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PDN Analysis: What It Is and Why You Need It

PDN Analysis: What It Is and Why You Need It

When designing a PCB layout, the primary concern is how to make sure all your theoretical predictions translate to its real-life functionality. It involves ensuring that what works on paper will actually do so when your PCB is installed and turned on. However, a PCB’s practical performance is dependent on a broad range of factors. Many of them can be predicted accurately through the use of various PCB design analysis tools. But most people neglect aspects of how to make sure the board’s power delivery networks (PDNs) are working efficiently. That is where tools like the CST PDN Analyzer come in.

PDN AnalysisComputer Simulation Technology powers an innovative tool that helps designers come up with the most efficient layout for their PCB power delivery networks. It involves figuring out the best way to lay out a board’s copper areas, which supply the circuitry’s DC supply and its grounding. The main aim of any PDN Analyzer is to develop an efficient PCB design that will maintain the stability of its DC power layout.

This is a critical issue for PCB designers. The majority of designs for modern technological devices feature high-speed circuits, multiple power supply rails, and densely populated PCBs. Furthermore, Moore’s Law guarantees the number of transistors in integrated circuits will more than double every two years. Thus, the demands placed on a board’s PDNs require a more organized and analytical approach to their design.

PDN Analysis

As the design of integrated circuits become denser, semiconductors are now shifting towards smaller processes geometry. While this move helps to decrease a device’s overall power consumption, it does increase its total current demand. This creates unique challenges for the efficient delivery of power vis a vis today’s strict noise requirements.

The analysis of power distribution networks, therefore, lets you design faster, more powerful and efficient systems. It helps you supply stable and clean voltages to your devices, combating various design issues that include:

  • High current densities: This creates excessive heat that causes fusing of components on the PCB, or delamination.
  • Voltage drops: This is where the integrated circuit supply rail levels are below the recommended minimum voltages.

Previously, ensuring that the components used on a printed circuit board were of adequate size and characteristics to meet its power consumption needs was an arduous prospect. It involved a lot of time, calculations, and a large element of guesswork.

However, innovative software, currently available on the market, has made the process easier and more rational. These programs provide tools that will help you analyze a PCB’s power delivery network based on its physical and electrical properties.

The Benefits of PDN Analysis

1. Improved PDN and PCB Design

The Benefits of PDN AnalysisThe analysis process provides you with information that can help you create layouts that utilize board space most efficiently. The information accumulated during such analysis helps you to identify problem areas with high current densities, and easily correct them.

2. Improves Product Reliability

PDN analysis helps you come up with high performing, efficient devices. It helps you ensure that individual supply networks within the design are performing correctly, thus assuring voltage stability and fewer chances of damage due to overheating.

3. Improves Knowledge

Designers do not have to rely solely on estimations or “rule of thumb” approaches to estimate their calculations when designing PDNs. The analysis, therefore, helps to build up a reliable body of knowledge.

Conclusion

The increasing advancement of technology leads to the development of smaller, more powerful devices. Therefore, the design and analysis of efficient systems to deliver power to these devices becomes an even more critical aspect of the design process. The importance of PDN Analysis cannot be overlooked, and will only become more critical as technology continues to evolve.

Written by Alice Walker