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What is PCB Impedance Calculation and Why It Is Important

Simon / 2021-04-25

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What is PCB Impedance Calculation?

PCB impedance calculation refers to the calculation of the approximate impedance dimension of a PCB board. The calculation is important as it helps engineers and designers to be precise when designing circuit boards. A PCB board is an integral part of electronic applications and that is why it's significant to have an impedance calculation done on it. The calculation is simply about estimates that help to provide designers with guidelines. Experts in electronic engineering know that impedance value carries a great deal of significance in regards to the functioning of a printed circuit board. There are different calculation methods that work out PCB impedance.

PCB Impedance Calculation

Why PCB Impedance Calculation is Important?

PCB impedance calculation is of great importance in the electric and electric applications world. One of the important things associated with impedance calculation is that it helps designers to know the board material they should use. The material of a PCB board plays an important role in determining how the functionality of an electronic appliance will be.

Additionally, it helps in determining impedance control. With impedance control, you're able to define the signal integrity of a PCB and navigate its functional ability in the best way possible. In other words, it is possible to rely on signals without alteration. Moreover, impedance control is important as it helps a designer to establish the design that is best fit for manufacture. It's valuable to take note that not all designs are good for the manufacture of PCB. Thus, knowing the design that's ideal for manufacture is a huge plus.

Essentially, as a designer, knowing the impedance calculation of PCB helps greatly in determining how well a printed circuit board operates. It is for this reason that it's valuable for one to know the type of impedance calculation that is best for a particular PCB. Since there are different types of calculation, a designer has to know, from the onset, the method that works best for a specific functionality. And if you would like to calculate the cost of your PCB online, feel free to do the online PCB quote calculation here.

PCB Impedance Calculation Methods Explained

As you've already learned above, there are different methods of calculation for PCB. It's the capacity to understand the best calculation method that gives the much-needed guidance to a designer or engineer on how to conduct impedance control and the material to use. There are three methods of impedance calculation including: smith chart, computer simulation, and online calculator. The smith chart method has been in use for a long time now. Even before the computer technology and PCB software came into use, smith chart has been in use. Through this method, it is possible to establish the graphical relationship for load and source impedances.

The computer simulation method is popular today. It uses software technology to calculate impedance. This method is an ideal one when you want to determine or select the design that is the best for manufacture. You have the opportunity to choose from a variety of design parameters. Of great importance still, it's possible for you to modify the parameters automatically in order to work on different simulations. The only disadvantage associated with this method of calculation is that it can be expensive.

Lastly, the online calculator is also common. From the onset, it's paramount to note that this method is not as comprehensive as the computer simulation one. The most significant factor that you should understand about this method of impedance calculation is that you expect only minor modifications. If you use this type of calculation, manufacturability does not depend on a lot of tweaking. Each of the methods described above can be used to establish the impedance control that your design can utilize.

What is Impedance Control PCB?

The limits of PCB are important. This is one thing that every designer will tell you. This is where impedance control PCB comes in. This has to do with the measuring of the impedance of particular traces during the manufacturing of PCB. Designers realized that the electronic components were having their frequencies increasing and, thus the need for a PCB to remain within the range determined by a designer. Despite the technique being quite expensive, it is a necessary one and its usage has been widespread. These are some of the electronic applications where you'll find it: TVs, video games, digital telecommunications, digital cameras, analog telecommunications, tablets, cell phones, computers, and video signal processing.

Impedance Control PCB Difficulties

One of the challenges associated with Impedance control PCB is that it is an expensive technique. As mentioned above, though it is a necessary process, it is an expensive one and requires investment in the right resources for it to bear the expected outcomes. Another difficult with impedance control has to do with the issue of uncontrolled impedance. It is a massive challenge to analyze uncontrolled impedance. This is especially the case the moment the components required have already been set up on a circuit. Given that components have different levels of tolerance, it is important to put this into consideration. In the same vein, the specifications of components can have huge effects from temperature including the possibility of malfunction. All these are as a result of uncontrolled impedance.


Design intent is important for an electronic engineer and designer. PCB design is pivotal in determining the functionality level of electronic appliances and applications. It is for this reason that it is prudent for you to understand the concept and significance of PCB impedance calculation as well as PCB impedance control. There is so much that goes into the composition of a printed circuit board and how it ends up functioning. That is why you should have a good understanding of the processes and techniques required for you to have a successful electronic process. Of great importance is for you to work with reliable resources and guidelines that assist you in getting the right outcomes. Remember, the manufacturing of boards goes beyond the technique you choose to use for impedance control. After all, the important thing is to have you meet the intent of your design and ensure that you're able to build your boards.