The best backplane designs allow the components to operate at peak efficiency. Minimizing compromises and enhancing all design parameters enable backplanes to do more with less. To increase efficiency, for example, the I/O technology chosen should allow the backplane to run at maximum frequency. This is achieved by minimizing impedance discontinuities and noise and by carefully matching termination design. The alternative to optimizing I/O technology is selection of higher drive and speed technology and operation at slower than optimum speeds. The first method—choice of the correct I/O technology—reduces overall cost and delivers better signal integrity than the second ‘brute force’ method. An optimized backplane will use less power, generate little noise, have better signal integrity, and be less costly. For this reason, it is key for the designer to understand how the components interact with each other when laying out a backplane.