How to Decide on Your PCB Layer Ordering, Pouring and Stackup (with Rick Hartley)

Excellent video on PCB stack-up and other issues:


  • decoupling caps between power ground planes help if a traces changes from ground reference to power, but this only works up to 200-300MHz. (This would be typical of 4-layer board with signal, gnd, power, signal)
  • keep power and ground planes close to each other < 0.2mm (8mil), then the planes look like a capacitor.
  • power plane reference should be the same power source that generated the signal
  • very small amounts of energy can cause EMI problems, where much higher amounts of energy are required to cause signal integrity problems.
  • energy couples by the square of the distance
  • to couple planes, place via every 10th wavelength of highest frequency
  • inductance between power planes must be low
  • its not our job to make things easy, its our job to make them work
  • pouring ground on top/bottom layers lowers EMI not because it is a shield, but because it is a reference for signals and power
  • there is no 4-layer stack-up that is wonderful
  • vias have highest inductance of anything in the board stackup
  • keep power and ground near surface because power delivery needs low inductance

A few screenshots:

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