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Test Laboratory

Speeding Edge, specialists in gigabit and higher designs, now offers test laboratory services for high-speed PCB impedance and power subsystem testing.

For any high-speed PCB design, there are two important tests that need to be performed to ensure the viability of the design:
  • Verifying that transmission line impedances are correct
  • Testing the power supply impedance vs. frequency to make sure that all loads are properly supported.
The expertise of Speeding Edge staff as well as equipment owned by the company enables the verification of transmission line impedances as well as the ability to test power supply impedance vs. frequency to support load requirements.

Because the two pieces of equipment required to perform these tests-a time domain reflectometer (TDR) and a spectrum analyzer cost about $30,000 or more and are used infrequently, it does not make sense for most engineering departments to make these costly investments. In addition, the successful completion of these tests requires a specialized skillset not available in most departments.

Speeding Edge uses a TDR to measure transmission line impedance. The TDR consists of a voltage step generator that launches very fast rise time pulses down the line to be tested and a sampling oscilloscope that monitors the voltage that travels on the transmission line. From the size and polarity of a reflection, the transmission line impedance can be measured.

In addition, Speeding Edge maintains a spectrum analyzer that is used with a tracking signal generator to measure the impedance vs. frequency of a power subsystem. Both of the tests that Speeding Edge offers, verification of transmission line impedance and testing of power subsystem impedance vs. frequency, are offered as contract services and can be performed either at a customer facility or at the Speeding Edge headquarters.

Note: Performing both impedance and power supply tests is best done with special test structures designed into each PCB. Descriptions of these preferred test structures can be obtained from Speeding Edge.

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Consulting

Speeding Edge has provided efficient solutions to severe EMI problems that have evaded the skills of many EMI "gurus" who have tried the standard fixes in general circulation. Products that have been fixed range from disc drives to supercomputers.

Speeding Edge is currently providing signal integrity engineering support to several manufacturers of ultra high performance products that include hundreds of signal paths ranging from PCI speeds to 10 Gb/S. Providing consulting services on products containing gigabit and higher data paths has become a specialty of Speeding Edge, including developing specifications for the IC packages used to house these high-speed circuits.

Speeding Edge provides consulting services to select clients engaged in developing high-speed PCB and system designs.

Services provided include:
  • Wiring rule generation
  • Coupling and cross talk control
  • PCB cross section design
  • Simulation tool use
  • Logic family choices
  • Connector selection
  • Termination rules
  • PCB testability
  • PCB routing techniques
  • Bus design
  • PCB cross section evaluation
  • High-speed material selection
  • EMI control
  • Controlled impedance
  • Impedance testing
  • Differential signaling
  • Power Subsystem Design and Testing
Among those companies who have retained Speeding Edge for engineering consulting services are:
  • Altera
  • Analog Devices
  • Arista Networks
  • Atmel
  • Blade Networks
  • Calix
  • Cisco
  • cPacket
  • Daktronix
  • Fabric 7 Networks
  • General Dynamics
  • General Electric
  • GTE
  • Intel
  • Intuitive Surgical
  • Juniper Systems
  • Lockheed/Martin
  • LSI Logic
  • Lucent Technologies
  • Mentor Graphics
  • Motion Control Engineering
  • National Security Agency
  • Nortel Networks
  • Phoenix International
  • Qualcomm
  • Raytheon
  • Rogers Corporation
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Starent Networks
  • Viasat
  • Xilinx