March 25, 2007 -- The wireless explosion has spawned a frontier with countless market opportunities for communications companies. The increasing complexity of today's electronics products, however, has created a myriad of issues for designing and bringing to market these technology-rich applications. Electronic design automation (EDA) software is an important tool in the product generation process, and a key concern inherent in the design of next-generation, high-performance communications products is complex cross-domain signal integrity (SI) issues.
Signal integrity (SI) analysis has traditionally been used as a verification step prior to releasing a design for manufacturing. This methodology served the high-speed design community well as clock frequencies and data rates pushed through 100MHz and approached 1GHz. But with today's communications designs with data rates of 3 to 5Gbps and beyond, the fundamental assumptions that used to permit "fixing up" the timing at the end of the design cycle are no longer viable. High-speed data paths now lie on the critical path of product development and a new, more proactive approach to SI is needed.
By Dr. Mike Heimlich and Dr. Scott Wedge. (Heimlich is the microwave market segment director for Applied Wave Research, Inc. and Wedge is a senior staff engineer with Synopsys, Inc.)
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.