Good books, that I have (read):

(Some of them were not really written for digital board design, but I think they still can be used for that)



High Speed Digital Design: A Handbook of Black Magic


System Design for Telecommunication Gateways

Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) (Data Center)

Storage Area Networks For Dummies

Frequency-Domain Characterization of Power Distribution Networks

Power Integrity Modeling and Design for Semiconductors and Systems

Power Distribution Network Design Methodologies

Static Timing Analysis for Nanometer Designs (A Practical Approach)

Timing Verification of Application-specific Integrated Circuits

Timing Analysis and Simulation for Signal Integrity Engineers

Advanced FPGA Design: Architecture, Implementation, and Optimization

PCI Express* Electrical Interconnect Design (Intel Press)

Introduction to PCI Express: A Hardware and Software Developer's Guide (Intel Press)

HyperTransport 3.1 Interconnect Technology

Digital Communications Test and Measurement: High Speed Physical Layer Characterization

High Speed Serdes Devices and Applications

Network Scattering Parameters

Microwave Differential Circuit Design Using Mixed-Mode S-parameters

Switch-Mode Power Supplies Spice Simulations and Practical Designs

Power Supply Cookbook (EDN Series for Design Engineers)

Numerical Techniques in Electromagnetics

PCI Bus Demystified

Universal Serial Bus System Architecture

Bluetooth Application Developer’s Guide

C Programming for Embedded Systems

UClinux for the Blackfin processor

But the best is the  as a perfect source of knowledge (articles, white-papers…).



PCB fab companies:


Wurth Elektronik (Germany, UK): (95um/100um track/space, uVia)

Graphic (UK): (75um traces, uVia)

Exception (UK) (75um traces, uVia)

Sanmina-SCI (mostly USA, China, but do business in Europe too)  (75um traces, uVia)

ACCL (Taiwan) (18L, backdrills, hi-spec)

GCE (18L, backdrills, hi-spec, good tech support)

OnPress (Hong Kong): (95um/100um track/space, uVia, far-east cheap, large quantity manufacturer)

Fast Print (China): (50um traces, 40 layers. They made 10L boards for me cheap in lo-quantity prod)

Elvia (in France):  (100um, uVia)

Europrint (in Hungary): 

Eurocircuits (in Hungary):  (online order. Same company as Europrint)

Elekterv (in Hungary):  (cheap 2-layer, for hibbyists)

hitelap (in Hungary):

myro pcb (Canada): (6x5inch 4layer 39usd, 2layer 9usd, flex and PCBA available)

PCB Pool (probably china) (4layer 120x120mm quantity=1 $155, 2layer 120x120mm quantity=1 $57)



PCBA companies (Soldering/assembly):


STI (UK): (uBGA)

Albacomp (Hungary):  (BGAs, best quality and price in Hungary, prototype and high volume)

Szem kft (Hungary).:  (Leadfree, 0402 proto, 0603 series pr.)

aviatronik kft (Hungary):  (BGA rework)

radar-tronic (Hungary):

LPE electronics (Hungary):   (manual soldering) 



PCB fab + PCBA one stop shop:


Elecrow (China) (PCB 4L/5x5” for $110, 2L/5x5” $30, $20 stencils, $0.03/pin PCBA)

HongBo Technology Co., (China) (PCB+PCBA 5x5” 2L 400comp 5pcs for $231)

HQEW (China) (4layer 120x120 5 pieces blue $121, stencils, PCBA, component procurement, soon flex will be avail)



PCB layout house:


PalPilot (China, and Silicon Valley):

McCauley  (Texas):

Freedom Cad Services (all around USA, and India):

ICD (Australia)

Intra Sys (Scotland):



Signal Integrity simulation:


Chris Heard consulting: (excellent work on 10G backplane channel)




Tech Forums:


Si-list mailing list:


Xilinx forums:

Blackfin Linux projects:

Hungarian electronics forum:




Cool Free/Opensource Software

(for Hardware design/testing or Signal/Power Integrity)


Finite Element Magnetics (FEMM)

It is a genaral-purpose 2D quasi-static field-solver. It can be used for PCB power plane current distribution and voltage drop simulation, PCB trace cross section AC magnetic/electrostatic simulations (for RLGC, Z0 and crosstalk)



This 2D-EM program can be used for PCB power plane frequency domain simulations to generate a touchstone S-parameter model, and to view noise distribution. The free version is limited to 20’000 nodes on its uniform-grid-mesh.


