Most printed circuit board (PCB) designers do not like the aesthetic results of an autorouter and believe that if they were given enough time they could do a better job themselves. However, todays complex designs and reduced cycle type demand the use of automation wherever possible. New industry developments require the engineering team to make use of true, multifaced, analysis-driven system design in order to compete in a constantly changing environment. This paper provides a brief history of high-speed routing, and demonstrates why traditional and constraint-driven routing systems are too time-consuming for today’s fast-paced design life cycles. Issues arising from delay and crosstalk routing, placement and termination impacts, differential pairs, and decoupling capacitor breakout routing are discussed. Physical and electrical views are provided to illustrate the numerous examples.

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