Re: [SI-LIST] : bypass cap question (long, simple)

Vinu Arumugham (vinu@cisco.com)
Sun, 01 Feb 1998 11:12:33 -0800

>My component placement places all of the 3 volt components above the
>midline of the board, and all of the 5 volt components below the midline.

Is it not possible then to use a single layer to implement both power planes?
A 3.3V plane in the top half and a 5V plane in the bottom half of the board.

The stack-up could look like this:

1 Horizontal
2 GND Plane
3 Vertical
4 3.3/5V
5 GND Plane
6 Horizontal
7 GND Plane
8 Vertical

In your tentative stack-up, you may also need 1000pF capacitors between the
3.3V and 5V planes for image currents, if you have signals that switch between
layers 4 and 5.

In the above stack-up, if the moat between 5V and 3.3V is <10 mil, signals on
layer 3 that cross the moat will be minimally affected.

Vinu

Lawrence Butcher wrote:

> Imagine that I build a 4 layer board. Imagine that there were two chips on
> it, labeled U1 and U2. Imagine that I route the board strictly manhatten
> style. All horizontal wires are on top above the ground plane, and all
> vertical wires are on the bottom below the power plane.
> _______________
> | |
> | U1 ------* |
> | | |
> | | |
> | | |
> | U2 |
> |_______________|
>
> Normally, I would put bypass caps under U1 and bypass caps under U2.
> I would cosy them up so that there was minimum distance between the
> caps and the power supply pins on the chip.
>
> Consider the image currents running on the power and ground planes.
> An image current will sit directly under each wire. But that current
> will have a hard time following the wire through the via, because it
> would have to hop from the ground plane to the power plane.
>
> It seems clear that a capacitor might be needed at that via site to
> give the current in one plane a chance to hop to the other. Even
> though there are no components nearby.
>
> Intuition rarely substitutes for calculation. Question: Is this true?
> How much capacitance? How does that vary if there are 40 wires instead
> of 1? How does the number change with frequency?
>
> The above illustrates a real problem. I am building an 8-layer board,
> with a tentative stackup of:
>
> 1 Horizontal
> 2 GND Plane
> 3 V33 Plane
> 4 Vertical
> 5 Horizontal
> 6 V5 Plane
> 7 GND Plane
> 8 Vertical
>
> My component placement places all of the 3 volt components above the
> midline of the board, and all of the 5 volt components below the midline.
>
> Therefore, there are NO bypass caps from the 5V plane to ground in the
> top half of the board, and NO bypass caps from the 3.3V plane to ground
> in the bottom half of the board.
>
> A trace running horizontally on layer 5 in the top half of the board
> will have an image current running on the V5 plane, and that current
> has no way to get to the ground plane at a via site. Same for traces
> running on layer 4 in the botton half of the board.
>
> I want to add about 1 cap per square inch (about 50 more bypass caps).
> Half will be between V5 and ground in the top half of the board, and half
> will between V33 and ground in the bottom half of the board.
>
> These components are there only to deal with my paranoia about image
> currents. They would be placed even though there are already tons of
> bypass caps in the same area, but exclusively to only one power plane.
>
> My coworkers have doubts. They especially don't like 50 more caps when
> there are no nearby chips connected to the power planes I am concerned with.
>
> Most of my signals are changing at 100 MHz, but there is a bunch of 33 MHz
> activity running around. (Fast, for me).
>
> Is this a non-existent problem, or a real one? Comments?
>
> Lawrence