Sonnet Lite

This 3D-EM program can be used for PCB power plane and Tline frequency domain simulations to generate a touchstone S-parameter model. The free/Lite version is limited to 2 metal layers+GND, max 4 ports, 16MB RAM.


Quite Universal Circuit Simulator (QUCS)

This is a circuit simulator with support for touchstone macromodels, similarly to Agilent ADS. The program doesn't support convolutional time domain simulation yet, so the touchstone models can be used only in AC analysis, but it is still good enough for a power distribution analysis/design together with the sphinx or with VNA measured data.



Frequency independent 2D cross section field-solver only for determining PCB trace characteristic impedance. It also can be used for frequency dependent per-unit-length crosstalk-level simulation.


Fast Fieldsolvers (Fastmodel, Fasthenry, Fastcap)

These quasi-static 3D fieldsolvers can be used for parasitic inductance and capacitance simulations on 3D PCB structures and to visualise return currents in ground planes. The geometry has to be specified by hand, in a text file.



This program can be used for high-speed serdes and channel analysis, Eye-diagram simulation. It generates a Matlab code that has to be simulated in Matlab.



This is a 3D full-wave electromagnetic simulator (field-solver), which has support for PCB gerber files. It runs on Linux (Opensuse11-64bit, SLES10)


Faustus MeFisto

The MeFisto 2D Classic (full) and 3D Nova (limited to 160000 nodes) are 2D and 3D electromagnetic simulators. They are good for simulating electromagnetic wave (Tline, Plane or 3D) propagation in time domain.



This macromodelling tool can be used to generate a spice netlist from a touchstone file of S/Z-parameters.



Commandline based signal integrity related spice simulator with support for IBIS models.



Free opensource commandline SPICE simulator.



Commandline based Jtag boundary scan test software for Linux/Cygwin. The new version works on windows. Simple and great. Works with lots of standard jtag cables, including the Xilinx ParallelCable-III.



Windows/Java based Jtag boundary scan test software. Still under development, poor documentation, but usable for board testing.


Timing Editor

Timing diagram editor, for STA or documentations.



Hardware test program. We can read and write to any address locations in an x86 system. Very useful for testing newly designed peripheral or bridge functions.



Full system PCI/PCIe device listings with all their PCI/header (e.g. PCIe actual link width/speed) information.


Unet Bootin

Create bootable Linux USB-flash drives or CompactFlash drives based on difefrent small (50-300MB) Knoppix-Linux distributions. Good for testing new computerboard prototypes.



Serial port terminal. Linux style. More reliable than Windows HyperTerminal, easier to conenct to simple RX/TX peripherals.



Serial port terminal. More reliable than Windows HyperTerminal, easier to conenct to simple RX/TX peripherals.



Free/opensource Matlab clone.


Smath Studio

Free Mathcad-like program.



Free but not opensource gerber file viewer.



Analog active filter design.


Salome-Meca (Salome + Code-Aster)

Free opensource 3D finite-element fieldsolver for Heat/Flow/Mechanical problems. Very professional. Runs on Linux.


Unit Change Calculator

Easy metric/inch and other units conversion.



Hex file editor.


Kemet Spice

KEmet capacitor products, and their frequency responses. Also multiple difefrent capacitors response.



Standard footprint creator for Cadence Allegro.



Promising opensource schematics/PCB design software package project. Not really good for computer design, but for smaller boards it is OK, maybe within few years it will be suitable for some more serious designs too.


S-Parameter Explorer 

Viewer for S-parameter Touchstone files. You need to request a free license.


Commandline field solvers (to reuse in software development)


FastHenry, FastCap, Fastimp:

IBM Tools:











Techonline: (webcasts, whitepapers)

IBIS summit files: