• Conference
    Jan 29–31, 2019
  • Expo
    Jan 30–31, 2019
  • Santa Clara Convention
    | Santa Clara, CA

Training Boot Camps

Each year, DesignCon offers training boot camps covering various core topics essential to the skills toolbox of hardware design engineers. For 2018, we have assembled some of the most respected instructors in their field to hold three all-day boot camps on signal integrity, very high-speed differential signaling, and test & measurement techniques.

DesignCon's 2018 Boot camps run 9:00 am to 4:30 pm on Tuesday, January 30, with a mid-day break for the keynote and lunch. If you need to brush up your basics or get up to speed fast, these boot camps are for you! Space is limited, so sign up for the boot camp you need today.



Are you intrigued by the advanced signal integrity topics covered at DesignCon but feel you need a bit more to get up to speed? Then the Pragmatic Signal Integrity Boot Camp is for you. Led by long-time signal integrity expert Michael Steinberger, independent SI consultant Donald Telian, SiSoft VP semiconductor relations Todd Westerhoff, this boot camp is designed to give experienced engineers the knowledge they need about signal integrity and to introduce new engineers to the concept.

A typical signal integrity project can involve a dozen or more models of several different types and involve at least three different analysis/simulation methods. Through interactive demonstration of the development of a typical SI project, this tutorial offers attendees the disciplines needed to manage this complexity and consistently produce trustworthy results. This tutorial emphasizes the typical problems encountered, with each problem solved as a class exercise. Get your pass.

The principles of pragmatic SI to be presented are

  1. Understand the Physics. Understand what's going on physically in the high speed serial channel. Understand how the models used in the SI analysis reflect these physical phenomena. Use only models which reflect what's actually going on in the channel.
  2. Build the project step by step. Start with small pieces and simple phenomena and build incrementally to more complex assemblies and phenomena. Verify the modeling at each stage and only progress to the next stage once you understand what you have so far.
  3. Know what you expect. Before performing any measurement or simulation, perform whatever calculations or estimates are needed to know what you expect the results to look like.
  4. Use controlled experiments. Solve problems using controlled experiments. That is, enumerate your hypotheses and then test each one by starting with a baseline measurement and then measuring the change due to a single change to the baseline.
  5. Correlate results. Correlate results of analyses and simulations back to data measured on the real hardware. This is an ongoing process and not a single event.

These principles are presented at the beginning of the tutorial and then demonstrated throughout the development of a typical SI project. The three primary phases of the project will be:

  1. Network Characterization
  2. Statistical Analysis
  3. Time Domain Simulation

For each phase of the project, the fundamental knowledge needed to execute the phase will be followed by a description of the steps to be followed. We will then execute this phase for the SI project to be developed over the course of the tutorial. In each phase, we will encounter problems due to the models or methods used, and the solution of these problems will be an interactive exercise for the class.



Virtually all new equipment designs, whether intended for personal computers or the largest servers and switches used in the Internet, involve designing very high-speed differential signaling paths.

If you are an engineer or designer who works on products that are moving up in performance, this Very High-Speed Differential Signaling Boot Camp is for you. It draws from measurements made on more than 30 test PCBs used to determine the characteristics of materials available for use in building ever faster products as well as to assess the effects of structure such as vias, connectors and mounting structures.

Our very high-speed differential signaling boot camp will be led by Lee Ritchey, considered to be one of the industry’s premier authorities on high-speed PCB and system design. Lee is the founder and president of Speeding Edge, an engineering consulting and training company. He conducts on-site private training courses for high technology companies and also teaches courses through Speeding Edge and its partner companies in public venues as well as at industry trade shows and technical conferences. In addition, he provides consulting services to top manufacturers of many different types of technology products including Internet, server, video display and camera tracking/scanning products. He is currently involved in characterizing materials for ultra high speed data links used throughout the Internet. Get your pass.

This session will cover the following topics:

  • How differential pairs operate
  • Power delivery issues with differential pairs
  • Managing cross talk in differential pairs
  • Signal degradation sources- a real data path will be modeled and signal speed increased
  • Bandwidth requirements for differential pairs
  • How skew affects differential pairs
  • How laminate choices affect skew
  • Managing skew in differential pairs
  • How laminate choice affects loss
  • How choice of copper finish affects loss
  • How processing at fabricators affects loss
  • Routing differential pairs for optimum performance
  • Choosing connectors for high speed differential pairs
  • Connector pin out to minimize unwanted cross talk
  • How vias can affect signal quality
  • When can vias be ignored?
  • How to prevent vias from degrading signal quality
  • Choosing materials that enable good signal quality without over specifying
  • Is a low DK (dielectric constant) material necessary for high speed signaling?
  • Handling high speed differential signals on twisted pairs
  • Handling high speed differential pairs on flexible circuits
  • Characteristics of new laminates developed for high speed signaling
  • Adaptive transceivers



Proper use of benchtop, modular, and field instruments such as oscilloscopes, multimeters, and logic analyzers is an essential skill for the hardware engineer. Learning the insider tips, tricks, and techniques is equally essential to get the job done quickly and precisely.

The Test & Measurement Boot Camp will provide information and training on measurement hardware and on techniques, with a comparison of measurement tools and techniques. Both frequency and time-based instrumentation with be discussed, along with testing use cases with lab based experiments that will provide concrete understanding for the concepts being presented.

Keysight is providing expert instructors for this intensive T&M boot camp, including O.J. Danzy, Senior RF and Microwave Application Engineer; Heidi Barnes, Senior Application Engineer and DesignCon 2017 Engineer of the Year; Mike Resso, Signal Integrity Application Scientist I; Steve Sekel, 400G Solutions Specialist, OIF PLL Interop WG Chair, Bob Schaefer, R&D Project Manager and Master Engineer for the Signal Integrity Group, Robert Sleigh, Strategic Planner; and Luis Boluna, Senior Application Engineer for High Speed Digital Systems. Get your pass.

This session will cover the following topics:

  • Passive Channel Measurements (VNA and TDR)
    • Understanding Measurement Hardware Functional Blocks, Settings, Measurement Techniques, Performance Differences, Error Correction, and Measurement Correlation
  • Tx Characterization (Real-Time and Sampling Oscilloscopes)
    • Understanding Measurement Hardware Functional Blocks, Measurement Techniques, Performance Differences, and Measurement Correlation
  • Rx and Link Characterization (Bit Error Ratio Test)

  • Compliance Measurement Examples
    • Test points, test patterns, equalization, etc...Internet.