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Parasitic capacitance and inductance of vias

2021-11-09
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Author：Kavie
1. Parasitic capacitance and inductance of vias
The via itself has parasitic stray capacitance. If it is known that the diameter of the solder mask on the ground layer of the via is D2, the diameter of the via pad is D1, the thickness of the PCB board is T, and the dielectric constant of the board substrate Is ε, then the parasitic capacitance of the via is approximately as follows:
C=1.41εTD1/(D2-D1) The main effect of the parasitic capacitance of the via on the circuit is to extend the rise time of the signal and reduce the speed of the circuit. For example, for a PCB with a thickness of 50Mil, if the diameter of the via pad is 20Mil (the diameter of the hole is 10Mils), and the diameter of the solder mask is 40Mil, then we can approximate the through hole by the above formula The parasitic capacitance is roughly:
C=1.41x4.4x0.050x0.020/(0.040-0.020)=0.31pF
The amount of change in rise time caused by this part of the capacitance is roughly:
T10-90=2.2C(Z0/2)=2.2x0.31x(50/2)=17.05ps
From these values, it can be seen that although the effect of the rise delay caused by the parasitic capacitance of a single via is not very obvious, if the via is used multiple times in the trace to switch between layers, multiple vias will be used. , The design must be carefully considered. In the actual design, the parasitic capacitance can be reduced by increasing the distance between the via and the copper area (Anti-pad) or reducing the diameter of the pad.
Parasitic capacitances exist in vias as well as parasitic inductances. In the design of high-speed digital circuits, the harm caused by parasitic inductances of vias is often greater than the impact of parasitic capacitance. Its parasitic series inductance will weaken the contribution of the bypass capacitor and weaken the filtering effect of the entire power system. We can use the following empirical formula to simply calculate the parasitic inductance of a via:
L=5.08h[ln(4h/d)+1]
Where L refers to the inductance of the via, h is the length of the via, and d is the diameter of the center hole. It can be seen from the formula that the diameter of the via has a small influence on the inductance, and the length of the via has the greatest influence on the inductance. Still using the above example, the inductance of the via can be calculated as:
L=5.08x0.050[ln(4x0.050/0.010)+1]=1.015nH
If the rise time of the signal is 1ns, then its equivalent impedance is: XL=πL/T10-90=3.19Ω. Such impedance can no longer be ignored when high-frequency currents pass. Special attention should be paid to the fact that the bypass capacitor needs to pass through two vias when connecting the power plane and the ground plane, so that the parasitic inductance of the vias will increase exponentially.

2. How to use vias
Through the above analysis of the parasitic characteristics of vias, we can see that in high-speed PCB design, seemingly simple vias often bring great negative effects to PCB circuit design. In order to reduce the adverse effects caused by the parasitic effects of the vias, the following can be done in the design:
1. Considering both cost and signal quality, choose a reasonable size via size. If necessary, you can consider using different sizes of vias. For example, for power or ground vias, you can consider using a larger size to reduce impedance, and for signal traces, you can use smaller vias. Of course, as the size of the via decreases, the corresponding cost will increase.
2. The two formulas discussed above can be concluded that using a thinner PCB is beneficial to reduce the two parasitic parameters of the via.
3. Try not to change the layers of the signal traces on the PCB board, that is, try not to use unnecessary vias.
4. The pins of the power supply and the ground should be drilled nearby, and the lead between the via and the pin should be as short as possible. Consider drilling multiple vias in parallel to reduce the equivalent inductance.
5. Place some grounded vias near the vias of the signal change layer to provide the nearest return path for the signal. You can even place some redundant ground vias on the PCB.
6. For high-density high-speed PCB boards, you can consider using micro vias.