Thierauf Design & Consulting: Signal Integrity Design, Analysis & Training

Here is the most recent FAQ list for the 2ed edition of High-Speed Circuit Board Signal Integrity. Contact me here if you'd like to know more.

  • Does the book discuss reflections and terminations?

Yes, the 2ed edition includes reflections and termination of single ended CMOS signals. The first edition was very focused on serial signaling and didn’t discuss non-differential signaling very much. This edition plugs that hole and includes material on driving and terminating ground referenced point-to-point and multi-drop buses. The 2ed edition's Chapter 3 discusses how reflections and multiple reflections are created, and the influence of risetime. Chapter 4 discusses how to drive and how to terminate CMOS lines (the book shows how to calculate Thevenin termination, parallel termination and source series termination, and discusses layout strategies).

  • Is serial signaling discussed?

Yes, Chapter 7 is devoted entirely to diff-pairs and serial singling, but this topic appears elsewhere in the book, too.

  • Is the book practical or theoretical?

It’s a mixture of both. It explains the theory in enough detail to understand the underlying physics, but it doesn’t get bogged down in the minutia. Math is kept to a minimum, but there are formulas you can use to calculate transmission line R,L,C parameters, delay, impedance and coupling. Practical advice is given throughout, and in some chapters lab results show actual waveform data.

  • Does the book discuss power integrity?

Yes, Chapter 8 coves the basics (including plane resonances), and Chapter 9 dcaps. But, the primary focus of this book is SI, not PI.

  • Does the 2ed Edition still have the chapter discussing capacitors?

Yes! Chapter 9 is devoted to the electrical characteristics of ceramic capacitors. For the 2ed Edition I've updated the original material and added new material. To make room I've taken out the discussion of tantalum and aluminum capacitors that's in the first edition.

  • Can this book be used to teach transmission lines to college undergrads?

Yes, provided you want a practical perspective. Reflections and terminations are discussed in depth, as are losses and their effects. The math is held to a minimum in this book (there are no derivations - the explanations are intuitive rather than mathematical). Maxwell doesn’t show up anywhere, and there isn’t an integral to be found.

  • Does the book have student exercise?

No, it doesn’t. But, I’m considering developing a companion document that would have exercises and perhaps some laboratory demonstrations. Contact me here if you’re interested in learning more about this, or to send me suggestions.

  • Will this book teach me how to run SI simulations?

This book tells the reader how circuit board signaling works and identifies underlying pathologies (which are useful to know when running simulations), but it isn’t a simulation how-to guide.

  • I create circuit board artwork. Is this book for me?

It is if you want to understand the electrical differences between stripline and microstrip traces, and if you want to understand the kinds of things to watch out for when routing signals. You can also turn to it for advice on how to remedy crosstalk problems, how to route diff-pairs and where you should place terminators and dcap, and what to watch out for with vias. But, it’s not a layout design guide. And, the book assumes you understand the basics of resistance, capacitance and inductance.