"Using Simulation Techniques to Guarantee Successful Backplane Design"

Shahana Aziz
MEI/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


In today’s high speed design environment, simulation tools must be used to guarantee first pass design success. Simulation tools can be used to verify performance of not only individual cards, but also complex systems comprising of a backplane and multiple plug in cards. This paper takes a look at using simulation techniques to find optimum design guidelines for designing a high speed backplane that meets signal and power integrity, timing and design margin constraints. It shows how various slot configurations can be compared to find design margins. Plug in card and connector models are used to provide simulation results that mirror reality.

The paper provides a step by step look at:

  1. Creating a system level simulation database
  2. Modeling backplanes, plug in cards, connectors and driver/receiver devices
  3. Simulatiing various design problems such as signal integrity, power integrity, parts selection, timing, crosstalk, characteristic impedance, design margins.
  4. Analyzing the results to engineer a successful backplane design solution that meets all project performance requirements.


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