What is it about?

A frequency-domain approach to efficiently simulate and minimize the crosstalk between high speed interconnects is proposed in this paper. Several methods for modeling coupled microstrip transmission lines are discussed. Several possible simulation strategies are also considered. A straightforward yet rigorous frequency domain approach is followed. This approach can be used for linearly and non-linearly terminated microstrip coupled lines, since it exploits the Harmonic Balance technique. A typical example of microstrip interconnects is simulated and the results are compared with those obtained in previous work by other authors using time-domain methods. The simulation method proposed in this work yields good accuracy. A crosstalk minimization problem is formulated and solved following the method proposed.

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Why is it important?

The performance of modern digital electronic circuits critically depends on the quality of the transmitted signals. As the speed of electronic circuits and devices increases, more attention should be paid to the design of interconnects, especially to the crosstalk minimization problem. The signal integrity analysis associated to the design of interconnects has gained great importance due to a number of factors: a) the recent advances on integrated circuits technologies (GaAs MESFET, HEMT, SiGe MOSFET, etc.) has reduced the single device switching time to tens of picoseconds or less; b) the development of VLSI technologies and packaging techniques are yielding smaller, denser chips; and c) the use of high density buses, at both printed circuit board (PCB) and multi-chip module (MCM) levels, has increased the proximity of interconnects.


Undesired crosstalk between high-speed interconnects is tyically simulated in time domain, which usually require long transient simulations. This is usually motivated by the fact that high-speed interconnects are driven and loaded by non-linear circuitry (buffers and receivers). In this article, a practical yet rigorous method to simulate and minimize crosstalk is proposed by exploiting fast frequency domain simulations.

Dr. José Ernesto Rayas-Sánchez
ITESO - The Jesuit University of Guadalajara

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A frequency-domain approach to interconnect crosstalk simulation and minimization, Microelectronics Reliability, April 2004, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.microrel.2003.10.013.
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