Trace Modeling 101: Improving Model Fidelity
As electronics continue to become more complex, it is a challenge to develop modeling techniques that can capture this increasing complexity. Detailed modeling can be key when using simulation to evaluate electronics for reliability and performance. Printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) consist of multiple layers with hundreds or thousands of copper traces — not to mention the hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of components mounted on a typical PCB. These PCB features range in size from tens of microns to tens of millimeters, making them uniquely difficult to model. Traditional modeling techniques for electronics tend to lump the conductor and dielectric portions of a printed circuit board into a single homogenized effective set of material properties. While this can be sufficient for simpler use cases, this approximation is limiting for instances that require higher levels of fidelity. One method to consider in such situations is Trace Modeling.