand More Than a Single-Capacitor Bypass,
Electronic Design, Special Analog Issue, November 18, 1996, p.9.
15. Walt Kester and James Bryant, Grounding in High Speed Systems, High Speed Design Techniques,
Analog Devices, 1996, Chapter 7, p. 7-27.
16. Jeffrey S. Pattavina, Bypassing PC Boards: Thumb Your Nose at Rules of Thumb, EDN, Oct. 22, 1998,
p.149.
17. Howard W. Johnson and Martin Graham, High-Speed Digital Design, PTR Prentice Hall, 1993,
ISBN: 0133957241.
18. Walt Kester, A Grounding Philosophy for Mixed-Signal Systems, Electronic Design Analog
Applications Issue, June 23, 1997, p. 29.
19. Ralph Morrison, Solving Interference Problems in Electronics, John Wiley, 1995.
20. C. D. Motchenbacher and J. A. Connelly, Low Noise Electronic System Design, John Wiley, 1993.
12-51
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
21. Crystal Oscillators: MF Electronics, 10 Commerce Drive, New Rochelle, NY, 10801, 914-576-6570.
22. Crystal Oscillators: Wenzel Associates, Inc., 2215 Kramer Lane, Austin, Texas USA 78758,
512-835-2038, http://www.wenzel.com.
23. Mark Montrose, EMC and the Printed Circuit Board, IEEE Press, 1999 (IEEE Order Number
PC5756).
12.52
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
GROUNDING
SECTION 3: GROUNDING
In this section we discuss grounding. This is undoubtedly one of the most difficult
subjects in system design. While the basic concepts are relatively simple, implementation
is very involved.
For linear systems the ground is the reference against which we base our signal.
Unfortunately, it has also become the return path for the power supply current in unipolar
supply systems. Improper application of grounding strategies can destroy high accuracy
linear system performance.
Grounding is an issue for all analog designs, and it can be said that implementing a PCB
based circuit doesn’t change the fact that proper implementation is essential. Fortunately,
certain principles of quality grounding, namely the use of ground planes, are intrinsic to
the PCB environment. This factor is one of the more significant advantages to PCB based
analog designs, and appreciable discussion of this section is focused on this issue.
Some other aspects of grounding that must be managed include the control of spurious
ground and signal return voltages that can degrade performance. These voltages can be
due to external signal coupling, common currents, or simply excessive IR drops in
ground conductors. Proper conductor routing and sizing, as well as differential signal
handling and ground isolation techniques enable control of such parasitic voltages.
One final area of grounding to be discussed is grounding appropriate for a mixed-signal,
analog/digital environment. Indeed, the single issue of quality grounding can influence
the entire layout philosophy of a high performance mixed signal PCB design—as it well
should.
Today's signal processing systems generally require mixed-signal devices such as analogto-digital converters (ADCs) and digital-to-analog converters (DACs) as well as fast
digital signal processors (DSPs). Requirements for processing analog signals having wide
dynamic ranges increase the importance of high performance ADCs and DACs.
Maintaining wide dynamic range with low noise in hostile digital environments is
dependent upon using good high speed circuit design techniques, including proper signal
routing, decoupling, and grounding.
In the past, “high precision, low speed" circuits have generally been viewed differently
than so-called "high speed" circuits. With respect to ADCs and DACs, the sampling (or
update) frequency has generally been used as the distinguishing speed criteria. However,
the following two examples show that in practice, most of today's signal processing ICs
are really "high speed," and must therefore be treated as such in order to maintain high
performance. This is certainly true of DSPs, and also true of ADCs and DACs.
All sampling ADCs (ADCs with an internal sample-and-hold circuit) suitable for signal
processing applications operate with relatively high speed clocks with fast rise and fall
times (generally a few nanoseconds) and must be treated as high speed devices, even
though throughput rates may appear low. For example, a medium speed 12-bit successive
12-53
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
approximation (SAR) ADC may operate on 10-MHz internal clock, while the sampling
rate is only 500 kSPS.
Sigma-delta (Σ-Δ) ADCs also require high speed clocks because of their high
oversampling ratios. Even high resolution, so-called "low frequency" Σ-Δ industrial
measurement ADCs (having throughputs of 10 Hz to 7.5 kHz) operate on 5-MHz or
higher clocks and offer resolution to 24-bits (for example, the Analog Devices AD77xxseries).
To further complicate the issue, mixed-signal ICs have both analog and digital ports, and
because of this, much confusion has resulted with respect to proper grounding techniques.
In addition, some mixed-signal ICs have relatively low digital currents, while others have
high digital currents. In many cases, these two types must be treated differently with
respect to optimum grounding.
Digital and analog design engineers tend to view mixed-signal devices from different
perspectives, and the purpose of this section is to develop a general grounding philosophy
that will work for most mixed signal devices, without having to know the specific details
of their internal circuits.
From the previous discussion it should be clear that the issue of grounding can not be
handled in a “cookbook” approach. Unfortunately we can not give a list of things to do
that will guarantee success. We can say that there are certain things that if they aren’t
done will probably lead do difficulties. And, what works in one frequency range may not
necessarily work in another frequency range. And, often, there are competing
requirements. The best way to handle grounding is to understand how the currents flow.
Star Ground
The "star" ground philosophy builds on the theory that there is one single ground point in
a circuit to which all voltages are referred. This is known as the star ground point. It can
be better understood by a visual analogy—the multiple conductors extending radially
from the common schematic ground resemble a star. Note that the star point need not
look like a star—it may be a point on a ground plane—but the key feature of the star
ground system is that all voltages are measured with respect to a particular point in the
ground network, not just to an undefined "ground" (i.e., wherever one can clip a probe).
This star grounding philosophy is reasonable theoretically, but is difficult to implement
practically. For example, if we design a star ground system, drawing out all signal paths
to minimize signal interaction and the effects of high impedance signal or ground paths,
we often find implementation problems. When the power supplies are added to the circuit
diagram, they either add unwanted ground paths, or their supply currents flowing in the
existing ground paths are sufficiently so large, or noisy (or both) so as to corrupt the
signal transmission. This particular problem can often be avoided by having separate
power supplies (and thus separate ground returns) for the various circuit portions. For
example, separate analog and digital supplies with separate analog and digital grounds,
joined at the star point, are common in mixed signal applications.
12.54
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
GROUNDING
Separate Analog and Digital Grounds
As a fact of life, digital circuitry is noisy. Saturating logic, such as TTL and CMOS,
draws large, fast current spikes from its supply during switching. However, logic stages,
with hundreds of millivolts (or more) of noise immunity, usually have little need for high
levels of supply decoupling.
On the other hand, analog circuitry is quite vulnerable to noise on both power supply rails
and grounds. So, it is very sensible to separate analog and digital circuitry, to prevent
digital noise from corrupting analog performance. Such separation involves separation of
both ground returns and power rails, which is inconvenient in a mixed signal system.
Nevertheless, if a mixed signal system is to deliver full performance capability, it is often
essential to have separate analog and digital grounds, and separate power supplies. The
fact that some analog circuitry will "operate" (i.e., function) from a single +5 V supply
does not mean that it may optimally be operated from the same noisy +5 V supply as the
microprocessor and dynamic RAM, the electric fan, and other high current devices! What
is required is that the analog portion operate with full performance from such a low
voltage supply, not just be functional. This distinction will by necessity require quite
careful attention to both the supply rails and the ground interfacing.
Note that analog and digital ground in a system must be joined at some point (the star
ground concept), to allow signals to be referred to a common potential. This star point, or
analog/digital common point, is chosen so that it does not introduce digital currents into
the ground of the analog part of the system—it is often convenient to make the
connection at the power supplies.
Note also that many ADCs and DACs have separate analog ground (AGND) and digital
ground (DGND) pins. On the device data sheets, users are often advised to connect these
pins together at the package. This seems to conflict with the advice to connect analog and
digital ground at the power supplies, and, in systems with more than one converter, with
the advice to join the analog and digital ground at a single point.
There is, in fact, no conflict. The labels "analog ground" and "digital ground" on these
pins refer to the internal parts of the converter to which the pins are connected, and not to
the system grounds to which they must go. For example, with an ADC, generally these
two pins should be joined together and to the analog ground of the system. It is not
possible to join the two pins within the IC package, because the analog part of the
converter cannot tolerate the voltage drop resulting from the digital current flowing in the
bond wire to the chip. But they can be so tied, externally.
Figure 12.49 illustrates this concept of ground connections for an ADC. If these pins are
connected in this way, the digital noise immunity of the converter is diminished
somewhat, by the amount of common-mode noise between the digital and analog system
grounds. However, since digital noise immunity is of the order of hundreds or thousands
of millivolts, this factor is unlikely to be important.
12-55
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
The analog noise immunity is diminished only by the external digital currents of the
converter itself flowing in the analog ground. These currents should be kept quite small,
and this can be minimized by ensuring that the converter outputs don’t see heavy loads. A
good solution towards this is to use a low input current buffer at the ADC output, such as
a CMOS buffer-register IC.
