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High Speed PCB

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Item Rigid PCB
Max Layer 60L
Inner Layer Min Trace/Space 3/3mil
Out Layer Min Trace/Space 3/3mil
Inner Layer Max Copper 6oz
Out Layer Max Copper 6oz
Min Mechanical Drilling 0.15mm
Min Laser Drilling 0.1mm
Aspect Ratio(Mechanical Drilling) 20:1
Aspect Ratio(Laser Drilling) 1:1
Press Fit Hole Ttolerance ±0.05mm
PTH Tolerance ±0.075mm
NPTH Tolerance ±0.05mm
Countersink Tolerance ±0.15mm
Board Thickness 0.4-8mm
Board Thickness Tolerance(<1.0mm) ±0.1mm
Board Thickness Tolerance(≥1.0mm) ±10%
Impedance Tolerance Single-Ended:±5Ω(≤50Ω),±7%(>50Ω)
Min Board Size 10*10mm
Max Board Size 22.5*30inch
Contour Tolerance ±0.1mm
Min BGA 7mil
Min SMT 7*10mil
Surface Treatment ENIG,Gold Finger,Immersion Silver,Immersion Tin,HASL(LF),OSP,ENEPIG,Flash Gold;Hard gold plating
Solder Mask Green,Black,Blue,Red,Matt Green
Min Solder Mask Clearance 1.5mil
Min Solder Mask Dam 3mil
Legend White,Black,Red,Yellow
Min Legend Width/Height 4/23mil
Strain Fillet Width /
Bow & Twist 0.3%
Table of Contents
Primary Item (H2)


In electronics, the evolution of high-speed Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) marks a significant milestone, catering to the burgeoning demand for faster data processing and transmission. As devices shrink in size yet grow in complexity, understanding the nuances of high-speed PCB design becomes paramount for engineers and designers alike. This essay explores the essence of high-speed board design, delineates the criteria for classifying a PCB as high-speed, and offers insights into the requisite design skills and the pivotal role of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software in this sophisticated engineering domain.

What Is High-Speed Board Design?

High-speed board design is an advanced PCB design approach that considers the board's physical attributes meticulously to ensure signal integrity at high frequencies. Unlike traditional PCB design, which primarily focuses on component placement and connectivity, high-speed design addresses the challenges posed by the fast edge rates of digital signals. These challenges include signal delays, crosstalk, reflections, and electromagnetic emissions, which can significantly degrade the performance of electronic devices. High-speed design involves optimizing the layout, packaging, interconnections, and layer stack up to mitigate these issues, ensuring reliable and efficient operation of the circuit.

When Is a Printed Circuit Board Design Considered High Speed?

Determining when a PCB design transitions from standard to high-speed involves several key factors:

  • Digital Signal Speed: A PCB is considered high-speed when it features digital circuits with speeds at or above 45 to 50 MHz, where digital signals constitute a significant portion of the system.
  • Impact on Signal Integrity: The design is classified as high-speed if the physical properties of the PCB, such as layout and material characteristics, begin to affect the integrity of signals, leading to potential issues like signal distortion and data corruption.
  • Presence of High-Speed Interfaces: Including high-speed interfaces (e.g., DDR, PCI-e, HDMI) necessitates high-speed design considerations to handle the rapid data transfer rates effectively.

High-Speed PCB Design Skills

Achieving proficiency in high-speed PCB design requires a comprehensive skill set:

Advanced CAD Software Proficiency

  • Tool Familiarity: High-speed PCB design necessitates using advanced CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software with features beyond layout and schematic capture basics. Designers must be proficient in software with extensive simulation capabilities, impedance calculation tools, and advanced routing functionalities.
  • Simulation and Modeling: Utilizing the simulation tools within CAD software allows designers to model high-speed circuits and predict their behavior before physical prototypes are built. This includes signal integrity analysis, timing analysis, and electromagnetic simulations to identify potential issues like signal reflections, crosstalk, and EMI.
  • Differential Pair Routing: CAD software for high-speed design often includes specialized tools for routing differential pairs — two parallel traces carrying opposite signals. Proper use of these tools ensures that differential pairs are routed with consistent spacing and parallelism, which is critical for maintaining signal integrity over high-speed data lines.

Impedance Control and Routing Discipline

  • Understanding Impedance: At high frequencies, the impedance of PCB traces becomes a critical factor in signal integrity. Designers must understand how to calculate the impedance of traces based on their geometry and the dielectric properties of the PCB material, adjusting trace width and spacing accordingly to achieve desired impedance levels.
  • Routing Guidelines: Adhering to strict guidelines is essential to minimize signal degradation. This includes avoiding sharp turns that can increase signal reflection, maintaining uniform trace widths to preserve impedance consistency, and routing high-speed signals away from noisy areas of the board to reduce the risk of crosstalk.

Length Matching and Loop Area Reduction

  • Length Matching: High-speed digital interfaces, such as those used in DDR memory systems, require that signals arrive at their destinations simultaneously. This necessitates precise length matching of traces, often achieved by adding serpentine bends to equalize lengths. CAD software can automate much of this process, but a deep understanding of when and how to apply length matching is crucial.
  • Reducing Loop Areas: Large loop areas in signal return paths can act as antennas, radiating electromagnetic energy and leading to EMI. High-speed PCB designers must minimize these loop areas by ensuring that signal and return paths are closely coupled. This often involves strategic placement of ground planes and using vias to create short return paths, thereby reducing loop area and mitigating EMI.
  • Use of Stitching Vias: To further reduce EMI and enhance signal integrity, high-speed PCB designers often employ additional vias placed along the edges of ground and power planes or between differential pairs. These vias help to maintain a consistent reference plane, reduce loop areas, and shield high-speed signals from external interference.

Discover how high-speed PCB design skills are applied in the PCB Assembly process to ensure optimal performance and reliability by visiting our guide on PCB Assembly.

The Role of CAD Software in High-Speed PCB Design

Computer-aided design (CAD) software plays a critical role in high-speed PCB design, offering tools and features tailored to address the complexities of high-speed requirements. Advanced CAD solutions provide:

  • Simulation Tools: Enabling designers to simulate and analyze signal behavior, impedance, and EMI effects before physical prototyping.
  • Routing Assistance: Offering sophisticated routing algorithms to manage trace lengths, differential pairs, and impedance-controlled paths.
  • Design Verification: Allowing for the verification of design rules specific to high-speed operation to ensure compliance with performance standards.


High-speed PCB design is a critical and challenging aspect of modern electronics engineering, requiring a nuanced understanding of signal behavior, material properties, and advanced design techniques. As electronic devices evolve, the demand for high-speed PCBs will only increase, underscoring the importance of skilled designers and sophisticated CAD software in pushing the boundaries of what's possible in electronics design.

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