Ground plane in Printed circuit boards B
Printed circuit boards
In addition, a ground plane under printed circuit traces can reduce crosstalk between adjacent traces. When two traces run parallel, an electrical signal in one can be coupled into the other through electromagnetic induction by magnetic field lines from one linking the other; this is called crosstalk. When a ground plane layer is present underneath, it forms a transmission line with the trace. The oppositely-directed return currents flow through the ground plane directly beneath the trace. This confines most of the electromagnetic fields to the area near the trace and consequently reduces crosstalk.
A power plane is often used in addition to a ground plane in a multilayer circuit board, to distribute DC power to the active devices. The two facing areas of copper create a large parallel plate decoupling capacitor that prevents noise from being coupled from one circuit to another through the power supply.
Ground planes are sometimes split and then connected by a thin trace. This allows the separation of analog and digital sections of a board or the inputs and outputs of amplifiers. The thin trace has low enough impedance to keep the two sides very close to the same potential while keeping the ground currents of one side from coupling into the other side, causing ground loop.