R
+VS
DIGITAL OUTPUTS
EXTERNAL DIGITAL
CURRENT RETURNS
THROUGH LOW
IMPEDANCE AGND
CONVERTER
AGND
INTERNAL
DIGITAL
CURRENT
DGND
SYSTEM
ANALOG
GROUND
Figure 12.49: Analog (AGND) and Digital Ground (DGND) Pins of a Data
Converter Should Be Returned to System Analog Ground
If the logic supply to the converter is isolated with a small resistance and decoupled to
analog ground with a local 0.1 µF capacitor, all the fast-edge digital currents of the
converter will return to ground through the capacitor, and will not appear in the external
ground circuit. If the analog ground impedance is maintained low, as it should be for
adequate analog performance, additional noise due to the external digital ground current
should rarely present a problem.
Ground Planes
Related to the star ground system discussed earlier is the use of a ground plane. To
implement a ground plane, one side of a double-sided PCB (or one layer of a multilayer
one) is made of continuous copper and used as ground. The theory behind this is that the
large amount of metal will have as low a resistance as is possible. It will, because of the
large flattened conductor pattern, also have as low an inductance as possible. It then
offers the best possible conduction, in terms of minimizing spurious ground difference
voltages across the conducting plane.
Note that ground plane concept can also be extended to include voltage planes. A voltage
plane offers advantages similar to a ground plane, i.e., a very low impedance conductor,
12.56
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
GROUNDING
but is dedicated to a one (or more) of the system supply voltages. Thus a system can have
more than one voltage plane, as well as a ground plane.
While ground planes solve many ground impedance problems, it should still be
understood they aren’t a panacea. Even a continuous sheet of copper foil has residual
resistance and inductance, and in some circumstances, these can be enough to prevent
proper circuit function. Designers should be wary of injecting very high currents in a
ground plane, as they can produce voltage drops that interfere with sensitive circuitry.
The importance of maintaining a low impedance large area ground plane is critical to all
analog circuits today. The ground plane not only acts as a low impedance return path for
decoupling high frequency currents (caused by fast digital logic) but also minimizes
EMI/RFI emissions. Because of the shielding action of the ground plane, the circuit’s
susceptibility to external EMI/RFI is also reduced.
Ground planes also allow the transmission of high speed digital or analog signals using
transmission line techniques (microstrip or stripline) where controlled impedances are
required.
The use of "buss wire" is totally unacceptable as a ground because of its impedance at the
equivalent frequency of most logic transitions. For instance, #22 gauge wire has about
20 nH/inch inductance. A transient current having a slew rate of 10 mA/ns created by a
logic signal would develop an unwanted voltage drop of 200 mV at this frequency
flowing through 1 inch of this wire:
Δv = L
10 mA
Δi
= 20 nH * ns = 200 mV
Δt
Eq. 12-12
For a signal having a 2 V peak-to-peak range, this translates into an error of about
200 mV, or 10% (approximate 3.5-bit accuracy). Even in all-digital circuits, this error
would result in considerable degradation of logic noise margins.
Figure 12.50 shows an illustration of a situation where the digital return current
modulates the analog return current (top figure). The ground return wire inductance and
resistance is shared between the analog and digital circuits, and this is what causes the
interaction and resulting error. A possible solution is to make the digital return current
path flow directly to the GND REF as shown in the bottom figure. This is the
fundamental concept of a "star," or single-point ground system. Implementing the true
single-point ground in a system which contains multiple high frequency return paths is
difficult because the physical length of the individual return current wires will introduce
parasitic resistance and inductance which can make obtaining a low impedance high
frequency ground difficult. In practice, the current returns must consist of large area
ground planes for low impedance to high frequency currents. Without a low impedance
ground plane, it is therefore almost impossible to avoid these shared impedances,
especially at high frequencies.
12-57
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
ID
IA
+
VD
INCORRECT
+
VA
ANALOG
CIRCUITS
VIN
GND
REF
I A + ID
DIGITAL
CIRCUITS
ID
ID
IA
+
VD
+
VA
GND
REF
VIN
CORRECT
ANALOG
CIRCUITS
DIGITAL
CIRCUITS
IA
ID
Figure 12.50: Digital Currents Flowing in Analog Return Path Create Error
Voltages
All integrated circuit ground pins should be soldered directly to the low impedance
ground plane to minimize series inductance and resistance. The use of traditional IC
sockets is not recommended with high speed devices. The extra inductance and
capacitance of even "low profile" sockets may corrupt the device performance by
introducing unwanted shared paths. If sockets must be used with DIP packages, as in
prototyping, individual "pin sockets" or "cage jacks" may be acceptable. Both capped and
uncapped versions of these pin sockets are available (AMP part numbers 5-330808-3, and
5-330808-6). They have spring-loaded gold contacts which make good electrical and
mechanical connection to the IC pins. Multiple insertions, however, may degrade their
performance.
Power supply pins should be decoupled directly to the ground plane using low inductance
ceramic surface mount capacitors. If through hole mounted ceramic capacitors must be
used, their leads should be less than 1 mm. The ceramic capacitors should be located as
close as possible to the IC power pins. Ferrite beads may also be required for additional
decoupling.
So, the more ground the better—right? Ground planes solve many ground impedance
problems, but not all. Even a continuous sheet of copper foil has residual resistance and
inductance, and in some circumstances, they can be enough to prevent proper circuit
function. Figure 12.51 shows such a problem—and a possible solution.
12.58
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
GROUNDING
Figure 12.51: A Slit in the Ground Plane Can Reconfigure Current Flow
for Better Accuracy
Consider the application in Fig. 12.51. Due to the realities of the mechanical design, the
connector, which has power input is on one side and the power output section, which
needs to be near the heat sinking, which, in turn, needs to be on the other side of the
board. The board has a ground-plane 100 mm wide and a power amplifier draws 15 A. If
the ground plane is 0.038 mm thick and 15 A flows in it, there will be a voltage drop of
68 µV/mm. This voltage drop would cause quite serious problems to any groundreferenced precision circuitry sharing the PCB. We can slit the ground plane so that high
current does not flow in the region of the precision circuitry, instead forcing it to flow
around the slit. This can possibly solve the problem (which in this case it did)—even
though the voltage gradient will increase in those parts of the ground plane where the
current does flow.
12-59
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Grounding and Decoupling Mixed-Signal ICs with Low Digital
Currents
Sensitive analog components such as amplifiers and voltage references are always
referenced and decoupled to the analog ground plane. The ADCs and DACs (and other
mixed-signal ICs) with low digital currents should generally be treated as analog
components and also grounded and decoupled to the analog ground plane. At first
glance, this may seem somewhat contradictory, since a converter has an analog and
digital interface and usually has pins designated as analog ground (AGND) and digital
ground (DGND). The diagram shown in Figure 12.52 will help to explain this seeming
dilemma.
VA
VD
FERRITE BEAD
A
LP
LP
CSTRAY
RP
AIN/
OUT
ANALOG
CIRCUITS
LP
R
B
CSTRAY
IA
ID
AGND
A
SEE
TEXT
RP
DIGITAL
CIRCUITS DATA
A
RP
D
VD
VA
SHORT
CONNECTIONS
BUFFER
GATE OR
REGISTER
DATA
BUS
CIN ≈ 10pF
RP
LP
DGND
A
A = ANALOG GROUND PLANE
VNOISE
D
D = DIGITAL GROUND PLANE
Figure 12.52: Proper Grounding of Mixed-signal ICs
with Low Internal Digital Currents
Inside an IC that has both analog and digital circuits, such as an ADC or a DAC, the
grounds are usually kept separate to avoid coupling digital signals into the analog
circuits. Figure 12.52 shows a simple model of a converter. There is nothing the IC
designer can do about the wirebond inductance and resistance associated with connecting
the bond pads on the chip to the package pins except to realize it's there. The rapidly
changing digital currents produce a voltage at point B which will inevitably couple into
point A of the analog circuits through the stray capacitance, CSTRAY. In addition, there
is approximately 0.2 pF unavoidable stray capacitance between every pin of the IC
package! It's the IC designer's job to make the chip work in spite of this. However, in
order to prevent further coupling, the AGND and DGND pins should be joined together
12.60
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
GROUNDING
externally to the analog ground plane with minimum lead lengths. Any extra impedance
in the DGND connection will cause more digital noise to be developed at point B; it will,
in turn, couple more digital noise into the analog circuit through the stray capacitance.
Note that connecting DGND to the digital ground plane applies VNOISE across the
AGND and DGND pins and invites disaster!
The name "DGND" on an IC tells us that this pin connects to the digital ground of the IC.
This does not imply that this pin must be connected to the digital ground of the system. It
could correctly be referred to as “Digital Return.”
It is true that this arrangement may inject a small amount of digital noise onto the analog
ground plane. These currents should be quite small, and can be minimized by ensuring
that the converter output does not drive a large fanout (they normally can't, by design).
Minimizing the fanout (which, in turn, means lower currents) on the converter's digital
port will also keep the converter logic transitions relatively free from ringing and
minimize digital switching currents, and thereby reducing any potential coupling into the
analog port of the converter. The logic supply pin (VD) can be further isolated from the
analog supply by the insertion of a small lossy ferrite bead as shown in Figure 12.32. The
internal transient digital currents of the converter will flow in the small loop from VD
through the decoupling capacitor and to DGND (this path is shown with a heavy line on
the diagram). The transient digital currents will therefore not appear on the external
analog ground plane, but are confined to the loop. The VD pin decoupling capacitor
should be mounted as close to the converter as possible to minimize parasitic inductance.
These decoupling capacitors should be low inductance ceramic types, typically between
0.01 µF and 0.1 µF.
Again, not one grounding scheme will be appropriate for all applications. But by
understanding the options and planning ahead problems will be minimized.
12-61
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Treat the ADC Digital Outputs with Care
It is always a good idea (as shown in Figure 12.52) to place a buffer register adjacent to
the converter to isolate the converter's digital lines from noise on the data bus. The
register also serves to minimize loading on the digital outputs of the converter and acts as
a Faraday shield between the digital outputs and the data bus (See Figure 12.53). Even
though many converters have three-state outputs/inputs, these registers are on the die and
still allow the signals on the data pins to couple into sensitive areas. This isolation
register still represents good design practice. In some cases it may be desirable to add an
additional buffer register on the analog ground plane next to the converter output to
provide greater isolation.
ADC
IC
ANALOG
INPUT
PORT(S)
NOISY
DATA
BUS
Figure 12.53: A High Speed ADC IC Using a Buffer/Latch at the Output Shows
Enhanced Immunity to Digital Data Bus Noise
The series resistors (labeled "R" in Figure 12.53) between the ADC output and the buffer
register input help to minimize the digital transient currents which may affect converter
performance. The resistors isolate the digital output drivers from the capacitance of the
buffer register inputs. In addition, the RC network formed by the series resistor and the
buffer register input capacitance acts as a lowpass filter to slow down the fast edges.
A typical CMOS gate combined with PCB trace and a through hole will create a load of
approximately 10 pF. A logic output slew rate of 1 V/ns will produce 10 mA of dynamic
current if there is no isolation resistor:
ΔI = C
ΔI
.
12.62
1V
Δv
= 10 pF *
= 10 mA
ns
Δt
Eq. 12-13
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
GROUNDING
A 500 Ω series resistors will minimize this output current and result in a rise and fall time
of approximately 11 ns when driving the 10 pF input capacitance of the register:
tr = 22*t = 22*R*C = 22* 500 Ω * 10 pF = 11 ns.
Eq. 12-14
TTL registers should be avoided, since they can appreciably add to the dynamic
switching currents because of their higher input capacitance.
V A FERRITE
VA
VD
BEAD
SEE
TEXT
A
A
VA
VD
D
R
ADC
OR
DAC
AMP
A
VA
AGND
A
R
A
A
SAMPLING
CLOCK
GENERATOR
A
TO OTHER
DIGITAL
CIRCU ITS
DGND
A
VOLTAGE
REFERENCE
BUFFER
GATE
OR
REGISTER
A
D
VA
A
ANALOG
GROUND PLANE
D
DIGITAL
GROUND PLANE
Figure 12.54: Grounding and Decoupling Points
The buffer register and other digital circuits should be grounded and decoupled to the
digital ground plane of the PC board. Notice that any noise between the analog and
digital ground plane reduces the noise margin at the converter digital interface. Since
digital noise immunity is of the orders of hundreds or thousands of millivolts, this is
unlikely to matter. The analog ground plane will generally not be very noisy, but if the
noise on the digital ground plane (relative to the analog ground plane) exceeds a few
hundred millivolts, then steps should be taken to reduce the digital ground plane
impedance, thereby maintaining the digital noise margins at an acceptable level. Under
no circumstances should the voltage between the two ground planes exceed 300 mV, or
the ICs may be damaged.
Separate power supplies for analog and digital circuits are also highly desirable. The
analog supply should be used to power the converter. If the converter has a pin
designated as a digital supply pin (VD), it should either be powered from a separate
analog supply, or filtered as shown in the diagram. All converter power pins should be
decoupled to the analog ground plane, and all logic circuit power pins should be
12-63
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
decoupled to the digital ground plane as shown in Figure 12.54. If the digital power
supply is relatively quiet, it may be possible to use it to supply analog circuits as well, but
be very cautious.
In some cases it may not be possible to connect VD to the analog supply. Some of the
newer, high speed ICs may have their analog circuits powered by +5 V, but the digital
interface powered by +3 V to interface to 3 V logic. In this case, the +3 V pin of the IC
should be decoupled directly to the analog ground plane. It is also advisable to connect a
ferrite bead in series with the power trace that connects the pin to the +3 V digital logic
supply.
The sampling clock generation circuitry should be treated like analog circuitry and also
be grounded and heavily decoupled to the analog ground plane. Phase noise on the
sampling clock produces degradation in system SNR as will be discussed shortly.
Sampling Clock Considerations
In a high performance sampled data system a low phase noise crystal oscillator should be
used to generate the ADC (or DAC) sampling clock because sampling clock jitter
modulates the analog input/output signal and raises the noise and distortion floor. The
sampling clock generator should be isolated from noisy digital circuits and grounded and
decoupled to the analog ground plane, as is true for the op amp and the ADC.
The effect of sampling clock jitter on ADC Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) is given
approximately by the equation:
⎡ 1 ⎤
SNR = 20 log10 ⎢
⎥,
⎢⎣ 2πft j ⎥⎦
Eq. 12-15
where SNR is the SNR of a perfect ADC of infinite resolution where the only source of
noise is that caused by the rms sampling clock jitter, tj. Note that f in the above equation
is the analog input frequency. Just working through a simple example, if tj = 50 ps rms,
f = 100 kHz, then SNR = 90 dB, equivalent to about 15-bits dynamic range.
It should be noted that tj in the above example is the root-sum-square (rss) value of the
external clock jitter and the internal ADC clock jitter (called aperture jitter). However, in
most high performance ADCs, the internal aperture jitter is negligible compared to the
jitter on the sampling clock.
Since degradation in SNR is primarily due to external clock jitter, steps must be taken to
ensure the sampling clock is as noise free as possible and has the lowest possible phase
jitter. This requires that a crystal oscillator be used. There are several manufacturers of
small crystal oscillators with low jitter (less than 5 ps rms) CMOS-compatible outputs.
(For example, MF Electronics, 10 Commerce Dr., New Rochelle, NY 10801,
12.64
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
GROUNDING
Tel. 914-576-6570 and Wenzel Associates, Inc., 2215 Kramer Lane, Austin, Texas 78758
Tel. 512-835-2038).
Ideally, the sampling clock crystal oscillator should be referenced to the analog ground
plane in a split-ground system. However, this is not always possible because of system
constraints. In many cases, the sampling clock must be derived from a higher frequency
multipurpose system clock which is generated on the digital ground plane. It must then
pass from its origin on the digital ground plane to the ADC on the analog ground plane.
Ground noise between the two planes adds directly to the clock signal and will produce
excess jitter. The jitter can cause degradation in the signal-to-noise ratio and also produce
unwanted harmonics.
This can be remedied somewhat by transmitting the sampling clock signal as a
differential signal using either a small RF transformer as shown in Figure 12.55 or a high
speed differential driver and receiver IC. If an active differential driver and receiver are
used, they should be ECL to minimize phase jitter. In a single +5 V supply system, ECL
logic can be connected between ground and +5 V (PECL), and the outputs ac coupled
into the ADC sampling clock input. In either case, the original master system clock must
be generated from a low phase noise crystal oscillator.
DIGITAL GROUND PLANE
VD
VD
LOW PHASE
NOISE
MASTER CLOCK
D
ANALOG GROUND PLANE
SAMPLING
CLOCK
SYSTEM CLOCK
GENERATORS
VD
D
METHOD 1
D
A
VD
DSP OR MICROPROCESSOR
VA
+
SAMPLING
CLOCK
_
METHOD 2
D
SNR = 20 log10
D
1
2π f tj
A
tj = Sampling Clock Jitter
f = Analog Input Frequency
Figure 12.55: Sampling Clock Distribution from
Digital to Analog Ground Planes
12-65
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
The Origins of the Confusion About Mixed-Signal Grounding
Most ADC, DAC, and other mixed-signal device data sheets discuss grounding relative to
a single PCB, usually the manufacturer's own evaluation board. This has been a source of
confusion when trying to apply these principles to multicard or multi-ADC/DAC
systems. The recommendation is usually to split the PCB ground plane into an analog
plane and a digital plane. It is then further recommended that the AGND and DGND pins
of a converter be tied together and that the analog ground plane and digital ground planes
be connected at that same point as shown in Figure 12.56. This essentially creates the
system "star" ground at the mixed-signal device.
All noisy digital currents flow through the digital power supply to the digital ground
plane and back to the digital supply; they are isolated from the sensitive analog portion of
the board. The system star ground occurs where the analog and digital ground planes are
joined together at the mixed signal device. While this approach will generally work in a
simple system with a single PCB and single ADC/DAC, it is not optimum for multicard
mixed-signal systems. In systems having several ADCs or DACs on different PCBs (or
on the same PCB, for that matter), the analog and digital ground planes become
connected at several points, creating the possibility of ground loops and making a singlepoint "star" ground system impossible. For these reasons, this grounding approach is not
recommended for multicard systems, and the approach previously discussed should be
used for mixed-signal ICs with low digital currents.
VD
VA
VA
MIXED
SIGNAL
DEVICE
ANALOG
CIRCU ITS
AGND
SYS TEM
STAR
GROUND
A
VD
DIGITAL
CIRCU ITS
DGND
A
D
ANALOG
GROUND PLANE
A
ANALOG
SUPPLY
D
DIGITAL
GROUND PLANE
D
DIGITAL
SUPPLY
Figure 12.56: Grounding Mixed-Signal ICs: Single PC Board
(Typical Evaluation/Test Board)
12.66
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
GROUNDING
Summary: Grounding Mixed-Signal Devices with Low Digital Currents
in a Multicard System
Figure 12.57 summarizes the approach previously described for grounding a mixed signal
device which has low digital currents. The analog ground plane is not corrupted because
the small digital transient currents flow in the small loop between VD, the decoupling
capacitor, and DGND (shown as a heavy line). The mixed signal device is for all intents
and purposes treated as an analog component. The noise VN between the ground planes
reduces the noise margin at the digital interface but is generally not harmful if kept less
than 300 mV by using a low impedance digital ground plane all the way back to the
system star ground.
VN
VA
MIXED
SIGNAL
DEVICE
AGND
A
VD
FILTER
VA
ANALOG
CIRCU ITS
V N = NOISE BETWEEN
GROUND PLANES
VD
R
BUS
BUFFER
LATCH
DGND
A
A
D
ANALOG
GROUND PLANE
A
DIGITAL
CIRCU ITS
A
D
DIGITAL
GROUND PLANE
D
TO SYSTEM
ANALOG SUPPLY
D
TO SYSTEM
DIGITAL SUPPLY
TO SYSTEM STAR GROUND
Figure 12.57: Grounding Mixed Signal ICs with Low
Internal Digital Currents: Multiple PC Boards
However, mixed-signal devices such as sigma-delta ADCs, codecs, and DSPs with onchip analog functions are becoming more and more digitally intensive. Along with the
additional digital circuitry come larger digital currents and noise. For example, a sigmadelta ADC or DAC contains a complex digital filter which adds considerably to the
digital current in the device. The method previously discussed depends on the decoupling
capacitor between VD and DGND to keep the digital transient currents and isolated in a
small loop. However, if the digital currents are significant enough and have components
at dc or low frequencies, the decoupling capacitor may have to be so large that it is
impractical. Any digital current which flows outside the loop between VD and DGND
12-67
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
must flow through the analog ground plane. This may degrade performance, especially in
high resolution systems.
It is difficult to predict what level of digital current flowing into the analog ground plane
will become unacceptable in a system. All we can do at this point is to suggest an
alternative grounding method which may yield better performance.
Summary: Grounding Mixed-Signal Devices with High Digital Currents
in a Multicard System
An alternative grounding method for a mixed-signal device with high levels of digital
currents is shown in Figure 12.58. The AGND of the mixed signal device is connected to
the analog ground plane, and the DGND of the device is connected to the digital ground
plane. The digital currents are isolated from the analog ground plane, but the noise
between the two ground planes is applied directly between the AGND and DGND pins of
the device. For this method to be successful, the analog and digital circuits within the
mixed signal device must be well isolated. The noise between AGND and DGND pins
must not be large enough to reduce internal noise margins or cause corruption of the
internal analog circuits.
V N = NOISE BETWEEN
GROUND PLANES
VN
VD
VA
BACK-TO-BACK
SCHOTTKY
DIODES
OR
FERRITE
BEAD
(SEE TEXT)
VA
VD
MIXED
SIGNAL
DEVICE
ANALOG
CIRCU ITS
AGND
A
DIGITAL
CIRCU ITS
DGND
A
D
ANALOG
GROUND PLANE
A
TO SYSTEM
ANALOG SUPPLY
A
D
DIGITAL
GROUND PLANE
D
TO SYSTEM STAR GROUND
D
TO SYSTEM
DIGITAL SUPPLY
Figure 12.58: High Digital Currents: Multiple PC Boards
Figure 12.58 shows optional Schottky diodes (back-to-back) or a ferrite bead connecting
the analog and digital ground planes. The Schottky diodes prevent large dc voltages or
low frequency voltage spikes from developing across the two planes. These voltages can
12.68
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
GROUNDING
potentially damage the mixed-signal IC if they exceed 300 mV because they appear
directly between the AGND and DGND pins. As an alternative to the back-to-back
Schottky diodes, a ferrite bead provides a dc connection between the two planes but
isolates them at frequencies above a few MHz where the ferrite bead becomes resistive.
This protects the IC from dc voltages between AGND and DGND, but the dc connection
provided by the ferrite bead can introduce unwanted dc ground loops and may not be
suitable for high resolution systems.
Grounding DSPs with Internal Phase-Locked Loops
As if dealing with mixed-signal ICs with AGND and DGNDs wasn’t enough, DSPs such
as the ADSP-21160 SHARC with internal phase-locked-loops (PLLs) raise issues with
respect to proper grounding. The ADSP-21160 PLL allows the internal core clock
(determines the instruction cycle time) to operate at a user selectable ratio of 2, 3, or 4
times the external clock frequency, CLKIN. The CLKIN rate is the rate at which the
synchronous external ports operate. Although this allows using a lower frequency
external clock, care must be taken with the power and ground connections to the internal
PLL as shown in Figure 12.59.
+3.3V
10Ω
+2.5V
SHORT TRACES
40
0.1µF
0.01µF
46
AV DD
PLL
V DD INT
V DD EXT
X1, X2,
X3, X4
DSP
(ADSP-21160)
CLKIN
AGND
SHORT TRACES
GND
83
DIGITAL GROUND PLANE
Figure 12.59: Grounding DSPs with Internal
Phase-Locked-Loops (PLLs)
In order to prevent internal coupling between digital currents and the PLL, the power and
ground connections to the PLL are brought out separately on pins labeled AVDD and
AGND, respectively. The AVDD +2.5 V supply should be derived from the VDD INT
+2.5 V supply using the filter network as shown. This ensures a relatively noise-free
12-69
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
supply for the internal PLL. The AGND pin of the PLL should be connected to the digital
ground plane of the PC board using a short trace. The decoupling capacitors should be
routed between the AVDD pin and AGND pin using short traces.
Grounding Summary
There is no single grounding method which will guarantee optimum performance 100%
of the time! This section has presented a number of possible options depending upon the
characteristics of the particular mixed signal devices in question. It is helpful, however to
provide for as many options as possible when laying out the initial PC board.
It is mandatory that at least one layer of the PC board be dedicated to ground plane. The
initial board layout should provide for nonoverlapping analog and digital ground planes,
but pads and vias should be provided at several locations for the installation of back-toback Schottky diodes or ferrite beads, if required. Pads and vias should also be provided
so that the analog and digital ground planes can be connected together with jumpers if
required.
The AGND pins of mixed-signal devices should in general always be connected to the
analog ground plane. An exception to this are DSPs which have internal phase-lockedloops (PLLs), such as the ADSP-21160 SHARC. The ground pin for the PLL is labeled
AGND, but should be connected directly to the digital ground plane for the DSP.
Grounding for High-Frequency Operation
The “ground plane” layer is often advocated as the best return for power and signal
currents, while providing a reference node for converters, references, and other
subcircuits. However, even extensive use of a ground plane does not ensure a high quality
ground reference for an ac circuit.
The simple circuit of Figure 12.59, built on a two layer printed circuit board, has an ac
and dc current source on the top layer connected to a via (via 1) at one end and to a
single U-shaped copper trace connected to via 2. Both vias go through the circuit board
and connect to the ground plane. Ideally, the impedance is zero and the voltage appearing
across the current source is also zero.
12.70
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
GROUNDING
VIA 2
SOLID SHEET OF
GROUND-PLANE ON BOTTOM
VIA 1
AC + DC
U SHAPED TOP CONDUCTOR
SCHEMATIC
Figure 12.60: Schematic and Layout of Current Source with U-shaped Trace on
PC Board and Return through Ground Plane.
This simple schematic hardly begins to show the actual subtleties. But an understanding
of how the current flows in the ground plane from via 1 to via 2 makes the realities
apparent and shows how ground noise in high frequency layouts can be avoided.
