Strategies to reduce crosstalk usually involve routing sensitive traces close to their underlying reference planes and/or spreading the traces apart. “How close” and “How far” are decisions typically reserved for the circuit or system design engineer who derives the rules from simulations or “carry-overs” from previous designs.

All too often these rules disregard the types of signals (single-ended or differential) being routed. But, if the degree of crosstalk is a function of the types of signals being routed, then, presumably, the layout rules should reflect this.

The purpose of this paper is to look at various signal and trace environments and compare them from a crosstalk standpoint. Given a better, more-quantitative understanding of the relative magnitude of crosstalk signals in different microstrip and stripline environments, it may be possible to adjust layout rules more intelligently, thus making more efficient use of board real estate.

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