The Simplest of Power Integrity Issues

By Patrick Carrier

By far, DC Drop issues are the simplest problems you can run into when designing a power distribution network or PDN.  They are also well understood, too: not enough metal, and you have voltage drop issues.  Analysis of these issues can be complex, with constantly changing path widths and multi-layer current paths, but that’s why we have simulators to do the work for us.  Setting up these problems to be analyzed is relatively easy – you just need to define voltage sources and current sinks.  And solving the issues are fairly easy as well – you just need to add more metal.  More metal may mean additional stitching vias and/or layers to carry the necessary current, or just widening a plane shape.  This is where the expertise of a layout designer is well-utilized, as they understand how to fit things into the busy layout to meet design constraints.  It therefore makes sense to move this aspect of PDN design directly into the layout, which makes the PCB design process much more efficient.  Take a look at this video to see how easy it is to analyze and correct these issues directly in layout.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at