VIA 2
VIA 1
GROUND-PLANE
ON BACK
DC
DC CURRENT PATH
IN
GND
PLANE
ON TOP TRACE
AREA OF LOOP FOR
CALCULATING INDUCTANCE
Figure 12.61: DC Current Flow for Figure 12.60
The dc current flows in the manner in Figure 12.61, as one might surmise, taking the path
of least resistance from via 1 to via 2. Some current spreading occurs, but little current
flows a substantial distance from this path. In contrast, the ac current does not take the
path of least resistance, it take the path of least impedance, which, in turn, depends on
inductance.
12-71
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
I
FLUX LINES
AROUND
TOP WIRE
OPPOSING
OUTSIDE
LOOP
REINFORCING
INSIDE
LOOP
FLUX
LINES
AROUND
BOTTOM
WIRE
I
OPPOSING
OUTSIDE
LOOP
Figure 12.62: Magnetic Field Lines and Inductive Loop (Right Hand Rule)
Inductance is proportional to the area of the loop made by the current flow; the
relationship can be illustrated by the right hand rule and the magnetic field shown in
Figure 12.62 Inside the loop, current along all parts of the loop produces magnetic field
lines that add constructively. Away from the loop, however, field lines form different
parts add destructively, thus the field is confined principally within the loop. A larger
loop has greater inductance. This means that, for a given current level, it has more stored
magnetic energy (Li2), greater impedance (XL = jωL), and hence will develop more
voltage a given frequency.
GROUND-PLANE
ON BACK
VIA 2
VIA 1
AC
VIA 2
AC
GROUND-PLANE CURRENT PATH
PATH IS UNDER TOP TRACE
VIA 1
GROUND-PLANE
CURRENT PATH
AREA OF INDUCTOR LOOP
TOP TRACE CURRENT PATH
TOP TRACE CURRENT PATH
Figure 12.63: AC Current Path Without (left) and with (right) Resistance in the
Ground Plane
Which path will the current choose in the ground plane? Naturally the lower impedance
path. Considering the loop formed by the U-shaped surface lead and the ground plane and
neglecting resistance, high frequency ac current will follow the path with the least
inductance, hence the least area.
12.72
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
GROUNDING
In the example shown, the loop with the least area is quite evidently formed by the
U-shaped top trace and the portion of the ground plane directly underneath it. So while
Figure 12.61 shows the dc current path, Figure 12.63 shows the path that most of the ac
current takes in the ground plane, where it finds minimum area, directly under the
U-shaped top trace. In practice, the resistance in the ground plane causes the current to
flow at low- and mid-frequencies to somewhere between straight back and directly under
the top conductor. However, the return path is nearly under the top trace as low as 1 MHz
or 2 MHz.
Be Careful with Ground Plane Breaks
Wherever there is a break in the ground plane beneath a conductor, the ground plane
return current must by necessity flow around the break. As a result, both the inductance
and the vulnerability of the circuit to external fields are increased. This situation is
diagrammed in Figure 12.64, where conductors A and B must cross one another.
Where such a break is made to allow a crossover of two perpendicular conductors, it
would be far better if the second signal were carried across both the first and the ground
plane by means of a piece of wire. The ground plane then acts as a shield between the
two signal conductors, and the two ground return currents, flowing in opposite sides of
the ground plane as a result of skin effects, do not interact.
SIGNAL CURR ENT B
„ THIS VIEW FROM PCB
CONDUC TOR (TRACK ) SIDE
„ NOTE: RETURN
CURR ENTS
A & B MAY INTERACT
BREAK IN GROUND PLANE
CROSSOVER “B” ON
GROUND PLANE
SIDE
SIGNAL
CURR ENT A
RETURN CURR ENT B
DIVERTS AROUND
GROUND PLANE
BREAK, RAISING
INDUC TANCE
RETURN CURR ENT A DIVERTS
AROUND GROUND PLANE BREAK,
RAISING INDUC TANCE
Figure 12.64: A Ground Plane Break Raises Circuit Inductance,
and Increases Vulnerability to External Fields
With a multilayer board, both the crossover and the continuous ground plane can be
accommodated without the need for a wire link. Multilayer PCBs are expensive and
12-73
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
harder to trouble-shoot than more simple double-sided boards, but do offer even better
shielding and signal routing. The principles involved remain unchanged but the range of
layout options is increased.
The use of double-sided or multilayer PCBs with at least one continuous ground plane is
undoubtedly one of the most successful design approaches for high performance mixed
signal circuitry. Often the impedance of such a ground plane is sufficiently low to permit
the use of a single ground plane for both analog and digital parts of the system. However,
whether or not this is possible does depend upon the resolution and bandwidth required,
and the amount of digital noise present in the system.
12.74
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
GROUNDING
References:
24. Alan Rich, “Shielding and Guarding,” Analog Dialogue, Vol. 17 N0. 1, 1983, pp. 8.
25. Ralph Morrison, Grounding and Shielding Techniques, 4th Edition, John Wiley, Inc., 1998,
ISBN: 0471245186.
26. Henry W. Ott, Noise Reduction Techniques in Electronic Systems, 2nd Edition, John Wiley, Inc.,
1988, ISBN: 0-471-85068-3.
27. Paul Brokaw, “An IC Amplifier User’s Guide to Decoupling, Grounding and Making Things Go Right
for a Change,” Analog Devices AN202.
28. Paul Brokaw and Jeff Barrow, “Grounding for Low- and High-Frequency Circuits,” Analog Devices
AN345.
29. Jeff Barrow, “Avoiding Ground Problems in High Speed Circuits,” RF Design, July 1989.
30. B. I. & B. Bleaney, Electricity & Magnetism, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1957, pp 23, 24, & 52.
31. William C. Rempfer, Get All the Fast ADC Bits You Pay For, Electronic Design, Special Analog
Issue, June 24, 1996, p.44.
32. Mark Sauerwald, Keeping Analog Signals Pure in a Hostile Digital World, Electronic Design, Special
Analog Issue, June 24, 1996, p.57.
33. Walt Kester and James Bryant, Grounding in High Speed Systems, High Speed Design Techniques,
Analog Devices, 1996, Chapter 7, p. 7-27.
34. Howard W. Johnson and Martin Graham, High Speed Digital Design, PTR Prentice Hall, 1993,
ISBN: 0133957241.
35. Walt Kester, A Grounding Philosophy for Mixed-Signal Systems, Electronic Design Analog
Applications Issue, June 23, 1997, p. 29.
36. Ralph Morrison, Solving Interference Problems in Electronics, John Wiley, 1995.
37. C. D. Motchenbacher and J. A. Connelly, Low Noise Electronic System Design, John Wiley, 1993.
38. Mark Montrose, EMC and the Printed Circuit Board, IEEE Press, 1999 (IEEE Order Number
PC5756).
12-75
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Notes:
12.76
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
DECOUPLING
SECTION 4: DECOUPLING
It is imperative to properly decouple ALL ICs in a high speed and/or high precision
application. This decoupling should include a small (typically 0.01 µF to 0.1µF)
capacitor. This capacitor should have good high frequency characteristics. Surface mount
multilayer ceramics are ideal; the purpose of this capacitor is to shunt any high frequency
noise away for the IC. This is because the power supply rejection ratio drops with
frequency, as shown in Figure 12.65. While this plot is for an op amp, all linear circuits
and converters have the same general shape, rejection falling with increasing frequency.
Keeping the high frequency noise out of the IC helps keep it from getting to the output
(of a linear circuit) or affecting the noise (of a converter)
Figure 12.65: Power Supply Rejection Ratio (PSRR) of an AD8029
In addition to the high frequency cap there should be liberal use of larger electrolytic
capacitors (10 µF to 100 µF). These capacitors are not required at every chip. The
purpose of these capacitors is to provide a local reservoir of charge so that instantaneous
current demands can be provided from a local source, instead of having to come from a
power supply which may be relatively far away and subject to the inductance and
resistance of the PCB traces.
Local high frequency bypass/decoupling
As we have stated, each individual analog stage requires local, high frequency
decoupling. These stages are provided directly at the power pins, of all individual analog
stages. Figure 12.66 shows the preferred technique, in both correct (left) as well as
incorrect example implementations (right). In the left example, a typical 0.1 μF chip
ceramic capacitor goes directly to the opposite PCB side ground plane, by virtue of the
via, and on to the IC’s GND pin by a second via. In contrast, the less desirable
12-77
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
arrangement at the right adds additional PCB trace inductance in the ground path of the
decoupling cap, reducing effectiveness.
CORRECT
POWER
SUPPLY
TRACE
OPTIONAL
FERRITE BEADS
DECOUPLING
CAPACITOR
V+
INCORRECT
DECOUPLING
CAPACITOR
POWER
SUPPLY
TRACE
V+
PCB
TRACE
IC
GND
VIAS TO
GROUND
PLANE
IC
VIA TO
GROUND
PLANE
GND
Figure 12.66: Localized High Frequency Supply Filter(s) Provides Optimum
Filtering and Decoupling via Short Low-Inductance Path (Ground Plane)
The general technique shown here as suitable for single-rail power supply, but the
concept obviously extends to dual rail systems. Note—if the decoupled IC in question is
an op amp, the GND pin shown is the −VS pin. For dual supply op amp uses, there is no
op amp GND pin per se, so the dual decoupling networks should go directly to the
ground plane when used, or other local ground.
