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High Speed Digital Design: A Handbook of Black Magic Hardcover – April 18, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0133957242 ISBN-10: 9780133957242 Edition: 1st

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High Speed Digital Design: A Handbook of Black Magic + High Speed Signal Propagation: Advanced Black Magic + Signal and Power Integrity - Simplified (2nd Edition)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (April 18, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780133957242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0133957242
  • ASIN: 0133957241
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Focused on the field of knowledge lying between digital and analog circuit theory, this new text will help engineers workng with digital systems shorten their latest design problems. The scope of the material covered includes signal reflection, crosstalk, and noise problems which occur in high speed digital machines ( above 10 megahertz). This volume will be of practical use to digital logic designers, sstaff and senior communitions scientist, and all those interested in digital design.

From the Back Cover

Focusing on a combination of digital and analog circuit theory, this comprehensive volume will help engineers who work with digital systems, shorten their product development cycles, and fix their latest high-speed design problems.

  • Covers signal reflection, crosstalk, and noise problems that occur in high-speed digtal machines (above 10 megahertz).
  • lncludes checklists that ask the questions an experienced designer would about a new system.
  • Offers useful formulas for inductance, capacitance, resistance, rise time, and Q.
  • Explains the trade-offs between signal cross talk, mechanical fabrication of tolerances, and trace routing density.
  • Presents a methodology for determining how many layrs will be required to route a printed circuit board.

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Customer Reviews

This book is very easy to read cover to cover.
Darrin Taylor
The point of showing the theoretical underpinnings is to make clear when the stated solutions are valid and more importantly, not valid.
Edward H. Welbon
One of the best books that explain the Signal Integrity concept for the High Speed Digital Circuit.
Mohamad Shirazi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Mike Morgan on March 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
First, I'll critique the sub-title: a handbook of Black Magic. High-speed digital design is not black magic. It is the application of science. The sub-title does the book a disservice.
Second, I should caution young engineers that the authors of this book enumerate several stratagems in high-speed design; some good, some bad. That is, not all of the tricks in later sections are sound engineering practices. Experienced engineers will be able to differentiate between sound engineering practices and hacks, and when compromises should be made. Young engineers may be lead astray too easily.
Lastly, this book is a good book if you already know something of the subject. If you had only to buy one book, I'd recommend "High-Speed Digital System Design: A Handbook of Interconnect Theory and Design Practices" ISBN: 0471360902.
After reading that book, I'd purchase this book, as this book has some practical information, for example, on choosing capacitor dielectrics, oscillators, etc., not contained in the first.
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Jim Connors on May 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is useful if you want to have a long series of equations available in one place to jog your memory. But if you want to learn something useful and practical- and real-world - then perhaps you would be better off doing a web search for application notes, tutorial papers, and articles, particularly from semiconductor manufacturers, and vendors of high-performance test equipment such as Agilent, Tektronix, and others.
To take one example (page 134,) Johnson purports to describe problems associated with a wire-wrapped prototype processor board containing TTL devices operating at high edge rates ( 2 ns.) According to Johnson, the design engineers failed to realize that the circuits would ring excessively, making the board unusable. To "prove" this he posits a model consisting of a 30 ohm TTL driver, with a 2 ns rise time, a 4" length of wire with 89 nH of self inductance, and a 15pf load - a series LRC circuit. Yes, this circuit will ring wildly, but the model is totally incorrect. The TTL input is not considered, which has a relatively low input impedance in the low state since it is current operated. This circuit -effectively a parallel LRC - does not ring nearly as much, as any experienced engineer knows. As a reality check, remember that wire wrap was successfully used for years by thousand of engineers. To listen to Johnson, though, this technology is almost unusable. Wire wrap circuits do ring, but under his example, the real amount of overshoot/undershoot is well within the limits of TTL. Further, no real circuit produces textbook looking traces, so the role of experience is to learn what worst-case design means, and what is acceptable for good manufacturing yield. Lesson: real experience teaches you how to produce correct, functional models.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By svein.medhus@pctvnet.no on March 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Being a hardware designer for DSP and CPU boards, this is the most interesting book I have read the last 10 years. I read the entire book nodding my head and saying "This all makes sense". All the theory is there, but what makes it readable is the autor's comments on what really matters; such as: "The inductance of vias is more important than their capacitance to digital designers"
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pablo Bridges on December 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Great book. BTW, the author lists a LOT of errata on his website, enough to take over an hour to mark up my copy (5th printing). Although it's nice he documents this so well, it's a pain in the rear, so you may want to verify the edition you're buying to avoid this extra effort. On page vi, above ISBN, look for reverse sequence; example: "10 9 8 7" indicates 7th printing (cryptic, I know). Most recent printing is 15th edition (least amount of errata). The book is loaded with equations and diagrams. It would be nice to see more derivations, but at least the equations are there in the text, and in the appendix. I thought a few other reviewers were a bit harsh. The book is not perfect, but nevertheless a great resource. His second book is impressive, but more advanced; this original title is my "workhorse" book. also, check out his website (sigcon.com) for lots of articles and resources.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Adam Luoranen on May 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Add Johnson and Graham to the list of people who can write large, highly technical books full of useful, pertinent information, and package it all in a way that's mostly very readable and which mixes just the right blend of rigorous academic structure with good old-fashioned "when all else fails, you might get away with this" hacks. This book is by no means a thorough, academic grounding in the subject matter, but it works well as an introduction for people who have some background in conventional electronics, yet little or no background in the specifics of high-speed digital design.

Considering how specialized and complex the book's subject matter is, it's surprising how well the authors manage to avoid hard math; they obviously made a conscious effort to use the most intuitive formulas possible whenever they could. There are maybe a handful of differential equations in the book, but most of the math requires no calculus, just basic algebra. The moderately math-phobic should be able to handle this book if you can understand what derivatives and integrals are.

A bit of a rant: Everybody gets so hung up on the title! Did any of the people who complain that HSDD isn't really "black magic" actually bother to even open the book? Right in the preface, the authors explain that HSDD is regarded as something of a "black magic" by engineers because it isn't taught in most college programs, but "The authors would like to dispel the popular myth that anything unusual or unexplained happens at high speeds. It's simply a matter of knowing which principles apply, and how." The title is meant to be humorous, people; lighten up! A lack of a sense of humor is a sign of an ineffective engineer.

This book really is just an introduction.
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