The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Electrical Engineering: M.S.


College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Yi Zheng

Third Advisor

Stephen Walk

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

S-Parameter, Transmission Line, Permittivity, Loss Tangent, Crosstalk, Attenuation, Microstrip, Stripline


The term Signal Integrity (SI) addresses two main concerns which are the timing and quality of a received signal. The goal of signal integrity analysis is to ensure reliable high-speed data transmission. This thesis project examines the need to understand and limit dominating factors encountered in high speed network devices.

Industry constantly proposes new methods to increase signal propagation speeds by modifying PCB components. These modifications are aimed at improving impedance matching at discontinuities. Print circuit board (PCB) testing can be done with three-dimensional solvers governed by electromagnetic (EM) equations with appropriate boundary conditions.

3D electromagnetic field simulations will be run to extract scattering parameters (S-parameters) from the three-dimensional circuit board components. These simulations will consider the effect of non-functional pads, ground plane and return paths on signal transmission at frequencies of interest. This paper intends to show that extensive instrumental testing can be replaced with 3D analysis which would minimize the cost of board design and fabrication for testing purposes .


I would like to express profound gratitude to my advisor, Dr. Zheng Yi for his invaluable support, encouragement, supervision and useful suggestions throughout this research work. His moral support and continuous guidance enabled me to complete my work successfully. I am also highly thankful to Dr. Aiping Yao, Dr. Ratchaneekorn Thamvichai, Dr. Stephen Walk, Dr. Tim Vogt and members of the Math and Electrical Engineering Department for their valuable suggestions throughout this study.

I am extremely grateful to Joel Goergen and Pete Tomaszewski of Force10 Networks for financial support during my graduate studies and an internship oppurtunity in San Jose, CA. I appreciate their kindness in loaning me laboratory equipment, a laptop and important patent information which were extremely important to the development of my thesis material. I would like to thank all my team members here at SCSU and all the engineers I had a chance to work with in California for sharing their knowledge and words of encouragement.

I am as ever, especially indebted to my parents, Mr. Patrick and Mrs. Rose Nwachukwu for their love and support throughout my life. I also wish to thank my sisters, Ms. Obioma and Ms. Amarachi Nwachukwu for their support and understanding during my study. I am also thankful to my friend and colleague SungYeol Choi who has shared my struggles with me and is always a source of guidance and inspiration to me. In conclusion, my sincere thanks go to all my friends and family who shared their love and experiences with me; such invaluable support helped me overcome my doubts and kept me focused on completing this thesis.