More than you think! While most of us would not consider guitarists as experts in electronic design practices, they use the principle of matching impedances on a regular basis. A seasoned guitarist knows that, to unleash the real power onto their unsuspecting audience, the ohm value of the cab mic should match the ohm value of the speakers’ output.
A PCB designer, on the other hand, tracks impedance through the jargon of electronics, such as impedance mismatch and reflections.
We know that when a signal encounters a discontinuity, such as a via or a change in trace width etc., a part of the signal gets reflected back, creating signal integrity issues such as attenuation, standing waves, ringing, etc. This is why it’s necessary to have proper termination in place for signal nets that are running at high speeds.
But understanding the jargon of impedance is different than knowing how to find it. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert in signal integrity to do it. With the HyperLynx DRC Free Edition, any PCB designer can run electrical rule checks, regardless of which PCB layout tool you use.
The HyperLynx DRC impedance rule checks for impedance deviations across all trace segments. Just enter the designated parameters and HyperLynx DRC will do the rest, reporting on all the nets that violate the conditions you set. Detailed violation reports include information such as the impedance, width, and the length of the failed net. For a quick look at how to use this rule, take a look at this video.