All high frequency (i.e., ≥10 MHz) ICs should use a bypassing scheme similar to
Figure 12.66 for best performance. Trying to operate op amps and other high
performance ICs without local bypassing is almost always folly. It may be possible in a
few circumstances, if the circuitry is strictly micropower in nature, and the gainbandwidth in the kHz range. To put things into an overall perspective however, note that
a pair of 0.1 μF ceramic bypass caps cost less than 25 cents. Hardly a worthy saving
compared to the potential grief and lost time of troubleshooting a system without
bypassing!
In contrast, the ferrite beads aren’t 100% necessary, but they will add extra HF noise
isolation and decoupling, which is often desirable. Possible caveats here would be to
verify that the beads never saturate, when the op amps are handling high currents.
Note that with some ferrites, even before full saturation occurs, some beads can be
nonlinear, so if a power stage is required to operate with a low distortion output, this
should also be lab checked.
The effects of inadequate decoupling on harmonic distortion performance are
dramatically illustrated in Figure 12.67. The left photo shows the spectral output of the
AD9631 op amp driving a 100 Ω load with proper decoupling (output signal is 20 MHz,
12.78
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
DECOUPLING
2 V p-p). Notice that the second harmonic distortion at 40 MHz is approximately
–70 dBc. If the decoupling is removed, the distortion is increased, as shown in the right
photo of the same figure. Figure 12.67A also shows stray RF pickup in the wiring
connecting the power supply to the op amp test fixture. Unlike lower frequency
amplifiers, the power supply rejection ratio of many high frequency amplifiers is
generally fairly poor at high frequencies. For example, at 20 MHz, the power supply
rejection ratio of the AD9631 is less than 25 dB. This is the primary reason for the
degradation in performance with inadequate decoupling. The change in output signal
PROPER DECOUPLING
A
NO DECOUPLING
B
VERTICAL SCALES: 10dB/div, HORIZONTAL SCALES: 10MHz/div
Figure 12.67: Effects of Inadequate Decoupling on Harmonic Distortion
Performance of the AD9611 Op Amp
Figure 12.68: Effects of Inadequate Decoupling on the Phase Response
of the AD9631 Op Amp
12-79
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
produces a corresponding signal dependent load current change. The corresponding
change in power supply voltage due to inadequate decoupling produces a signal
dependent error in the output which manifests itself as an increase in distortion.
Inadequate decoupling can also severely affect the pulse response of high speed
amplifiers such as the AD9631. Figures 12.67 and 12.68 shows normal operation and the
effects of removing all decoupling capacitors on the AD9631 in its evaluation board.
Notice the severe ringing on the pulse response for the poorly decoupled condition.
Ringing
An inductor in series or parallel with a capacitor forms a resonant, or "tuned," circuit,
whose key feature is that it shows marked change in impedance over a small range of
frequency. Just how sharp the effect is depends on the relative Q of the tuned circuit. The
effect is widely used to define the frequency response of narrow-band circuitry, but can
also be a potential problem source.
If stray inductance and capacitance (which may or may not be stray) in a circuit should
form a tuned circuit, then that tuned circuit may be excited by signals in the circuit, and
ring at its resonant frequency.
L1
IC
+VS
1µH
C1
0.1µF
EQUIVALENT DECOUPLED POWER
LINE CIRCUIT RESONATES AT:
f =
IC
R1
L1
10Ω
1µH
+VS
C1
0.1µF
SMALL SERIES RESISTANCE
CLOSE TO IC REDUCES Q
1
2π √ LC
Figure 12.69: Resonant Circuit Formed by Power Line Decoupling
An example is shown in Figure 12.69, where the resonant circuit formed by an inductive
power line and its decoupling capacitor may possibly be excited by fast pulse currents
drawn by the powered IC.
While normal trace inductance and typical decoupling capacitances of 0.01 μF to 0.1 μF
will resonate well above a few MHz, an example 0.1 μF capacitor and 1 μH of
inductance resonates at 500 kHz. Left unchecked, this could present a resonance problem,
as shown in the left case. Should an undesired power line resonance be present, the effect
may be minimized by lowering the Q of the inductance. This is most easily done by
inserting a small resistance (~10 Ω) in the power line close to the IC, as shown in the
right case.
12.80
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
DECOUPLING
References:
1.
Paul Brokaw, "An IC Amplifier User's Guide to Decoupling, Grounding and Making Things Go
Right for a Change," Analog Devices AN202.
2.
Henry W. Ott, Noise Reduction Techniques in Electronic Systems, 2nd Edition, John Wiley,
Inc., 1988, ISBN: 0-471-85068-3.
3.
Mark Sauerwald, “Keeping Analog Signals Pure in a Hostile Digital World,” Electronic Design,
Special Analog Issue, June 24, 1996, p.57.
4.
Jerald Grame and Bonnie Baker, “Design Equations Help Optimize Supply Bypassing for Op
Amps,” Electronic Design, Special Analog Issue, June 24, 1996, p.9.
5.
Jeffrey S. Pattavina, “Bypassing PC Boards: Thumb Your Nose at Rules of Thumb,” EDN,
Oct. 22, 1998, p.149.
6.
C. D. Motchenbacher and J. A. Connelly, Low Noise Electronic System Design, John Wiley,
1993.
7.
Walt Jung, Walt Kester, Bill Chesnut, "Power Supply Noise Reduction and Filtering," portion of
Section 8 within Walt Kester, Editor, Practical Design Techniques for Power and Thermal
Management, Analog Devices, Inc., 1998, ISBN 0-916550-19-2.
12-81
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
SECTION 5: THERMAL MANAGEMENT
For reliability reasons, systems with appreciable power dissipation are increasingly called
upon to observe thermal management. All semiconductors have some specified safe
upper limit for junction temperature (TJ), usually on the order of 150°C (sometimes
175°C). Like maximum power supply voltages, maximum junction temperature is a worst
case limitation which shouldn’t be exceeded. In conservative designs an ample safety
margin should be included. Note that this is critical, since semiconductor lifetime is
inversely related to operating junction temperature. Simply put, the cooler ICs are, the
longer their lifetimes will be.
This limitation of power and temperature is basic, and is illustrated by a typical data sheet
statement as in Figure 12.70. In this case it is for the AD8017AR, an 8-pin SOIC device.
The maximum power that can be safely dissipated by the AD8017 is
limited by the associated rise in junction temperature. The maximum
safe junction temperature for plastic encapsulated device is
determined by the glass transition temperature of the plastic,
approximately +150°C. Temporarily exceeding this limit may cause a
shift in parametric performance due to a change in the stresses
exerted on the die by the package. Exceeding a junction temperature
of +175°C for an extended period can result in device failure.
Figure 12.70: Maximum Power Dissipation Data Sheet Statement for the
AD8017AR, an ADI Thermally Enhanced SOIC Packaged Device
Tied to these statements are certain conditions of operation, such as the power dissipated
by the device, and the package mounting to the printed circuit board (PCB). In the case of
the AD8017AR, the part is rated for 1.3 W of power at an ambient of 25°C. This assumes
operation of the 8-lead SOIC package on a two-layer PCB with about
4 in2 (~2500 mm2) of 2 oz. copper for heat sinking purposes. Predicting safe operation for
the device under other conditions is covered below.
Thermal Basics
The symbol θ is generally used to denote thermal resistance. Thermal resistance is in
units of °C/watt (°C/W). Unless otherwise specified, it defines the resistance heat
encounters transferring from a hot IC junction to the ambient air. It might also be
expressed more specifically as θJA, for thermal resistance, junction-to-ambient. θJC and
θCA are two additional θ forms used, and are further explained below.
In general, a device with a thermal resistance θ equal to 100°C/W will exhibit a
temperature differential of 100°C for a power dissipation of 1 W, as measured between
12.82
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
THERMAL MANAGEMENT
two reference points. Note that this is a linear relationship, so 1 W of dissipation in this
part will produce a 100°C differential (and so on, for other powers). For the AD8017AR
example, θ is about 95°C/W, so 1.3 W of dissipation produces about a 124°C junction-toambient temperature differential. It is of course this rise in temperature that is used to
predict the internal temperature, in order to judge the thermal reliability of a design. With
the ambient at 25°C, this allows an internal junction temperature of about 150°C. In
practice most ambient temperatures are above 25°C, so less power can then be handled.
For any power dissipation P (in watts), one can calculate the effective temperature
differential (ΔT) in °C as:
ΔT = P × θ
Eq. 12-16
where θ is the total applicable thermal resistance.
Figure 12.71 summarizes a number of basic thermal relationships.
