An overwhelming amount of information can be covered in the area of high-speed printed-circuit-board (PCB) design and manufacturing. To approach this topic, for example, one recent book merges 10 years of course instruction, 30 years of experience, and countless interactions with engineers. Right The First Time: A Practical Handbook On High-Speed PCB And System Design focuses on fundamental concepts as well as system-level topics. Examples of these topics include crosstalk control, transmission-line management, and power-subsystem design.
Engineering professionals will find the practical nature of this book especially useful. Like Coombs classic tome on PCB design, Lee W. Ritchey's book provides basic definitions and terminology in concise, richly illustrated blocks. In addition, it includes information on the more practical matters of design. A great number of illustrations have been taken directly from oscilloscope and logic-analyzer screens.
Right The First Time touches on many of the topics that are crucial to the development of today's high-speed boards. They range from PCB material, fabricator selection, and cost issues to design-tradeoff decisions. More specifically, it covers basic issues like right-angle bends and vias as potential sources of reflection. The book also addresses critical concerns, such as signal integrity and power-plane calculations.
The volume contains a plentiful glossary and extensive bibliography as well. The appendix even contains an anatomy of a plated throughhole along with a detailed template for PCB-supplier selection. Among the interesting topics that are detailed are basic transmission theory; termination strategies; managing overshoot, undershoot, and ground bounce; and noise management. The book also covers power systems, coupling, differential pair control, instruments and tools, and IC package properties.
The broad, complex, and ever-changing topic of high-speed PCB design is challenging. Obviously, it cannot be fully covered in one book. In this volume, for example, one would have liked to see more mention of the various data formats. Undoubtedly, they will be covered in the second volume, which is due out in 2004. Recognizing the constantly changing nature of the PCB industry, the author did note that his book will be updated on a regular basis.
Right The First Time: A Practical Handbook On High-Speed PCB And System Design by Lee W. Ritchey is available from Speeding Edge (www.speedingedge.com) for $125.00. The ISBN number is 2003109272.