The Earth is no Longer Flat

By Z-zero | April 30, 2020 |

On my morning walk yesterday – through some rain-forest-like trails near our house in Redmond, Washington – I was thinking about writing this blog, and the PCB industry’s adoption of IPC-2581 … I was reminded of something I read years ago that seemed like a reasonable parallel. Speaking about leadership and innovation, the book said…

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How to Avoid Getting Totally Skewed – Part 1

By Z-zero | April 27, 2020 |

The first of a three-part series on designing around glass-weave skew. Au: This column is a comprehensive follow-on to our June column. With some overlap, these may be read together or independently. In June I discussed the differences between 1067 and 106 glass styles, introducing the concept of “glass-weave skew” or the “fiber-weave effect.” Here…

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An Ode to Pi

By Z-zero | March 12, 2020 |

Understanding key differences between the time and frequency domains. As March approaches each year, I can count on the bullfrogs around our neighbor’s pond to be out in force, memories of my baseball and softball coaching days as I walk by the ballfields, my wife’s birthday, and on March 14, “Pi Day,” which has been…

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Apples-to-Apples Material Characterization for High-Speed PCB Design

By Z-zero | February 12, 2020 |

Engineers invest tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in signal integrity simulation software—the goal being to gain an accurate understanding of how signals are going to behave in the final product. But how do you do that early in the design process without reliable, verifiable electrical properties for the dielectrics incorporated into your design?…

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What Surrounds a Typical Trace?

By Z-zero | January 12, 2020 |

At higher speeds, the micro-environment around traces can alter simulation results. In the past few weeks, e-mails from multiple sources crossed my inbox asking about the relationship between epoxy resin and signal behavior. With a couple of SI guys on one side and a career PCB manufacturing guy on the other side hitting me the…

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Why You Should Quit Using 1080 Glass

By Z-zero | December 12, 2019 |

The high percentage of resin coverage can cause skew issues at higher speeds. Since June, I’ve been writing about glass-weave skew (GWS). If you haven’t read those articles, you may want to go back and bone up on the subject. We’ll review a few points here. A serial link’s differential-skew budget shrinks as bit rates…

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Z-zero, based in
Redmond, Washington, develops
PCB stackup planning and
material-selection software
for electronic-system design.

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