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This paper presents an enlarged study about the 50-% propagation-time assessment of cascaded transmission lines (TLs). First and foremost, the accurate modeling and measurement technique of signal integrity (SI) for high-rate microelectronic interconnection is recalled. This model is based on the reduced transfer function extracted from the electromagnetic (EM) behavior of the interconnect line RLCG-parameters. So, the transfer function established takes into account both the frequency dispersion effects and the different propagation modes. In addition, the transfer function includes also the load and source impedance effects. Then, the SI analysis is proposed for high-speed digital signals through the developed model. To validate the model understudy, a prototype of microstrip interconnection with w = 500 µm and length d = 33 mm was designed, simulated, fabricated and tested. Then, comparisons between the frequency and time domain results from the model and from measurements are performed. As expected, good agreement between the S-parameters form measurements and the model proposed is obtained from DC to 8 GHz. Furthermore, a de-embedding method enabling to cancel out the connectors and the probe effects are also presented. In addition, an innovative time-domain characterization is proposed in order to validate the concept with a 2.38 Gbit/s-input data signal. Afterwards, the 50-% propagation-time assessment problem is clearly exposed. Consequently an extracting theory of this propagation-time with first order RC-circuits is presented. Finally, to show the relevance of this calculation, propagation-time simulations and an application to signal integrity issues are offered.
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