System Design for High-Frequency and High-Datarate Applications

Module Number: CIT4430001

Duration: 1 semester

Occurence: Winter semester

Language: English

Number of ECTS: 5


Professor in charge: Amelie Hagelauer

Amount of work

Contact hours: 60

Self-study hours: 90

Total: 150

Description of Achievement and Assessment Methods

An oral exam (30min) will be given at the end of the lecture period to test the required learning objectives

Prerequisites (recommended)

1. electronic circuits
2. communications engineering
3. introduction to high frequency technology

Intended Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of the module, students gained basic knowledge on how to design, simulate, and evaluate advanced circuits for sensing and computing applications.
First, they are able to understand the fundamentals of high-frequency and high-datarate applications. Second, they know how the design and layout of schematics and printed-circuit boards is done and which aspects can be verified by simulation.


Today’s world as an electronics engineer requires advanced knowledge on system design. With the requirement of high data-rates in many applications, circuits complexity heavily impacts the performance of a system. Special care must be taken when designing high-frequency or high-datarate applications. In this lecture course students will learn what to consider when designing such systems and how to design, simulate and evaluate a high-speed circuit.
The course is structured as follows:
1. Fundamentals of high frequency applications
a) Signal parameters
- Risetime, Bandwidth, Overshoot, Jitter
b) Properties of signal sources and sinks
- Source-/Load-Impedance, Non-Linearity
c) Signals in circuits
- Signal loss, Frequency sensivity, Impact on the signal form, Coupling and interference
2. System Layout
a) Material and Manufacturing
- Substrate selection, Physical and electrical properties, Parameter deviation
b) Conductor design and dimensioning
- Impedance matching, Conductor shape and geometry, Influence of loss on signal integrity, Track distance and Coupling
c) Via Layout
- Parasitic influence and quantitative estimation, Compensation
d) Layer stack for high data-rate
- Signal, Ground and supply layers, Limitations from manufacturing
3. System Design
a) Component selection
b) Power Supply Design
- Design rules, Stabilization and interference elimination
c) Signal Integrity
- Coexistence of analog and digital circuits
4. Simulation and Measurements
a) Simulation Tools
- Advanced Design System, CST
- Approximation, De-embedding, Layout validation
b) Measurements
- Time- and frequency-domain measurement methods
- Conductor parameter measurement
- Eye diagram
5. Application Specific Design
a) High-Speed Memory Interfaces
- Double Date Rate (DDR) RAM (Gen. 3/4/5)
- eMMC HS400
b) Peripheral Interconnect
- Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) Express (Gen. 1-4)
- JESD204A/B/C

Teaching and Learning Methods

The lecture introduces methods and tools for system design for high frequency and high datarate applications. In the tutorial students will learn how to calculate design specific parameters and individually experiment with the design tools provided.


a) Lecture slides, scriptum, and laboratory manual.
b) CAD with Altium Designer, CST/HFSS and ADS simulation tools.


Will be announced in lecture