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Signal Integrity Textbooks

Posted May 28th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Books


Posted by Colin Warwick

Here are my thumbnail reviews of some signal integrity textbooks. They reflect my personal views, not those of Agilent. You can add your thoughts in the box below.

Stack of signal integrity books
  • Timing Analysis and Simulation for Signal Integrity Engineers by Greg Edlund
    This book takes a different approach to signal integrity then the "traditional" Bogatin and Johnson & Graham approach (see below) in that the starting point is not the interconnect, but that diminutive prima donna of signal integrity, the flip-flop in the receiving chip. In my mind’s eye I imagine this scene: "If I don’t see a clean zero or one during my set up and hold periods," lectures the flip-flop, one hand on hip, the other wagging a threatening finger, "I’m going to go metastable." And so the game begins. How to deliver on that demand? Greg’s twenty years – and counting – experience as a hands-on signal integrity engineer makes his textbook authoritative and his narrative style makes the book accessible.
    One minor issue I do have with this book is the issues raised on page 222: “A short survey of introductory physics textbooks uncovers an unsettling fact: it does not seem possible to define magnetic field in general terms using more fundamental quantities.”
    Not so. The magnetic component of force between two particles is well defined by the Biot-Savart law and the B field can be defined in such a way as to intermediate between cause (B1 = μ0q1v1 x r /(4πr3)) and effect (the magnetic component of the Lorentz force F21 = q2v2 x B1).
  • A Signal Integrity Engineer’s Companion Real-Time Test and Measurement and Design Simulation (Geoff Lawday, David Ireland, and Greg Edlund)
    Some of the chapters (2, 4, 9) in this books are the same (give or take a revision or two) as ones in the book above, so this book should be considered if the non-overlapping material is of value to you. Not sure why the publisher "double-dips" in this way.
  • Signal Integrity – Simplified (2ed due for release July 27, 2009) by Eric Bogatin
    It was Eric who coined the phrases "There are two kinds of engineers — those who have signal integrity problems, and those who will." and (with respect to all signal integrity issues) "It depends."
    I haven’t seen the second edition yet, but the first edition has the "traditional" signal integrity focus on the properties of the interconnect, the impairments that it inflicts on the poor signal, and how to design around them within the limits imposed by physical laws. Eric also has a new book coming out in September – Signal Integrity Characterization Techniques – co-authored with my colleague Mike Resso. I’ll review it when I can.
    Update July 29, 2009
    I received the 2ed of the now renamed Signal and Power Integrity -Simplified. Eric has revised the original eleven chapters, a net addition of about 6 pages of material on topics like differential pairs and losses that have become more prominent since the first edition in 2004. But the major change is the addition of two new chapters, one on S-parameters and one on power distribution networks.
  • High Speed Digital Design: A Handbook of Black Magic and High Speed Signal Propagation: Advanced Black Magic by Howard Johnson and Martin Graham
    Published in 1993 and 2003 respectively, one frustration with these two very popular books is that I can never quite decided whether the latter is volume two of the former, or whether it’s the second edition. There’s certainly a lot of overlap between the two, but the second isn’t a true superset of the first. It smacks of another case of Prentice Hall "double-dipping." Both volumes/editions have a "traditional" focus on the PRBS signal in the frequency- and time-domains, and its interaction with the interconnect. Personally, I prefer the flow of Eric’s book for "cover-to-cover" reading, but there’s a lot of good reference material and anecdotes here that I dip into when needed.

Other texts that are on my ever expanding to do list. I’ll try to add reviews here someday? Or you can add your thoughts in the box below.

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