Signal integrity-On-chip signal integrity-
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On-chip signal integrity
Signal integrity problems in modern integrated circuits (ICs) can have many drastic consequences for digital designs:
Products can fail to operate at all, or worse yet, become unreliable in the field.
The design may work, but only at speeds slower than planned
Yield may be lowered, sometimes drastically
The cost of these failures is very high, and includes photomask costs, engineering costs and opportunity cost due to delayed product introduction. Therefore, electronic design automation (EDA) tools have been developed to analyze, prevent, and correct these problems. In integrated circuits, or ICs, the main cause of signal integrity problems is crosstalk. In CMOS technologies, this is primarily due to coupling capacitance, but in general it may be caused by mutual inductance, substrate coupling, non-ideal gate operation, and other sources. The fixes normally involve changing the sizes of drivers and/or spacing of wires.
In analog circuits, designers are also concerned with noise that arise from physical sources, such as thermal noise, flicker noise, and shot noise. These noise sources on the one hand present a lower limit to the smallest signal that can be amplified, and on the other, define an upper limit to the useful amplification.