„ θ = Thermal Resistance (°C/W)
„ P = Total Device Power Dissipation (W)
TA
„ T = Temperature (°C)
θCA
„ ΔT = Temperature Differential = P × θ
„ θJA = Junction-Ambient Thermal Resistance
„ θJC = Junction-Case Thermal Resistance
TC
„ TJ = TA + (P × θJA)
CASE
θJC
„ θCA = Case-Ambient Thermal Resistance
„ θJA = θJC + θCA
AMBIENT
TJ
JUNCTION
„ Note: TJ(Max) = 150°C (Sometimes 175°C)
Figure 12.71: Basic Thermal Relationships
Note that series thermal resistances, such as the two shown at the right, model the total
thermal resistance path a device may see. Therefore the total θ for calculation purposes is
the sum, i.e., θJA = θJC and θCA. Given the ambient temperature TA, P, and θ, then TJ can
be calculated. As the relationships signify, to maintain a low TJ, either θ or the power
being dissipated (or both) must be kept low. A low ΔT is the key to extending
semiconductor lifetimes, as it leads to lower maximum junction temperatures.
In ICs, one temperature reference point is always the device junction, taken to mean the
hottest spot inside the chip operating within a given package. The other relevant reference
point will be either TC, the case of the device, or TA, that of the surrounding air. This then
leads in turn to the above mentioned individual thermal resistances, θJC and θJA.
12-83
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Taking the simplest case first, θJA is the thermal resistance of a given device measured
between its junction and the ambient air. This thermal resistance is most often used with
small, relatively low power ICs such as op amps, which often dissipate 1 W or less.
Generally, θJA figures typical of op amps and other small devices are on the order of
90°C/W to 100°C/W for a plastic 8-pin DIP package, as well as the better SOIC
packages.
It should be clearly understood that these thermal resistances are highly package
dependent, as different materials have different degrees of thermal conductivity. As a
general guideline, thermal resistance of conductors is analogous to electrical resistances,
that is copper is the best, followed by aluminum, steel, and so on. Thus copper lead frame
packages offer the highest performance, i.e., the lowest θ.
Heat Sinking
By definition, a heat sink is an added low thermal resistance device attached to an IC to
aid heat removal. A heat sink has additional thermal resistance of its own, θCA, rated in
°C/W. However, most current IC packages don’t easily lend themselves to heat sink
attachment (exceptions are older TO-99 metal can types). Devices meant for heat sink
attachment will often be noted by a θJC dramatically lower than the θJA. In this case θ will
be composed of more than one component. Thermal impedances add, making a net
calculation relatively simple. For example, to compute a net θJA given a relevant θJC, the
thermal resistance of the heat sink, θCA, or case to ambient is added to the θJC as:
θJA = θJC + θCA
Eq. 12-17
and the result is the θJA for that specific circumstance.
More generally, however, modern op amps don't use commercially available heat sinks.
Instead, when significant power needs to be dissipated, such as ≥1 W, low thermal
resistance copper PCB traces are used as the heat sink. In such cases, the most useful
form of manufacturer data for this heat sinking are the boundary conditions of a sample
PCB layout, and the resulting θJA for those conditions. This is in fact the type of specific
information supplied for the AD8017AR, as mentioned earlier. Applying this approach,
example data illustrating thermal relationships for such conditions is shown by
Figure 12.72. These data apply for an AD8017AR mounted to a heat sink with an area of
about 4 square inches on a 2 layer, 2 ounce copper PCB.
These curves indicate the maximum power dissipation vs. temperature characteristic for
the AD8017, for maximum junction temperatures of both 150°C and 125°C. Such curves
are often referred to as derating curves, since allowable power decreases with ambient
temperature.
With the AD8017AR, the proprietary ADI Thermal Coastline IC package is used, which
allows additional power to be dissipated with no increase in the SO-8 package size. For a
TJ(max) of 150°C, the upper curve shows the allowable power in this package, which is
12.84
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
THERMAL MANAGEMENT
1.3 W at an ambient of 25°C. If a more conservative TJ(max) of 125°C is used, the lower of
the two curves applies.
MAXIMUM POWER DISSIPATION (W)
2.0
1.5
TJ = +150°C
1.0
TJ = +125°C
0.5
0
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
AMBIENT TEMPERATURE (°C)
Figure 12.72: Thermal Rating Curves for AD8017AR Op Amp
A performance comparison for an 8-pin standard SOIC and the ADI Thermal Coastline
version is shown in Figure 12.73. Note that the Thermal Coastline provides an allowable
dissipation at 25°C of 1.3 W, whereas a standard package allows only 0.8 W. In the
Thermal Coastline heat transferal is increased, accounting for the package’s lower θJA.
MAXIMUM POWER DISSIPATION (W)
2.0
8-PIN THERMAL COASTLINE SOIC
1.5
1.0
8-PIN STANDARD SOIC
0.5
0
-50 -40 -30 -20 -10
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
AMBIENT TEMPERATURE - (°C)
Figure 12.73: Thermal Rating Curves for Standard (Lower) and ADI Thermal
Coastline (Upper) 8-Pin SOIC Packages
12-85
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Even higher power dissipation is possible, with the use of IC packages better able to
transfer heat from chip to PCB. An example is the AD8016 device, available with two
package options rated for 5.5 W and 3.5 W at 25°C, respectively, as shown in Figure
12.73.
Taking the higher rated power option, the AD8016ARP PSOP3 package, when used with
a 10 inch2 of 1 oz. heat sink plane, the combination is able to handle up to 3 W of power
at an ambient of 70°C, as noted by the upper curve. This corresponds to a θJA of 18°C/W,
which in this case applies for a maximum junction temperature of 125°C.
10 INCHES2 OF 1 OZ. COPPER
PSOP3 (ARP)
BATWING (ARB)
Figure 12.74: Thermal Characteristic Curves for the AD8016 BATWING (Lower)
and PSOP3 (Upper) Packages, for TJ(Max) Equal to 125°C
The reason the PSOP3 version of the AD8016 is so better able to handle power lies with
the use of a large area copper slug. Internally, the IC die rest directly on this slug, with
the bottom surface exposed as shown in Figure 12.75. The intent is that this surface be
soldered directly to a copper plane of the PCB, thereby extending the heat sinking.
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Figure 12.75: Bottom View of AD8016 20-Lead PSOP3 Package Showing
Copper Slug for Aid in Heat Transfer (Central Grayed Area)
For reliable, low thermal resistance designs with op amps, several design Do's and Don'ts
are listed below. Consider all of these points, as may be practical.
1) Do use as large an area of copper as possible for a PCB heat sink, up to the point
of diminishing returns.
2) In conjunction with 1), do use multiple (outside) PCB layers, connected together
with multiple vias.
3) Do use as heavy copper as is practical (2 oz. or more preferred).
4) Do provide sufficient natural ventilation inlets and outlets within the system, to
allow heat to freely move away from hot PCB surfaces.
5) Do orient power-dissipating PCB planes vertically, for convection aided airflow
across heat sink areas.
6) Do consider the use of external power buffer stages, for precision op amp
applications.
7) Do consider the use of forced air, for situations where several watts must be
dissipated in a confined space.
8) Don't use solder mask planes over heat dissipating traces.
9) Don't use excessive supply voltages on ICs delivering power.
12-87
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
Both of the AD8016 package options are characterized for both still and moving air, but
the thermal information given above applies without the use of directed airflow.
Therefore, adding additional airflow lowers thermal resistance further (see Reference 2).
For the most part, these points are obvious. However, one that could use some
elaboration is number 9. Whenever an application requires only modest voltage swings
(such as for example standard video, 2 V p-p) a wide supply voltage range can often be
used. But operation of an op amp driver on higher supply voltages produces a large IC
dissipation, even though the load power is constant.
In such cases, as long as the distortion performance of the application doesn’t suffer, it
can be advantageous to operate the IC on lower supplies, say ±5 V, as opposed to ±15 V.
The above example data was calculated on a dc basis, which will generally tax the driver
more in terms of power than a sine wave or a noise-like waveform, such as a DMT signal
(see Reference 2). The general principles still hold for these ac waveforms, i.e., the op
amp power dissipation is high when load current is high and the voltage low.
400
Ps + Pq = TOTAL
OP AMP POWER
+VS
POWER
(mW)
+1V
+2V
+
AD817
300
-
150Ω
-VS
Pq = QUIESCIENT POWER
200
Ps = SIGNAL POWER
1kΩ
1kΩ
100
Pr = LOAD POWER
0
0
5
10
15
±VS, VOLTS
Figure 12.76: Power Dissipated in Video Op Amp Driver for Various Supply
Voltages with Low Voltage Output Swing
While there is ample opportunity for high power handling with the thermally enhanced
packages described above for the AD8016 and AD8107, the increasingly popular smaller
IC packages actually move in an opposite direction. Without question, it is true that
today’s smaller packages do noticeably sacrifice thermal performance. But, it must be
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PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
THERMAL MANAGEMENT
understood that this is done in the interest of realizing a smaller size for the packaged op
amp, and, ultimately, a much greater final PCB density for the overall system.
