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Impedance Discontinuity Reduction Between High-Speed Differential Connectors and PCB InterfacesHigh-speed serial communication (i.e., Gigabit Ethernet) requires differential transmission and controlled impedances. Impedance control is essential throughout cabling, connector, and circuit board construction. An impedance discontinuity arises at the interface of a high-speed quadrax and twinax connectors and the attached printed circuit board (PCB). This discontinuity usually is lower impedance since the relative dielectric constant of the board is higher (i.e., polyimide approx. = 4) than the connector (Teflon approx. = 2.25). The discontinuity can be observed in transmit or receive eye diagrams, and can reduce the effective link margin of serial data networks. High-speed serial data network transmission improvements can be made at the connector-to-board interfaces as well as improving differential via hole impedances. The impedance discontinuity was improved by 10 percent by drilling a 20-mil (approx. = 0.5-mm) hole in between the pin of a differential connector spaced 55 mils (approx. = 1.4 mm) apart as it is attached to the PCB. The effective dielectric constant of the board can be lowered by drilling holes into the board material between the differential lines in a quadrax or twinax connector attachment points. The differential impedance is inversely proportional to the square root of the relative dielectric constant. This increases the differential impedance and thus reduces the above described impedance discontinuity. The differential via hole impedance can also be increased in the same manner. This technique can be extended to multiple smaller drilled holes as well as tapered holes (i.e., big in the middle followed by smaller ones diagonally).
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Navidi, Sal
(Honeywell Aerospace Phoenix, AZ, United States)
Agdinaoay, Rodell
(Honeywell Aerospace Phoenix, AZ, United States)
Walter, Keith
(Honeywell Aerospace Phoenix, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
March 24, 2014
Publication Date
October 1, 2013
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, October 2013
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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