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Configure analogue, digital grounds

Posted: 23 Jan 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ground  signal  printed circuit board 

Ground is a reference point for all of the signals in a system. Ideally, it has a potential of zero volt everywhere. In the real world, ground is nothing more than another signal carried by real conductors with some impedance. Currents flowing through this ground cause the potential across the conductor to be different at different points. A "good" ground is realised by keeping the conductor impedance low, which minimises the potential difference. This is done by dedicating a layer of the printed circuit board to being a ground plane, where a large area of copper lowers the impedance.

This article by Rick Downs of Texas Instruments discusses how to configure analogue and digital grounds to assure signal integrity and lowest-noise performance in mixed-signal designs.

View the PDF document for more information.

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