Bill Hargin

Most boards will work just fine. But what if they don’t?

Over the past year, I’ve written a good bit about glass-weave skew (GWS) and next-generation loss requirements, using PCI Express guidelines as a means of tracking what higher frequencies do to eye patterns. This month, we’ll combine important elements of both these technology series, with just a bit of review in order to make this column one that can be read as-is.

The problem with human behavior is many of us wait for some sort of catastrophic event before we course-correct. When should we get serious about glass-weave skew, as opposed to ignoring it, while hoping it doesn’t turn around and bite us at some point in the field? (A near-worst-case scenario.)

When I was marketing signal-integrity software in the 1990s, many engineers would appear on my radar reactively, playing whack-a-mole after spinning multiple prototypes or field failures. Over time, the list of possible causes grew to include crosstalk, loss in all its forms, and eventually power integrity. I’ve noticed many of today’s hardware teams are sort of on cruise control relative to the “fiber-weave effect” as a design concern, so my objective here is to explore the concept of whether designers should worry about it proactively, given the potential impact of seemingly random field failure in production.

To continue reading, please log in or register using the link in the upper right corner of the page.

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedInPrint Article