June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Electrical and Computer
Signal integrity has been identified as one of the key areas for scientific education and research at the national level. Nationally, few universities offer courses in signal integrity (SI), and there are none in the immediate area. Therefore, there is critical need for signal integrity training and support. This is especially important in the Harrisburg metropolitan area given the high concentration of electrical connector companies.
In this paper, the authors describe the implementation of a signal integrity course that include up-to-date topics, modern laboratory experiences and speakers from industrial settings. The topics include: basics of simulation tools to visualize time and frequency domain signals as well as transmission line modeling using PSPICE; introducing a Time Domain Reflectometer as a fundamental tool in signal integrity; crosstalk, including practical examples of where and how it occurs. The following topic is using a Vector Network Analyzer (VNA): this is another critical instrument used by the signal integrity community. The use of this equipment will require to perform the following tasks: calibration, frequency range setup, average setup, and collection of S-parameter data using a VNA. Another critical topic is to understand digital communication channel behavior by observing an eye diagram, including how to obtain and analyze an eye diagram using a modern Bit Error Rate Tester. In addition, a high frequency structural simulator is used to obtain S-parameters for different communication structures. Finally, the authors invited guest speakers from industry nearby to talk about practical applications in the SI field. The expected outcome is to produce graduates with hands-on signal integrity experience, who will transfer to the workplace with competitive skills and who will be positioned to extend their academic goals in graduate school.
The authors will also make the course content available to other programs, universities and nearby community colleges. Moreover, the authors intend to align signal integrity course with the extensive electrical connector business in the Central Pennsylvania.
The Authors thanks National Science Foundation award 1429941 for their support.
Morales, A., & Agili, S. S. (2017, June), Implementing a Signal Integrity Course in Undergraduate Education Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28478
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