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PCBD-Apr2016

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70 The PCB Design Magazine • April 2016 by Ruth Kastner ADCOM Many of you are familiar with Mentor Graphics' Technology Leadership Award pro- gram. Adcom's design team placed first in this year's TLA program, taking the top spot for the category of "Computers, Blade & Servers, Mem- ory Systems." This article will focus on the de- velopment of that board. This board, like most PCBs today, is a com- plex system designed by a multi-disciplinary team of designers, striving to bring an opera- tional product to the market on schedule. In the case reported here, the deadline for a fabri- cated feasibility board was set to eight months. Within this time frame, the team had to design a product complying with demanding specs, such as the Arria 10 FPGA, PCIe 3.0, Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) and Avago MicroPOD, as well as complying with IPC class 2 manufactur- ing standards. Challenges arrived in many forms. For ex- ample, as data transfer rates are continually increasing, PCIe now runs at 8GHz. Also, oper- ating IC voltages are lower and power require- ments for various components are higher. More challenges lay in the form of small form factor of ICs and high-speed transceiver protocols. All of this requires advanced PCB fabrication technologies. The design teams need to work in union over a short design-cycle time, and provide early proof of concept. The work flow should incorporate the processes of modeling, optimization and analysis. The outcome of this process was the deliv- ery of an almost flawless feasibility board on the first shot. There was no need for a second version, thanks to the effort invested in overall simulation at the design and layout phase. Requirements Implemented in Design Flow This board was developed as a proof of con- cept for a very high-density data processing unit using high-speed memories and interfaces. Components included a 20 nm FPGA, advanced memory devices such as DDR4 and HMC trans- ceivers of 15Gbps, 10Gbps and 8Gbps, and power circuits, all connected to a PCIe device. The area provided for the design was 200 mm X Behind the Scenes: Adcom's TLA Award-Winning Design articLe

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