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Advanced High-Speed Signal Propagation (Video Lectures): More Black Magic

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Advanced High-Speed Signal Propagation (Video Lectures): More Black Magic

Online Video


  • Copyright 2017
  • Edition: 1st
  • Online Video
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-458458-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-458458-4

12+ Hours of Video Instruction

Advanced High-Speed Signal Propagation is an advanced-level course for experienced digital designers who want to press their designs to the upper limits of speed and distance. Focusing on lossy transmission environments like backplanes, cables and long on-chip interconnections, this two-day course teaches a unified theory of transmission impairments that apply to any transmission media. This course is an advanced sequel to the High-Speed Digital Design Seminar.


This is a practical two-day seminar course, filmed in front of a live audience by a professional documentary film crew, taught by a man with extraordinary capabilities. His seminars have been seen by over 10,000 engineers worldwide, and was for 20 years among the most popular summer engineering short courses ever offered at the University of Oxford.

Why so popular? The course is real, taught by a real engineer, with real examples, explanations, and classroom demonstrations. Anyone who works with high-speed digital signals at the upper limits of speed and distance will understand and benefit from the material presented. In the course, Dr. Johnson begins with fundamentals, to make sure the vocabulary is clear, and then applies those fundamental in diverse areas of high-speed design.

This course presents material related to the book, High-Speed Signal Propagation: Advanced Black Magic, but treated in a different way and with different examples. The book, being 766 pages in length, obviously delves into the subject matter in greater detail. Think of the seminar as an introduction and, if you like it, get the book for on-the-job reference.

About the Instructor

An independent consultant, Dr. Johnson has served literally hundreds of top-name companies like Google, Amazon, Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, Cisco, Apple, Raytheon, and Lockheed-Martin. The breadth of his knowledge and understanding of high-speed computing systems is immense.

As an author, his books High-Speed Digital Design and High-Speed Signal Propagation have sold over 100,000 copies. He wrote EDN Magazine's featured Signal Integrity column for 17 years. Oxford University promoted his courses every year from 1994-2013 in their summer engineering curriculum. The IEEE tapped him to lead the technical development of Ethernet standards. In short, Dr. Johnson (now retired) is the sort of guy people pick when they want the very best for a tough High-Speed Digital Signal Integrity problem. 

Skill Level
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

What You Will Learn
  • How dielectric loss affects transmission line performance
  • How skin-effect loss affects transmission line performance
  • Different modes of transmission-line usage: TEM, Lumped-element, RC
  • Introduction to equalization
  • Issues concerning printed circuit board trace imperfections, reflections, and vias
  • How to handle sensitive clocks

Who Should Take This Course
  • Digital logic designers
  • System architects
  • Chip designers
  • Applications engineers
  • Anyone who works with digital logic at speeds in excess of 1GHz

Course Requirements
  • Basic understanding of transmission-line reflections and ringing
  • Must be able to read a schematic
  • Some analog circuit theory helps, but is not required
  • Familiarity with capacitance and inductance
  • Elementary mathematical skills
  • Any person having completed the course High-Speed Digital Design would satisfy these requirements

Table of Contents: High-Speed Signal Propagation

Chapter 1: Time and Frequency

Lesson 1: (Advanced) High-Speed Signal Propagation: Opening Lecture

Lesson 2: Purpose of Simulation

Lesson 3: Tools for Highly Optimized Work above 1 GHz

Lesson 4: Review of Mathematical Fundamentals

Chapter 2: Lossy Line Parameters

Lesson 5: Transmission Line Basics

Lesson 6: Resistive Effects

Lesson 7: Dielectric Effects

Chapter 3: Performance Regions

Lesson 8: TEM Transmission Media

Lesson 9: Lumped-Element Behavior

Lesson 10: RC Region

Lesson 11: Skin-Effect Region

Lesson 13: Measuring Characteristic Impedance

Lesson 14: Onset of Non-TEM Behavior

Lesson 15: Equalizers

Lesson 16: Digital Receive-Based Equalization

Chapter 4: Frequency-Domain Modeling

Lesson 17: Frequency-Domain Analysis

Lesson 18: Scattering parameters (S-parameters)

Chapter 5: PCB Traces and Connectors

Lesson 19: Design Examples

Lesson 20: Potholes (Transmission Line Imperfections)

Lesson 21: PCB Connectors

Lesson 22: Connecting layers

Lesson 23: Inductance of PCB Via

Lesson 24: Via Geometry

Lesson 25: Dangling Vias

Chapter 6: Differential Signaling

Lesson 26: Purpose of Differential Signaling

Lesson 27: Differential Microstrip Geometry

Lesson 28: Differential Stripline Geometry

Lesson 29: Differential Broadside-Coupled Geometry

Lesson 30: Trace Width vs. Distance

Lesson 31: Differential Receivers Tolerate High-Frequency Losses

Lesson 32: Matching to an External Cable

Lesson 33: Reducing EMI with Differential Signaling

Lesson 34: Visualizing Differential Crosstalk

Lesson 35: Breaking Up a Pair

Lesson 36: Differential Termination

Lesson 37: Changing Reference Planes

Lesson 38: Managing Trace Skew

Lesson 39: DC Blocking Capacitor Layout

Chapter 7: Clock Distribution and Jitter

Lesson 40: Routing Clocks and Other High-Speed Signals

Lesson 41: Serpentine Traces

Lesson 42: Hairball Networks

Lesson 43: Daisy-Chain Distribution

Lesson 44: Frequency Offset, Wander, and Jitter

Lesson 45: Jitter Specifications

Lesson 46: Words of Wisdom

Extra Material

Lesson 47: Serial Link Architecture

Lesson 48: Serial Link Budgeting


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