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October 2016 • The PCB Design Magazine 57 • Optimization of the PDN is a trial-and- error process that needs to be done in conjunction with the stackup materials to fully exploit all avenues. PCBDESIGN References: 1. Barry Olney's Beyond Design columns: Intro to Board-Level Simulation and the PCB Design Process, Impedance Matching: Termina- tions, Learning the Curve, PDN Planning and Capacitor Selection, Part 1 & 2, Master "Black Magic" with Howard Johnson's Seminars. 2. Art and Engineering in Product Design, by Andrew Taylor. Barry Olney is managing director of In-Circuit Design Pty Ltd (ICD) Australia. The company is a PCB design service bureau that special- izes in board-level simulation. ICD has developed the ICD Stackup Planner and ICD PDN Planner soft- ware, which is available here. To contact Barry, click here. DARPA's Microsystems Tech- nology Office (MTO) has a proud history of making seminal invest- ments in breakthrough technolo- gies that ultimately became critical components in our electronics- filled world, from flash memory to radio frequency (RF) semiconduc- tors to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). But DARPA does not develop tech- nologies on its own. The Agency's approach is to set extremely challenging goals and then offer innova- tors at universities and companies the support they need to pursue those remote but exciting frontiers. MTO's commitment to that catalytic role—and the opportunity to engage with DARPA on the next generation of cutting-edge advances—is now ex- panding with the introduction of a simpler con- tracting approach for companies and other entities that have not previously worked with DARPA or had large contracts with the Defense Department. This new approach aims to help the Agency and the nation take fuller advantage of the enormous depth and breadth of private-sector creativity that is currently brewing in the fast-evolving domains of net - worked sensors, spectrum access, machine learning, and hardware security. In particular, it aims to re- duce barriers for innovative companies that don't engage in the standard federal contracting process. For example, DARPA recently worked with two small companies on twin advances that could en- able next-generation radio frequency (RF) arrays for both military systems and commercial wireless com- munications. The newly announced approach takes advantage of DARPA's so-called Other Transactional (OT) authority, which grants the Agency certain al- ternatives to provisions in the standard Defense De- partment contracting rules, known as the Federal Acquisition Regulation, or FAR. DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office Streamlines Contracting for Innovators • The "bathtub curve" displays the typical reliability of diverse products regardless of their functionality. • Premature failures are typically the result of poor design practice or substandard manufacture. • The cost of development is dramatically reduced if simulation is employed early in the design cycle. • Reference designs are arguably the cause of many reliability issues. • The key pillars of stability: Firstly, plan the most efficient stackup configuration for the design. Dielectric materials vary in both dielectric constant and dissipa- tion loss with frequency so the maximum bandwidth is used. • Secondly, impedance match the source to the transmission lines. To do this, the source impedance from the IBIS model of the driver needs to be calculated. • Finally, ensure that the power planes and associated decoupling can handle the high switching current demanded by the processor and memory devices. ROCK STEADY DESIGN

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