Successful PCB Grounding with Mixed-Signal Chips - Follow the Path of Least Impedance

By: Mark Fortunato

Abstract: This tutorial discusses proper printed-circuit board (PCB) grounding for mixed-signal designs. For most applications a simple method without cuts in the ground plane allows for successful PCB layouts with this kind of IC. We begin this document with the basics: where the current flows. Later, we describe how to place components and route signal traces to minimize problems with crosstalk. Finally, we move on to consider power supply-currents and end by discussing how to extend what we have learned to circuits with multiple mixed-signal ICs.