These points are illustrated by the thermal ratings for the AD8057 and AD8058 family of
single and dual op amp devices, as is shown in Figure 12.77. The AD8057 and AD8058
op amps are available in three different packages. These are the SOT-23-5, and the 8-pin
MSOP, along with standard SOIC.
As the data shows, as the package size becomes smaller and smaller, much less power is
capable of being removed. Since the lead frame is the only heat sinking possible with
such tiny packages, their thermal performance is thus reduced. The θJA for the packages
mentioned is 240°C/W, 200°C/W, and 160°C/W, respectively. Note this is more of a
package than device limitation. Other ICs with the same packages have similar
characteristics.
Figure 12.77: Comparative Thermal Performance for Several AD8057/AD8058
Op Amp Package Options
Data Converter Thermal Considerations
At first glance, one might assume that the power dissipation of an ADC or a DAC will
remain constant for a given power supply voltage. However, many data converters,
especially CMOS ones, have power dissipations that are highly dependent upon not only
output data loading but also the sampling clock frequency. Since many of the newer highspeed converters can dissipate between 1.5 W and 2 W maximum power under the worstcase operating conditions, this point must be well understood in order to ensure that the
12-89
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
package is mounted in such a way as to maintain the junction temperature within
acceptable limits at the highest expected operating temperature.
The previous discussion in this chapter on grounding emphasized that the digital outputs
of high performance ADCs, especially those with parallel outputs, should be lightly
loaded (5 pF to10 pF) in order to prevent digital transient currents from corrupting the
SNR and SFDR. Even under light output loading, however, most CMOS and BiCMOS
ADCs have power dissipations which are a function of sampling clock frequency and in
some cases, the analog input frequency and amplitude.
For example, Figure 12.78 shows the AD9245 14-bit, 80-MSPS, 3-V CMOS ADC power
dissipation versus frequency for a 2.5 MHz analog input and 5 pF output loading of the
data lines. The graphs show the digital and analog power supply currents separately as
well as the total power dissipation. Note that total power dissipation can vary between
approximately 310 mW and 380 mW as the sampling frequency is varied between
10 MSPS and 80 MSPS.
Figure 12.78: AD9245 14-Bit, 80-MSPS, 3 V CMOS ADC Power Dissipation vs.
Sample Rate for 2.5 MHz Input, 5 pF Output Loads
12.90
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
THERMAL MANAGEMENT
SOLDER
EXPOSED
PADDLE
TO PCB,
IF POSSIBLE
AD9245 POWER DISSIPATION
= 380mW @ 80MSPS
θJA = 32.5°C/W, PER EIA/DESD51-1, STILL AIR
Figure 12.79: AD9245 CP-32 Lead-Frame Chip-Scale
Package (LFCSP), Bottom View
The AD9245 is packaged in a 32-pin leadless chip scale package as shown in
Figure 12.79. The bottom view of the package shows the exposed paddle which should be
soldered to the PC board ground plane for best thermal transfer. The worst-case package
junction-to-ambient resistance, θJA, is specified as 32.5°C/W, which places the junction
32.5°C × 0.38°C = 12.3°C above the ambient for a power dissipation of 380 mW. For a
maximum operating temperature of +85°C, this places the junction at a modest
85°C + 12.3°C = 97.3°C.
The AD9430 is a high performance 12-bit, 170 MSPS /210 MSPS, 3.3 V BiCMOS ADC.
Two output modes are available: dual 105-MSPS demultiplexed CMOS outputs, or
210 MSPS LVDS outputs. Power dissipation as a function of sampling frequency is
shown in Figure 12.56. Analog and digital supply currents are shown for CMOS and
LVDS modes for an analog input frequency of 10.3 MHz. Note that in the LVDS mode
and a sampling frequency of 210 MSPS, total supply current is approximately 455 mA—
yielding a total power dissipation of 1.5 W.
12-91
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
SAMPLE RATE – MSPS
TOTAL CURR ENT @ 210MSPS , LVDS MODE = 55mA + 400mA = 455mA
TOTAL POWER DISSIPATION = 3.3V × 455mA = 1.5W
Figure 12.80: AD9430 12-Bit 170 MSPS/210 MSPS ADC Supply
Current vs. Sample Rate for a 10.3 MHz Input
The AD9430 is available in a 100-lead thin plastic quad flat package with an exposed pad
(TQFP/EP) as shown in Figure 12.81. The conducive pad is connected to chip ground and
should be soldered to the PC board ground plane. The θJA of the package when soldered
to the ground plane is 25°C/W in still air. This places the junction 25°C × 1.5°C = 37.5°C
above the ambient temperature for 1.5 W of power dissipation. For a maximum operating
temperature of +85°C, this places the junction at 85°C + 37.5°C = 122.5°C.
SOLDER HEAT SLUG
TO GROUND PLANE
IF POSSIBLE
STILL AIR:
θJA = 25°C/W, SOLDERED
θJA = 32°C/W, UNSOLDERED
AD9430 POWER DISSIPATION
IN LVDS MODE @ 210MSPS
SAMPLE RATE = 1.5W
Figure 12.81: AD9430 100-Lead e-PAD TQFP
12.92
PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ISSUES
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SOLDER HEAT SLUG
TO GROUND PLANE
IF POSSIBLE
STILL AIR:
θJA = 23°C/W, SOLDERED
θJA = 30°C/W, UNSOLDERED
AD6645 POWER DISSIPTION
= 1.75W MAXIMUM
Figure 12.82: AD6645 52-Lead Power-Quad 4 (LQFP_ED)
(SQ-52) Thermally Enhanced Package, Bottom View
The AD6645 is a high performance 14-bit, 80 MSPS/105 MSPS ADC fabricated on a
high speed complementary bipolar process (XFCB, and offers the highest SFDR (89 dBc)
and SNR (75 dB). Although there is little variation in power as a function of sampling
frequency, the maximum power dissipation of the device is 1.75 W. The package is a
thermally enhanced 52-lead PowerQuad 4® with an exposed pad as shown in Figure
12.82.
It is recommended that the exposed center heat sink be soldered to the PC board ground
plane to reduce the package θJA to 23°C/W in still air. For 1.75 W of power dissipation,
this places the junction temperature 23°C × 1.75°C = 40.3°C above the ambient
temperature. For a maximum operating temperature of +85°C, this places the junction at
85°C + 40.3°C = 125.3°C. The thermal resistance of the package can be reduced to
17°C/W with 200 LFPM airflow, thereby reducing the junction temperature to 30°C
above the ambient, or 115°C for an operating ambient temperature of +85°C.
High speed CMOS DACs (such as the TxDAC® series) and DDS ICs (such as the
AD985x series) also have clock-rate dependent power dissipation. For example, in the
case of the AD9777 16-bit, 160-MSPS dual interpolating DAC, power dissipation is a
function of clock rate, output frequency, and the enabling of the PLL and the modulation
functions. Power dissipation on 3.3 V supplies can range from 380 mW
(fDAC = 100 MSPS, fOUT = 1 MHz, no interpolation, no modulation) to 1.75 W
(fDAC = 400 MSPS, fDATA = 50 MHz, fs/2 modulation, PLL enabled). These and similar
parts in the family are also offered in thermally enhanced packages with exposed pads for
soldering to the PC board ground plane.
12-93
BASIC LINEAR DESIGN
These discussions on the thermal application issues of op amps and data converters
haven't dealt with the classic techniques of using clip-on (or bolt-on) type heat sinks.
They also have not addressed the use of forced air cooling, generally considered only
when tens of watts must be handled. These omissions are mainly because these
approaches are seldom possible or practical with today's op amp and data converter
packages.
The more general discussions within References 4-7 can be consulted for this and other
supplementary information.
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REFERENCES: THERMAL MANAGEMENT
1.
Data sheet for AD8017 Dual High Output Current, High Speed Amplifier, Analog Devices, Inc.,
http://www.analog.com
2.
Data sheet for AD8016 Low Power, High Output Current, xDSL Line Driver,
Analog Devices, Inc., http://www.analog.com/.
3.
"Power Consideration Discussions," data sheet for AD815 High Output Current Differential Driver,
Analog Devices, Inc., http://www.analog.com/.
4.
Walt Jung, Walt Kester, "Thermal Management," portion of Section 8 within Walt Kester, Editor,
Practical Design Techniques for Power and Thermal Management, Analog Devices, Inc., 1998,
ISBN 0-916550-19-2.
5.
General Catalog, AAVID Thermal Technologies, Inc., One Kool Path, Laconia, NH, 03246, (603)
528-3400.
6.
Seri Lee, "How to Select a Heat Sink," Aavid Thermal Technologies, http://www.aavid.com
7.
Seri Lee, "Optimum Design and Selection of Heat Sinks," 11th IEEE SEMI-THERM™ Symposium,
1995, http://www.aavid.com .
12-95
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