Tis the season of giving thanks and showing gratitude to those in need. I’m thankful for the opportunity to tell you about my colleague Istvan Novak and his new book.
I sat down with Istvan Novak, Principal SI/PI Engineer at Samtec, and discussed the reprint of his book, Power Distribution Network Design Methodologies. He explained, “During the pandemic, I received numerous questions related to power integrity, and, as a result, the book was reprinted to meet growing demand.”
Initially, the book grew out of an effort to collect papers on power integrity that were given at DesignCon. In 2003, DesignCon was still organized by International Engineering Consortium (IEC), who were the initial publishers of the book. Istvan Novak was tapped as the person to bring the book all together.
Timeline & Contributions
- 2003 – DesignCon was run by IEC, which at the time was known as the International Engineering Consortium. The IEC encouraged authors to compile their DesignCon papers in this book.
- 2008 – Enough material came together and the book was published.
- 2010-2012 – The book went out of print as DesignCon ownership changed from IEC to UBM/Informa.
- 2020 – During the pandemic, due to readers’ requests, the book was reprinted.
Istvan Novak has long been known as a mentor in the SI/PI community. In DesignCon’s early years, power integrity had no dedicated track(s) at the conference. He notes that early on there were only two tracks in the symposium: High Speed System Design and Digital Communications Design. “Most papers focused on signal integrity, though in those years even the term signal integrity was not widely used yet,” Istvan explained in this article, DesignCon History: Looking back 20 years.
Over the years, many creative collaborations and friendships have grown out of DesignCon. Barry Sullivan, the former IEC chairman organizer, was able to influence many in the SI/PI community. When readers started requesting a reprint of the book, Istvan Novak reached out to Barry to see if he wanted to be involved in the reprint. Barry recalls, “Istvan and I reconnected for the reprint of the book. During our conversation he learned I lost my son years back and insisted that all proceeds funnel to IEC and the Declan Drum Sullivan Memorial Fund.”
Though there is still an “IEC,” it is not the same organization it was in the early 2000’s. Known as The Inclusive Engineering Consortium (IEC) today, it is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing together academia, industry, and government to advance education, research, and careers in electrical and computer engineering. The goal of the consortium is to increase the quantity and quality of African-American, Hispanic, and Native American electrical and computer engineering graduates.
What’s in the book?
When the book was first complied, power integrity, as a principle, was relatively new, and followed in the footsteps of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and signal integrity (SI) principles. Specific chapters from the book cover power system designs including circuit board layout strategies, capacitor characterization and selection, controlled impedance design, and guidance for system-level engineering. Chapter 17 in particular provides a power distribution design guide for a FPGA family.
Many in the SI/PI community are grateful to Istvan for his commitment to teaching and mentoring over the years and his contributions to the state of the art. With the reprint of this book, he continues that mission.
A sincere thank you Istvan for sharing the story of your book and all the benefits it provides. If you are looking for a definitive text on power integrity for your bookshelf, take a closer look here.
Samtec’s PI Capabilities
Power distribution network (PDN) designers must balance increasing supply rails, density, complexity and noise sources with cost constraints and small form factors. Reliability, safety and thermals are also key design concerns.