The following is a list of areas that should be reviewed on the PHY design. Each topic suggests which considerations to take about the listed topic. Please check through all of the following listed topics prior to submitting a request for additional engineer review. Comments, questions and additional review will be able to be answered more quickly when using this list as a guide.
⃞ DRC Error Check
Verify that the DRC rules are accurate, and run a DRC error check. No errors should be present. Any DRC errors should be corrected before continuing.
⃞ Decoupling Capacitors
Decoupling capacitors should be placed as close to the PHY as possible. It is usually recommended that the smallest capacitors are the closest to the PHY, but please check with the device data sheet to verify this recommendation aligns with device-specific recommendations. For some pins on some devices, the data sheet might recommend to place the larger capacitors closer to the PHY.
⃞ Clock Source
The oscillator should be placed close to the PHY. The further the an oscillator is from a PHY, the higher likelihood of seeing PLL noise or out of spec behavior. A crystal should never be driving more than one device. Please reference the following app note for more details on crystal placement and design guides: https://www.ti.com/lit/an/snla290/snla290.pdf
⃞ RBIAS Resistor
The RBIAS Resistor should also be placed close to the PHY.
⃞ MDI Traces
The total length of each MDI trace should be less than 2 inches, or 2000 mils. The traces should be length-matched within 20 mils for 1G transmissions and within 50 mils for 100M or 10M transmissions. The number of vias and stubs on the MDI traces should be kept to a minimum.
The typical impedance should be a 100 Ohm differential with a +/- 10% control. An impedance mismatch will decrease throughput, sometimes significant enough to cause communication failure. The mismatches cause signal reflections that prevent maximum power from being transferred beyond the point of reflection. The impedance on the MDI traces may need to be adjusted to match the impedance of the cable. Verify the cable impedance using the cable's data sheet.
If w equals the width of the MDI trace, ground planes on the same layer should be distanced at least 3*w from the MDI trace. The preferred distance is 5*w from the MDI trace. Designing this distance between the MDI trace and the ground plane prevents unwanted capacitive impedance.
Continuous ground is recommended on the layer under the MDI traces. The ground plane should be cut, or void, only under the components on the trace. Some of these components include transformer/magnetics, chokes, AC coupling capacitors and ESD diodes. For automotive applications, an all-layer void is recommended, but a two-layer void is the minimum requirement. The two-layer void would include the layer the component is on and the layer below. For standard applications, a two-layer void is recommended. The distance between the edge of the component and the edge of the void should be about 20 mils for most applications. Some applications can have a shorter distance, while other may require a larger distance. Please use the design's EMC requirements to determine the best distance.
⃞ MII Traces
The total length of each MII trace should be less than 6 inches, or 6000 mils. The traces should be length-matched within 20 mils for 1G transmissions and length-matched within 50 mils for 100M or 10M transmissions. RX traces must be length-matched to the other RX traces, and TX traces must be length-matched to the other TX traces. The number of vias and stubs on the MII traces should be kept to a minimum.
The single ended impedance should be 50 Ohms +/- 10%. The implications of an impedance mismatch are listed in the previous topic.
Using the same definition of "w" from the previous topic, ground keep out should be 3*w at minimum around the MII traces. The preferred distance is 5*w.
⃞ Signal Routing
Crosstalk must be avoided. No signals should cross unless properly separated by a ground layer. Additionally, different differential pairs must have at least 30 mils of separation between the pairs.
As mentioned in the previous topics, traces should be length matched. To match the trace lengths, different routing techniques can be used. It is recommended to apply those techniques on the same end of the length-matched pair. The figure below shows the difference between mismatched length-matching and matched length-matching.
Depending on the characteristic impedance throughout varying sections of the board, a mistmatched length-matching could create additional timing or signal quality issues.
When placing signal vias, it is recommended to place ground, or return, vias close by in order to provide a short path to ground. Figure 2-3 shows an example.
⃞ Magnetic Isolation
No metal should be under the magnetics on any layer. If metal is needed under the magnetics, it must be separated by a ground plane at the least. Metal under the RJ45 connector with integrated magnetic is allowed. Figure 2-4 shows a layout example with no metal below the magnetics.
⃞ ESD Device Selection and Layout
If ESD diodes are used in the design, please make sure that their acting voltage range is sufficient enough to accommodate the proper voltages needed for signal transmission. Refer to the PHY data sheet to confirm the voltage specifications. The following app note covers the fundamentals and general guidelines for ESD device layout: https://www.ti.com/lit/an/slvaex9/slvaex9.pdf. This next following app note covers Ethernet-specific ESD guidelines and considerations: https://www.ti.com/lit/an/slvae50/slvae50.pdf.
It should be noted that the two app notes mentioned above have a different recommendation for placement location for the protection device. The Ethernet-specific app note recommends that the protection device be placed on the PHY side of the magnetics, rather than the connector side. The reason for this contradiction is that Ethernet has a risk for high common mode voltage swings on the connector side. Placing the protection device on the PHY side of the magnetics ensures that the protection device doesn’t fail during high, non-ESD voltages.
⃞ Power Planes
Use power planes where possible to avoid voltage drops from supply to pin. If stitching power planes across layers, use multiple vias to avoid voltage drops.
⃞ Ground Planes
Place Ground Planes where possible and use stitching vias throughout the board to create short return paths. Figure 2-5 shows an example of ground via distribution.
⃞ Earth Ground Isolation
Earth ground should be isolated from the rest of the board by at least 20 mil keep out on all layers. Figure 2-6 shows an example of this.
The recommended exception to the keep out is as follows: earth ground and normal ground should be connected with a capacitor and a high value resistor. A resistor of 1 MΩ or more is recommended.