Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Everything seems to get smart through embedded electronics. Our world of electro-mechanical and smart products is only going to get more pervasive. It’s a multi-trillion dollar industry already. This means mongo engineering challenges when you design and optimize the PCBs, IC packages, and connections that enable software to have reason to exist. They have to do more while being smaller and more robust. Timing and noise margins are tighter and shrinking. You have to account for EMI, EMC, electrostatic discharge, power delivery, power consumption, and thermal, structural, signal, and power integrity within the context of a complete system. Oh and, lest we forget, you have to this under time, budget, and other management and regulatory pressures.
In comes today’s Check It Out suggestion: The ANSYS Signal Integrity web page. What immediately struck me about this page is what a terrific job ANSYS has done creating a web resource that deconstructs and explains the multiphysics complexities of designing, analyzing, and optimizing electronics like PCBs, IC packages, and interconnects. As you’d expect this page points to ANSYS solutions for electro design jobs, such as ANSYS HFSS, ANSYS SIwave, and ANSYS DesignerSI. Still, the Signal Integrity web page is an engineering autodidact’s gem and the old pro’s handy refresher. Here’s why.
The Signal Integrity page offers a big selection of articles, technical papers, and on-demand demonstrations. The breadth and depth of these selections should satisfy the informational needs of newbies needing to learn as well as old hands staying relevant until vesting. Here are a few of notable examples.
At top are three articles best for those of you starting on simulation-driven design for electronics and electro-mechanical equipment. Check out the first article, “Avoiding the Perils of Electromagnetic Interference.” Its premise is simple: Designing for smart electronics means that you have to give careful attention to electromagnetic field effects to avoid nasty, unintended headaches. It argues that an integrated set of tools able to predict EMC/EMI levels and trace problems back to the physical layout of the device is key to a successful design.
Then go to the demo “Electromagnetic Compatibility Analysis Using HFSS.” HFSS is an EM field simulator. Well annotated and well animated, this 7-minute demo steps you through the analysis of a PC board intended to reside in and control a clothes washer. It explains and shows you what’s happening with the analysis beginning with importing a PCB design from Altium Designer right on through time domain analysis. Old pros: Make sure to read the “ANSYS HFSS for ECAD” technical brief. It explains the 3D and 2D interface you can use in the application
Finally, there’s “Understanding Power Integrity as a System-Wide Challenge,” a hardcore tech brief. It says that you must analyze an IC’s power integrity in the context of the complete system if you hope to solve for the complex, noisy interactions of the individual components and interconnects.
Ok. Out of space. Smart electronics and electro-mechanical equipment are the future. Optimized PCBs, ICs, and their connections are the enabler of it all. Hit the Check it Out link and begin exploring the ANSYS Signal Integrity page. This is good stuff.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering