[SI-LIST] : some board layout issues

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From: e (evillaf@home.com)
Date: Tue Apr 17 2001 - 08:38:00 PDT

To all the experts, I would like to get some feedback on a couple of

Board dimension is about 4"X8"

1) With the stack up above, the plane power5 is used as reference for
signal4 and signal6 (same is true or power8). To accommodate a
different (third) voltage, a two square inch cut is made in power5. The
cut is 50-100 mil. For signals (of different rise times 2-5 ns) on
layers signal4 and signal 6 that cross that boundaries between the two
voltage partitions on power5:

    a) Is it possible to to control the impedance, now that the
reference plane is broken? How much of problem does this broken
reference pose on controlling the impedance of that trace? Is it
comparable to the discontinuity presented by a via as a trace changes
layers? Will this broken reference cause significant reflections?

    b) To the concept of return current that normally follows that path
of least inductance, which is the reference plane directly below or
above the trace, this current will now seek a different path back to the
driver, possibly through a cap to a ground plane and back to the
source. Does this less than optimum return path necessarily increase
radiation, because the loop area is now larger?

2) A fourth voltage is routed with 100-200 mil trace on signal3 and
signal4 from a signal DC-DC supply to two adjacent pins on a
board-to-board connector, where two independent paths are used for each
pin, thereby forming a loop with an area of about one square inch. Does
this loop add to radiation at the frequencies of interest for FCC


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