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Introduction to Transmission Lines

Overview
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What is a transmission line?

Who benefits from using transmission line analysis?

Key circuits for digital systems analysis

The components
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Ideal transmission lines

Lossy elements

Types of lossy elements

Syntax

Physical levels

Electrical levels

Geophysical microstrips

RCLG microstrip equivalent circuit

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


Star-Hspice Basic Training 2000

Transmission Lines
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What is a transmission line ?


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A transmission line is a device intended to deliver an output signal at a distance


from the point of signal input.

Any conductive pathway can show transmission line effects at high enough
frequencies and/or long enough lengths.

Examples include:

Microstrips

Coaxial cables

Ribbon cables

IC package interconnect

PC board traces

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


Star-Hspice Basic Training 2000

Transmission Lines
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Who benefits from using transmission line analysis ?


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System designers

IC designers

High-speed digital

High-frequency analog

Interconnect

PC board designers

Anyone concerned about cross-talk and signal integrity

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


Star-Hspice Basic Training 2000

Transmission Lines
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Some key circuits for digital systems analysis


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Pin package models ( for low pin count products )

14-64 pin DIP, PLCC, TSOP

RAM, ROM, EPROM, TTL, Glue-logic

Driver and receiver models

PGA package models ( for high pin count applications )

100-600 pin gate arrays, uPs

PCB trace models (single and coupled lines)

Variable length model for standard trace widths

Top layer (microstrip)

Mid-layer (stripline)

Cable models - coax, twisted pair, ribbon, power

Miscellaneous models - chip decoupling capacitors, tantalum capacitor, resistors

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


Star-Hspice Basic Training 2000

Transmission Lines
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Some of the unwelcome effects caused by transmission line effects are:


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Pulse rounding / distortion

Propagation delays

Crosstalk

Ringing

Ground bounce

Attenuation

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


Star-Hspice Basic Training 2000

Supported Elements
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Hspice supports 3 transmission line elements:


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T: lossless, single signal only

U: lossy, allows up to 5 signal lines

W:lossy, more robust & accurate than U, allow more than 5 signal lines.

Recommend user to use W element

T and U elements are supported solely for backward compatibility

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


Star-Hspice Basic Training 2000

Ideal Transmission Lines: T-Element


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The ideal LOSSLESS transmission line


Txxx in inref out outref ZO=val TD=val L=val <IC=V1, I1, V2, I2>
or
Txxx in inref out outref ZO=val (Ohms) F=val <NL=val> <IC=V1, I1, V2, I2>

Efficient at simulating long delay times

Defined by impedance and delay

Input difference delayed (differential mode only)

Cannot be coupled

Common mode is NOT modeled

Td(min)=Td*L*SCALE (Caution -can cause extremely long analysis times)


in
Vint = V(out-refout)t-TD + (iout x Zo)t-TD

out
+
-

+
-

inref

outref

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


Star-Hspice Basic Training 2000

Voutt = V(in-refin)t-TD + (iin x Zo)t-TD

Lossy Transmission Lines: U-Element


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Lossy transmission line syntax


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in

inref

out

outref

model_name

L=val

Physical model levels (PLEV)


q

Uxxx

Coax, twinlead, microstrip, stripline

Electrical sub-levels of physical model


q

Geometric, external field-solver entry, electrical

Useful for short time delays

Ground references are treated like the signal line

Can be coupled ( 5 lines max.)

Automatic lumping, including resistive loss, mutual coupling

N lumps

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


Star-Hspice Basic Training 2000

Lossy Transmission Lines: U-Element


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Syntax for U model


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.model Umodel_name U level=3 plev=x elev=x keyname=val

Transmission lines are ALL level 3, and there are combinations of physical levels and
electrical levels. The number of conductors in the element is determined by the model
(NL=val).

Have a reference point if analysis is critical (field solver)

There are three electrical levels:


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elev=1

Geophysical (geometry based calculation of RCLK)

elev=2

RCLK values entered from field solver

elev=3

Electro-physical parameters (impedance / delay / attenuation)

Calculation of RCLG elements

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


Star-Hspice Basic Training 2000

Lossy Transmission Lines: U-Element


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Physical levels of U model


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For each electrical level, there are physical levels corresponding to different kinds
of transmission line construction.

plev=1

Microstrip of 2 to 5 conductors plus a ground plane

plev=2

Coaxial cable

plev=3

Twinlead cable - 2 symmetric conductors (can be shielded)

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


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Lossy Transmission Lines: U-Element


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Electrical levels of U elements


