Signal Integrity expertise and consultancy
If you look at my background, you will see that at the end of HUNT ENGINEERING we spent a long time studying Signal Integrity and the practical applications of the science in real products.
First of all what is Signal Integrity (SI) ?
Well, I could present a training course on this subject that would take several days, but lets try to make a simple description :-
When electronic circuits are joined together, there is a signal that can be defined by some voltage waveform and a current waveform. This signal is driven with a certain specification (level, speed, shape, timing) by the driver circuit, and must meet some requirements (level, timing) of a receiver circuit.
It used to be the case that the PCB trace that connected them could be thought of as a perfect (instantaneous ) connection, so you could make your design using the data sheets of the two circuits. If you connected them over a long cable (or radio channel etc) then you needed to do a bit more than that because the connection was no longer perfect.
Well some years ago, the electronic circuits being used in most circuits became so fast (rise and fall time rather than clock rate) that even the PCB traces could no longer be assumed to be perfect. They became "Transmission lines" which come with their own behaviours that can be explained by simple science, but that most electronics graduates know nothing about.
Long story shortened ....
It is vitally important to understand the principles of transmission lines and return currents to be able to design an electronic board or system these days. You must plan your system for good signal integrity from the start, so that you can acheive not only the function, but speed, reliability and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC).
Then because the driver and receiver circuits are no longer fully characterised by the data sheet, you need to simulate the connections using IBIS models of the driver, receiver and the transmission line. Then you need to be able to look at that simulation result and interpret if it is acceptable or not, and if not what can be done to make it acceptable.
I spent over two years with my team interpreting, understanding and proving signal integrity issues.
I now know that there are few people out there who can take the science and apply it to real designs in any confident and believable way. I can.
I have the tools to be able to work on Signal Integrity based product design.
I can train or mentor your engineers to understand the impact of Signal Integrity and how to design real world products.
Alternatively I can consult with your design team specifically on SI problems that you have.
Or I can perform your full product design for you and you can rest assured that the SI have been properly taken care of - a necessity for a modern product to be reliable and predicable in its operation.