Effective heat transfer mechanisms in PCBs are crucial to enhancing their performance and reliability. They also aid in lowering noise levels and overall product costs. To provide a systematic thermal route from the chip (IC) to the heatsink, plated through-hole vias are implemented. These vertically drilled vias, known as thermal vias, typically connect all the layers of a board. Understanding the thermal resistance of these through-holes will help in determining their heat dissipation capacities.
Sierra Circuits’ Via Thermal Resistance Calculator computes the required number of thermal vias you can include in a via arrangement connecting a thermal pad. This calculator also optimizes the drill diameter and spacing between two vias for a given number of thermal vias.
Sierra Circuits’ Via Impedance Calculator uses the physical dimensions of a via to calculate its capacitance, inductance, and impedance. The tool implements numerical solutions of Maxwell’s equations to render accurate and consistent results.
Vias (plated holes) are used to route electrical signals among different layers of a multilayer layer PCB. These holes comprise barrels, pads, and annular rings. The physical dimensions of these attributes affect the impedance, capacitance, and inductance of a via. Via design is also affected by the presence of a second ground plane and the distance between the ground planes. Thus, it is crucial to know the precise values of these parameters during the design phase to maintain the signal integrity of your system.
Sierra Circuits’ Maximum Via Stub Length Calculator helps you to determine the optimum stub length and its resonant frequency. The tool:
- Calculates via stub resonant frequency and maximum allowable via stub length based on dielectric constant and maximum data transfer rate/fastest signal rise time/maximum frequency content/3dB bandwidth
- Facilitates reverse calculation i.e, it computes maximum data transfer rate, fastest signal rise time, maximum frequency content, and 3dB bandwidth for the desired stub length and dielectric constant
- The units of the inputs and outputs can be changed using the respective dropdowns
- A brief description of each input and output parameter can be viewed by clicking on the help button
Sierra Circuits’ RLC Resonant Frequency and Impedance Calculator computes resonant frequency and impedance of series and parallel RLC circuits. The resonant frequency is the frequency at which a circuit’s highest oscillatory response occurs. This can be seen in circuits having capacitors and inductors. Generally, a resistor is introduced in resonant circuits to decay the oscillations. This process is known as damping. RLC (resistor, inductor, and capacitor) circuits are one of the most fundamental circuits used in PCB layouts. Hence, it is essential for a board designer to know about the resonant frequency and impedance of an RLC circuit.
The RLC Resonant and Impedance Calculator determines the capacitive reactance, inductive reactance, resonant frequency, impedance (parallel/series), and the quality factor without having to insert too many input parameters.
The characteristics of transmission lines in any high-speed design should be uniform to avoid degradations such as signal distortions and crosstalk. To help you achieve this feat, Sierra Circuits has introduced the Bandwidth, Rise Time and Critical Length Calculator. Using this tool, you can calculate 3dB bandwidth (BW), fastest signal rise time (tr), critical length (lc), maximum data transfer rate (DTR), and maximum frequency content (Fmax).
High-speed PCBs operate in the range of hundreds of MHz to several GHz. These boards are prone to signal integrity issues. Hence, it is important to analyze the high-speed trace properties and calibrate their values as per the standards.
The characteristic impedance of a PCB trace should remain constant to have a uniform transmission line. Any discontinuity at any point will affect the uniformity of the characteristic impedance and cause reflections. The reflected signal propagates in the direction opposite to the main signal. These reflections are referred to as ringing.
The Transmission Line Reflection Calculator graphically depicts the ringing of a signal at the source and load of a transmission line.
Sierra Circuits’ PCB Conductor Spacing and Voltage Calculator calculates the minimum spacing between two conductors if the potential difference between them is provided. Conversely, if the spacing between two conductors is given then the maximum potential difference that can be allowed between them is computed.
With this tool, you can get an accurate estimate of the space and voltage required between the conductors. This is particularly helpful during the PCB design and layout stages. The calculator is largely based on IPC 2221B standard, table 6-1.
We offer an easy-to-use Signal Layer Estimator that will eliminate your complicated design delays. With the help of this tool, you will be able to understand the recommended number of signal layers in a go. Keep all the necessary input parameters handy and get a hassle-free estimation in no time.
The via current capacity and temperature rise calculator is designed to assist designers in building the perfect PCB vias. This tool offers a simple and swift calculation of the three important aspects related to via design – temperature rise above ambient, via diameter, and maximum current carrying capacity.
You will also have the option to see various important parameters like resistance, voltage drop, and power loss at the specified via current.
The Sierra Circuits Impedance Calculator uses the 2D numerical solution of Maxwell’s equations for PCB transmission lines. It renders fairly accurate results suitable for use in PCB manufacturing and engineering analysis.
Most of the free online tools for impedance calculations are generally not as accurate as they are based on empirical formulas and do not take into account the trace’s trapezoidal shape or the effect of multiple dielectric materials.
In just minutes, our innovative “three-in-one calculator” can conduct an audit of your designs to determine the trace width, current capacity, and temperature rise of your prototype before you begin the manufacturing process.
If any two of the three measurements are known, The Trace Width, Current and Temp Rise Calculator can determine the output for the third element. It can also identify the DC resistance and the voltage drop across the trace of a given length.