Re: [SI-LIST] : Re: delay lines with PCB traces

Brett Grossman ([email protected])
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 17:01:37 -0700

One suggestion in Howard Johnsons 'Black Magic Handbook': there is a
suggestion to implement delay lines with a chamfered corner or a rounded
corner. The argument is based on increased capacitance on a right-angle
due to the change in effective trace width. I am sure the praises have
been sung enough for this book, but I make sure all my designers get it.
A very good working understanding without wallowing in the e-mag world.

Some additional questions:

1. Does anyone on the LIST have PCB design rules for this geometry
(serpentine) that they have validated on the bench? (e.g. not just a
rule of thumb)

2. Or, have a decent model to comprehend the effects of this geometry
(cross-coupling due to parallelism, any additional degradation of rising
edge, etc?)

Unimportant question: At what frequencies/geometry dimensions might we
have to worry about signal phase relations due to signals rounding a
corner in this zig-zag (serpenting arrangement)? (e.g. skin effect
essentially pushes the signal to the outer edges of the trace, around a
corner, the inside radius is a shorter path than the outside radius.
When the trace "straightens" won't there be a phase dispersion across
the trace width?)

Thanks for any help.


> I would like to echo that this zip-zag trace pattern has been known
> and oberserved in the lab to reduce the total expected delay. I
> came across a situation when I was using PCB trace to add some "skew"
> into the clock nets. The actual clock skew that was induced thru this
> kind of topology was measured to be less than the min. expected delay
> by 5% to 10%.
> I ended up running the serpentine in a wider gap (24 mil to 30 mil)
> to allow an accurate clock skew distribution. But, this costed us
> more space on the PCB to delay the clocks.
> Michael Chin
> Cisco Systems, Inc

Brett Grossman        		            __          ___  
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