PCB Characterization

PCB Characterization


With constant increase in PCB data rate, transmission-line loss becomes important in determining a good or bad PCB. Traditional TDR measurements cannot provide sufficient information of the transmission-line loss. Engineers should consider using a VNA and a de-embedding technique for PCB characterization.

PCB Probing Tips

  1. Use a test probe assembly with mechanical guide pins. This approach offers fast test time and excellent measurement accuracy.
  2. Choose a VNA with integrated de-embedding tool to acquire and display real-time transmission-line SnP data.

Helpful Links

  1. PCB Characterization
  2. Rugged D-Probe datasheet

Good Practices

  1. Use test probes instead of RF connectors to reduce PCB test time.
  2. Design a good probe launch to match the test probes. For example, a probe launch pattern recommended by Intel can accommodate different test probes.
  3. Use a VNA and 2x Thru de-embedding technique to extract accurate transmission-line s-parameter measurements. Intel Delta-L+ method can be applied for PCB manufacturing qualification at different stages


PCB Characterization Setup

PCB Characterization Setup

An R&S ZNB20 VNA and two handheld D-Probes are used to test a 20 GHz PCB.

 PCB Characterization Setup 

An integrated R&S ZNB20 VNA de-embedding application offers fast real-time measurements and extraction of transmission-line loss.

About PacketMicro

PacketMicro, based in Silicon Valley, provides a wide range of gigahertz probes, probe positioners, bench-top probe stations, and digital microscopes. In addition, PacketMicro offers wireless modules and engineering services in Bluetooth Smart, ZigBee, and wireless sensor networks. PacketMicro customers include many Fortune 100 companies.

Get in touch

PacketMicro, Inc.
2312 Walsh Avenue, Suite A
Santa Clara, CA 95051

+1 408 675 3900 (Main)

+1 408 580 0059