Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Research)


Electronic Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. John Barrett


The electronics market is continually seeking fast and small high performance products. The clock frequency in computer systems is often above 2GHz and new generations of laptops have considerably reduced in size. These features make printed circuit board (PCB) design more difficult than in the past.

This thesis is an investigation of the current design of high speed PCB. The complexity of this type of circuit makes the designer needs an extensive knowledge of the techniques used to generate a reliable signalling, in other words, signal integrity. To achieve this objective, the design community has to overcome several problem related to the performance of passive components at high frequencies. For this reason high speed designers use CAD programs where electromagnetic field solver tools guarantee a reliable performance for simulations in the frequency and time domain. The disadvantage of this method is the length of time required. New philosophy used for designing high-speed boards is to approach the solutions of field solvers to develop the boards. These solutions are called "rules of thumb". The research of this thesis is focused on the study of "rules of thumb" developed by the design community.

An additional objective of this thesis is to collect the "rules of thumb" from different sources of information used by designers in a CAD tool. This program has been designed to provide useful information and quick calculator of rules of thumb to high speed design community and undergraduate students.


Juan Manuel Talavera Martinez, B.Eng.

Adaptive Wireless System Group,

Department of Electronic Engineering,

Cork Institute of Technology.

Submitted to the Higher Education & Training Awards Council, September 2003.

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