Data hungry applications such as high-definition streaming video, gaming and smart devices – as well as industrial applications such as telemedicine and autonomous driving – require both higher bandwidths and reliable connections.
To support higher data rates, signal pulses must switch on and off faster – in other words their rise and fall times decrease. Signal integrity is harder to achieve with higher signal bandwidth and shorter rise times, especially in structures like connectors, due to problems such as reflections from discontinuities, material losses, crosstalk from other channels, and mode conversion from asymmetries.
Electronic data channels need to facilitate data transfer with minimal distortion of the signal. PCBs, connectors and cables that transmit the signals may act as a source of unwanted noise, potentially interfering with nearby electronics. Hence, it is extremely important to ensure high signal integrity and to meet electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) certification standards.