High Speed Course Package "LRxSignals", 4 days
presented by
Altium Limited and Leonardy Electronics GmbH

High Speed Design Course with Lee Ritchey,
Silicon Valleys Mr. High Speed, 3 days


High Speed Design Altium Designer xSignals Course with Altium Designer Expert Joe Leonardy

Date: May, 05/06/07/08, 2015
Location: Bahia Resort Hotel, San Diego, CA, United States

This comprehensive 4 day course consists of a 3 day tool-independent part with High Speed Design´s "Ratchet Man" Lee Ritchey and a 1 day Altium Designer High Speed Training with an Altium Designer expert:

It covers all key aspects of the high speed design process. If you can take only one course on this subject, this is the one for you.

Lee Ritchey

Practical and Comprehensive

This highly practical course is designed to take the student through the entire process involved in designing and fabricating high speed PCBs. It begins with the fundamentals of electromagnetic fields and the behavior of transmission lines that are the basis for all high-speed signaling. From there, it examines all of the aspects of high-speed design leading to the development of a robust set of PCB design rules that accounts for power subsystem design, routing rules and design of PCB stack-ups as well as the fabrication rules needed to balance performance against cost and manufacturability.

The materials and examples used in this course are drawn from actual designs of high speed systems in current manufacture. These examples range from video games to terabit routers and cover the complete range of designs. The design process presented is based on many years of completing designs that are "right the first time". Students are shown many ways to improve their design process so that designs meet this objective. Reliable methods for controlling and containing EMI will also be thoroughly covered.

This course places special emphasis on very high speed differential signaling protocols such as XAUI, Hypertransport, PCI Express, Infiniband, SATA, SSCSI and others that are the backbone of modern computing. Actual circuits are built and tested and then modeled to correlate modeling techniques. The topic of how to design power delivery systems capable of supporting these protocols is also addressed.

Expert Instructor

Lee Ritchey is considered to be one of the industry´s premier authorities on high speed PCB and system design. He has participated in the design of more than 1000 high speed PCBs ranging from PC mother boards and elevator controllers to the backplanes used in terabit routers. He is currently involved in the design of several super computer class products as well as video games and servers of all kinds.

The course draws substantially from this real-time experience with state of the art components, fabricators and materials. It also draws heavily on the design of backplanes and daughter boards containing thousands of 2.4, 4.8 and 9.6 GB/S and 10 - 28 GB/S signal paths.

Major Topics

  • Basic transmission line theory
  • How to determine when a design is "high speed"
  • Impedance calculation and control
  • Termination strategies
  • Coupling and cross talk control
  • Differential signaling
  • Bypass capacitors, their limitations, selection and placement
  • Designing a robust power subsystem
  • Creating a design rule set that fits each design
  • Documentation requirements
  • PCB materials and their characteristics
  • The PCB fabrication process
  • Use of buried and blind vias
  • Test structures required to insure PCBs are built properly
  • Creating a PCB design process that is right the first time
  • Design tools appropriate to high speed design
  • Managing undershoot and over shoot
  • Effects of stubs on transmission lines
  • Effects of vias and right angle bends
  • IC package characteristics and how to avoid selecting a bad package
  • Managing Vcc and ground bounce
  • What EMI is and how to control it
  • A clear definition of what signal integrity engineering is and where it fits in the design process
  • A comprehensive look at high speed design tools
  • Types of simulators
  • Types of simulation models and their limitations
  • How to set up simulators
  • Use of simulators to develop design rules
  • Use of simulators to verify that PCB routing rules are robust
  • Use of simulators to verify design is correct
  • Creating and assessing "eye" diagrams

Who should take this course

This course is designed for all the participants in the design and fabrication process. Among those who will find it valuable are:

  • Design engineers

  • System architects

  • EMC specialists

  • Signal integrity engineers

  • Technicians

  • PCB layout professionals

  • Applications engineers

  • IC designers

  • IC package designers

  • Test engineers

  • Project engineers

  • Design managers

  • Engineering managers


Any engineering professional who works with high speed design will understand the materials presented. No advanced mathematics are required.

Why Take This Course

Electronic designs of all kinds are operating with increasingly faster clock rates and rise times. At the same time, the pressure to complete designs in fewer design cycles is putting pressure on design teams to deliver designs to manufacturing that are "right the first time". In order to account for the normal variations in component edge rates, propagation delay variations, amplifier gains, logic levels and variations in the PCB fabrication process, it is necessary to invoke the use of design tools and methods that allow "preroute" analysis to insure the final product is designed correctly. With the speeds of signals and components rising into the gigahertz range, relying on the traditional bread boarding or hardware prototyping process often results in a product never making it to market.

This increase in component speed has made it necessary for all design engineers to master the design techniques that were once only the province of super computer engineers. This course relies heavily on the proven methods developed for supercomputers and terabit routers. It also draws on experience with disc drives and high performance video games.

This course addresses the most common high speed problems, including:

  • Failures from crosstalk and reflections

  • Problems related to time delays in PCB traces

  • EMI failures

  • Failures stemming from poor power system design

  • Failures related to poor IC package design


LEE RITCHEY, BSEE, founder and president of Speeding Edge, is considered to be one of the industry´s premier authorities on high-speed PCB and system design. Prior to founding Speeding Edge, Ritchey served as program manager at 3Com Corporation where he managed a corporate-wide signal integrity group responsible for the design rules used to develop high performance networking equipment such as routers and switches. Before that, he managed a development team at Maxtor Corporation, a developer of high performance disc drives. He was co-founder of Shared Resources, a design services company specializing in the design of high-end supercomputers, work stations and imaging products. He began his career as a microwave engineer on the Apollo program.

He is currently providing signal integrity engineering services to several network equipment manufacturers as well as a supercomputer project with 110,000 processors and data links running at 5.2 GB/S. He has taught high speed design courses since 1992.

In 2004, Ritchey was a regular columnist for EE Times and he has written many articles on high speed design for trade publications such as EDN, Circuitree and PC Design. He is the author of the book, "Right the First Time, A Practical Handbook on PCB and System Design, Volume 1" published by Speeding Edge in 2003. He recently completed Volume 2 of Right The First Time, A Practical Handbook on High Speed PCB and System Design.

Course Materials

The course fee includes a copy of the course slides..

Copyright: 2014, Speeding Edge, www.SpeedingEdge.com

Altium Designer Exercises with Joe Leonardy

  • Net Length Measurements
  • Impedance calculation and control
  • Length Tuning Single Lines
  • Differential Pairs - Definition, Rules, Routing, Length Tuning
  • Via Stitching
  • Shielding to Net
  • Pad Stack, Via Stack - Remove unused Pad Shapes
  • blind and buried vias
  • Layer Stack - PCB materials and their characteristics
  • High Speed Design Rules
  • Net Topology - From To's
  • Signal Integrity Simulation
  • Termination strategies
  • Reflection and Crosstalk
  • xSignals - Length Tuning, Phase Tuning, Delay Tuning

Travel information:

San Diego International Airport

High Speed Conference Course Package "LRxSignals", 4 days

with Lee Ritchey, Silicon Valley's Mr. High Speed and an Altium Designer expert.
05/06/07/08, 2015, Bahia Resort Hotel, 998 West Mission Bay Drive, San Diego CA 92109, United States

Sign Up

Submit your own signal integrity design challenges for Lee Ritchey to address during the third day. Send your description in English to Training@Leonardy.de

www.Leonardy.de, Training@Leonardy.de, Fon +49 6561 4201

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