Abstract

Transmission line analysis is done in electrical failure analysis labs in order to find root causes that result in system level failures. After a fault is narrowed to a particular signal in a system, a Time Domain Reflectometer (TDR) can be used to analyze the physical transmission line associated with the signal. The transmission lines on smartphones often have inaccessible signal vias, few or no ground vias, probe points that are difficult to see, and short transmission lines. One solution that can alleviate these problems is to design a TDR Accessory Card. This paper discusses the processes involved in testing long and short transmission lines, providing the comparison between the expected and actual TDR measurement and the advantages and disadvantages of TDR, explaining four main points for using a TDR Accessory Card and two reasons for not using the TDR Accessory Card.

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