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An intuitive, practical approach to mixed-signal grounding

Posted: 18 Aug 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mixed-signal  circuit topology  signal integrity  Proximity Effect 

When it comes to electronic circuit performance, the choice of components is regarded as one of the most important criteria. It must be noted also, however, that signal integrity and circuit topology equally affects the way electronic circuits perform. Since mixed-signal devices, such as Analogue-to-Digital Converters (ADCs or A/Ds) and Digital-to-Analogue Converters (DACs of D/As) have both analogue and digital circuitry and signals associated with them, they can be considered to suffer a "double whammy" in the signal integrity arena. The fundamental principle that describes the behaviour of electrical currents and the electromagnetic fields associated with them is the Proximity Effect. Understanding this phenomenon will help establish what is necessary in the way of layout and circuit design to ensure signal integrity and to minimise EMI/RFI (Electromagnetic Interference/Radio Frequency Interference) problems.

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