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elev=1: Transmission line described in terms of physical constants and geometric


construction

elev=2: T-line described via previously computed RCLK values

Ilev=0 Ground or shield conductor is purely resistive

Ilev=2 Ground plane and common mode L and C are included

elev=3: T-line described in terms of electrical parameters (attenuation, capacitance,


impedance)

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Transmission Lines
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The geo-physical microstrip


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elev=1, plev=1

dlev=0

microstrip in a sea of dielectric

dlev=1

microstrip in dual dielectric

dlev=2

stripline dual reference plane

dlev=3

overlay dielectric - planar conductor with a single reference plane and


an overlay of dielectric material covering the conductor

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Transmission Lines
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ELEV=1 (Geometric/Physical)
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PLEV=1

PLEV=2

PLEV=3, DLEV=0,1,2

PLEV=3, DLEV=3

ELEV=2 (Pre-computed)
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PLEV=1

PLEV=2, 3

(Not available in Star-Hspice)

ELEV=3 (Measured data)


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PLEV=1,2

PLEV=3

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


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Star-Hspices W Element
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Based on a novel state-of-the-art transmission-line simulation method, very


fast, accurate, and robust

Inputs frequency-dependent RLGC matrices

No limit on the number of coupled conductors

No restrictions on the structure of input RLGC matrices, all matrices can be


full.

Frequency-dependent loss is accurately modeled in the transient analysis.

Accuracy does not depend on the transient speed, line length, or amount of
loss, coupling, or frequency dependence.

Requires no manual adjustments (such as the number of lumps in the U


element). Gives accurate results with large timestep.
See Star-Hspice Users Manual for more information on W-Element.

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


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Element Card

W xxxx
+
+
+
+

N=num_of_conductors
node1.1 node1.N node1
node2.1 node2.N node2
RLGCfile=RLGC_file_name
l=line_length

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RLGC File

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W Element Syntax
Wline in1 in2 inN inRef out1 out2 outN outRef N=<value> L=<value>
+ <RLGCmodel=name | FSmodel= name |RLGCfile=name | Umodel=name>

N: number of signal wires, excluding reference conductor

L: length of transmission line (default unit: meter)

Require RLGC matrices. Allow four possible formats:

RLGCmodel (if RLGC values are already available)

Fsmodel (RLGC values unknown, but physical geometry of transmission lines is known)

RLGCfile (if RLGC values are already available, syntax is not flexible as RLGCmodel)

Umodel (supported for backward compatibility)

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RLGCModel Syntax
.MODEL name W MODELTYPE=RLGC
+ N=<value>
+ Lo=<matrix_entries> Co=<matrix_entries>
+ (Ro=<matrix_entries> Go=<matrix_entries>
+ Rs=<matrix_entries> Gd=<matrix_entries>
+ Rognd=<matrix_entries>
+ Rsgnd =<matrix_entries> )
Example:
W1 i1 i2 i3 0 o1 o2 o3 0 N=3 L=1 RLGCmodel=sample
.model sample W MODELTYPE=RLGC N=3
Lo=2.311e-6
Co=2.392e-11

4.14e-7

2.99e-6

-5.41e-12

2.12E-11

8.42e-8

2.81e-6

-1.08e-12 -5.72e-12 2.447e-11

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5.27e-7

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Conversion Table for W-Element Matrices from U Element RLGC Matrices

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W Element Accepts U Model


The W-Element is extended to fully accept all U-model modes including:
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RLGC input for up to five coupled conductors

Geometric input (planar, coax, twinlead)

Measured parameter input

Skin effect

MONTE CARLO simulation

The above features provide backward compatibility with the U element.

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


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Benchmark
0.35
0.3

U element (300 segments)


W element

0.25
0.2
0.15
0.1
Transient Waveforms (V)

0.05
spurious ringing (U element)
0

-0.05
0

10

20
Time (ns)

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21

40

50

Benchmark
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Hspice Transient Runtime, Four-Conductor Line


Line Model

Relative
Runtime

Runtime
(s )

Memory
(Kbytes)

New model

0.17

23

Single lumped
resistors

0.69

0.12

153

Single lumped
RLGC segment

0.92

0.16

172

U element

23,513

3,827

9,354

Spice3
convolution
model

687

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


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Parameter Extractor for Transmission Line (PETL)


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2-D field solver integrated into Star-Hspice simulator

Underlying numerical technique is improved version of boundary element


method

Highly efficient and accurate

Star-Hspice now performs full transmission line analysis for virtually any size
interconnect system

Supports Star-Hspice optimization and Monte-Carlo statistical analysis

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


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PETL
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Parameter Extraction for Transmission Lines

Input: geometry information of transmission lines

Output: L, C, Ro, Rs, Go, Gs

Capabilities

Allow arbitrary number of dielectric and conductors

Shape of dielectric must be a planar layer

Allow arbitrary shape of conductor

Conductors must not overlap

Magnetic materials are not supported

Limitations

Proximity and edge effects are not considered so, the resulting Rs matrix is diagonal.

For inhomogeneous media, the arithmetic average values of conductivities and loss tangents
are used to compute the conductance matrices, Go and Gd .

Day 3, Session 3: Intro to Transmission Lines


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PETL: Defining Materials


.MATERIAL mname METAL|DIELECTRIC <ER=val> <UR=val>
+ <CONDUCTIVITY=val> <LOSSTANGENT=val>
mname

Material name

METAL|DIELECTRIC

Material type: METAL or DIELECTRIC

ER

Dielectric constant (relative permittivity)

UR

Relative permeability

CONDUCTIVITY

Static field conductivity of conductor or lossy dielectric (S/m)

LOSSTANGENT

Alternating field loss tangent of dielectric (tan )

The Star-Hspice field solver assigns the following default values for metal: CONDUCTIVITY = -1 (perfect
conductor), ER = 1, UR = 1. PEC is a predefined metal name with the default values and cannot be
redefined.

The Star-Hspice field solver assigns the following default values for dielectrics: CONDUCTIVITY = 0
(lossless dielectric) , LOSSTANGENT = 0 (lossless dielectric), ER = 1, UR = 1 . AIR is a predefined
dielectric name with default values and cannot be redefined.

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PETL: Defining Layerstack


.LAYERSTACK sname <BACKGROUND=mname>
+ <LAYER=(mname,thickness) ...>
sname

Layer stack name

mname

Material name

BACKGROUND

Background dielectric material name. By default, AIR is assumed


for the background.

thickness

Layer thickness

Layers are listed from bottom to top.

Metal layers (ground planes) are located only at the bottom, top, or both top and bottom.

Layers are stacked in y-direction, and the bottom of a layer stack is at y=0.

All conductors must be located above y=0.

Background material must be dielectric.

Free space without ground: . LAYERSTACK mystack

Free space with a (bottom) ground plane: .LAYERSTACK halfSpace PEC 0.1mm

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PETL: Defining Shapes


.SHAPE sname Shape_Descriptor
sname
Shape_Descriptor

Shape name.
See the following subsections.

Rectangles

RECTANGLE WIDTH=val HEIGHT=val <NW=val> <NH=val>


WIDTH
HEIGHT
NW
NH
q

Width of rectangle (length in x-direction).


Height of rectangle (length in y-direction).
Number of segments for the width discretization.
Number of segments for the height discretization.

Normally, it is not necessary to set the values of NW and NH since they are automatically set
by the solver depending on the accuracy mode.

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PETL: Defining Shapes (cont.)


CIRCLE RADIUS=val <N=val>
RADIUS
N

Radius of the circle.


Number of segments for discretization.

STRIP WIDTH=val <N=val>


WIDTH
N

Width of strip (length in x-direction).


Number of segments for discretization.

POLYGON VERTEX=(x1 y1 x2 y2 ...) <N=(n1,n2,...)>


VERTEX

(x, y) coordinates of vertices. Listed either in clockwise or


counter-clockwise direction.

Number of segments for each edges. If only one value is


specified, then this value is used for all edges. The first value
of N, n1, corresponds to the number of segments for the edge
from (x1 y1) to (x2 y2).

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PETL: Defining Options


.FSOPTIONS name <ACCURACY=LOW|MEDIUM|HIGH>
+ <GRIDFACTOR=val> <PRINTDATA=YES|NO> <COMPUTEG0=YES|NO>
+ <COMPUTEGD=YES|NO> <COMPUTERO=YES|NO> <COMPUTERS=YES|NO>
ACCURACY

Sets the solver accuracy to either LOW , MEDIUM , or


HIGH .
(Default = HIGH)

GRIDFACTOR

Multiplication factor (integer) to determine the final number of


segments used in discretization. (Default = 1)

PRINTDATA

Specifies that the solver will print output matrices.


(Default = NO)

COMPUTEGO

Specifies that the solver will compute the static conductance


matrix.
(Default = YES)

COMPUTEGD

Specifies that the solver will compute the dielectric loss


matrix.
(Default = NO)

COMPUTERO

Specifies that the solver will compute the DC resistance


matrix.
(Default = YES)

COMPUTERS

Specifies that the solver will compute the skin-effect


resistance matrix.
(Default = NO)

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PETL Example
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Three traces immersed in stratified dielectric media

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PETL: Example Input File Listing

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LAB 9

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