Connections to the Beginning: Circuit Boards for CERN
Extracting more information from high-energy experiments at CERN requires better connections that can quickly and safely transport data collected by an array of silicon detectors. High-speed connections created by the combination of printed circuit boards and integrated circuits can help to extract more information faster, with less risk of corruption caused by radiation. A long printed circuit board, roughly a meter and a half, would allow for a sturdy connection that can overcome the power and space constraints inside of the collider. However, since it is very uncommon for circuit boards to be that large, our group decided to make a ladder of smaller PCBs connected together. Each circuit board will be three inches in length so roughly twenty boards are required to make up a meter and a half connection, but the demands of high frequencies may cause problems with the integrity of the signal. These connections also must be able to withstand radiation and transmit data at high speeds in order for more information to be extracted.