Top 10 Questions Going into DesignCon 2017: Page 2 of 3

What’s hot in signal integrity right here, right now, plus shwag and Chiphead’s favorite song.

It’s like a VR electron experience!



5. How will machine learning , analytics, and AI affect Chiphead?

Eye diagram from Anritsu

                             Courtesy of Anritsu Co.

COM (channel operation margin) might be a goofy test, but it’s a sincere attempt to span the space of designs to find the optimal balance of channel response, crosstalk, equalization, jitter, and noise. Well into the 21 st century, we might not know what IBIS stands for, but we know what it does. We’ll have a look into the signal integrity crystal ball and glimpse where we can go with full system simulation and optimization.

Try to get a seat next to Al Neves, the fiery preacher of all things “Design Space.”



6. Will more people attend Keysight’s “education forum” than showed up at the last sixteen 49er games…combined?


What’s that?

You’re still putting off learning about S-parameters? And you you’re pretty sure you’re getting away with it?

No, you’re not. Sit your ass down at 8:30am Wednesday and let Steve Slater learn you a few things. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as you thought. Sure it’s all analog and RF-like, but it’s also a perspective-altering take on how channels respond to signals, even when the signal is crosstalk. Steve will get you through it.

Curious about PCIe Gen 4? The great Rick Eads brings the gospel.

Wondering about PAM4? Well, let me just say that Chiphead and I scored a copy of Steve Sekel’s class from last year and it’s pretty much all we’ve listened to at the Clubhouse all year. I’m kinda sick of the part about compressed eyes, but Chiphead loves it.


7. Will Samtec run out of stuffed tigers again?

Samtec Tigers





                       Photo by Ransom Stephens

Yes, they always do. Don’t wait until late on Thursday when you’re breaking down your booth to go score the kids the finest shwag in town. Get your tiger first, and remember, if you have to listen a spiel about electro-optical cables and impedance-matching connectors, you’ll be a better engineer for it.


8. Will the line of attendees trying to attend Eric Bogatin’s seminar extend around the block and into Levi’s Stadium?

Probably. If they don’t simulcast his “ Back to Basics: The onset of skin effect in circuit board traces ” on the Jumbotron there might be trouble.

Skin effect is the biggest part of the biggest problem faced in the design of high speed signaling. It’s a beautiful mix of Faraday’s induction and dielectric response that lends itself to Prof. Bogatin’s talent for explaining signal integrity concepts that stick with you because they make sense.


9. Will DesignCon finally embrace photonics? Or is photonics ready for DesignCon?

CMOS silicon photonics chip

A CMOS silicon photonics chip.

Credit: IBM Research, Source:

Wait. This can’t be right. A talk about optical transceiver sockets ?

Am I in the right building? What year is it?

We’ve waited so long

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