Accton’s strong R&D capabilities have stood the test of time. Over 31 years of constant design and development excellence has formed the backbone of the company as it has transformed and grown. Experience, passion, and dedication are the driving force behind Accton’s R&D engineers. Hundreds of engineers spread across multiple R&D centers worldwide work as one highly motivated team, delivering greater product flexibility in shorter development cycles, while still increasing overall system quality and reliability.
Global top-tier players recognize Accton as a world-class partner in the design and manufacturing of quality networking products. To achieve this recognition, Accton has developed knowledge and expertise in a number of key areas that are essential for quality designs, including:
Advanced signal integrity and channel analysis
Advanced mechanical design
Regulatory compliance certification
Product reliability and validation
Advanced Signal Integrity and Channel Analysis
Accton’s engineers have extensive expertise in high-speed circuit board design, including signal integrity analysis techniques required for the latest 400 Gbps PAM4 designs. These areas of expertise can be summarized as follows:
Lowest cost PCB laminate selection for a particular application
Optimum BGA package and connector breakouts (minimal crosstalk)
High Frequency Structure Simulator (HFSS) 3D field solver-based coupled via design (electrically transparent vias)
Electrically transparent interconnect designs (minimal reflections)
Optimal trace geometry design (minimal signal loss)
Matched P&N intra-pair die-to-die (minimal mode conversion)
Laminate fiber weave-aware PCB routing (minimal P&N skew)
Simulated SerDes parameter optimization (ADS), compliant with ASIC vendor rules
In-System SerDes parameter optimization (scanned eye and binning)
Reduced dispersion and signal propagation disturbances (homogeneous Dk/Df)
Reduce power supply noise coupling (appropriate clearance for all signals)
Design of robust power delivery networks from die-to-VRM (working with ASIC vendor)
COM Analysis – The use of the latest channel operating margin (COM) analysis allows Accton’s engineers to analyze the quality of signal channels alone without using Input/output Buffer Information Specification – Algorithmic Modeling Interface (IBIS-AMI) models. Employing scattering parameters (S-parameters) and including enough differential-pairs, the worse-case scenarios can be simulated. These methods have the ability to quickly identify various signal impairments, such as inter-symbol interference, jitter, and crosstalk etc.
DC and AC Power Integrity – As well as signal integrity analysis, power integrity is an equally important factor in product design. The extensive power integrity analysis that Accton’s R&D undertakes falls into two categories; DC and AC.
The DC power integrity, or IR-drop, examines the source of large voltage drops in designs. A main part of the simulation is make sure that the DC power meets all chip requirements. In addition, it is important to locate current hot spots on a PCB to prevent failures. Accton’s engineers have the knowledge and experience to analyze simulation results and provide solutions to improve the DC power integrity performance.
The analysis of AC power integrity issues using software simulation tools involves minimizing the impedance of the power delivery network (PDN) and prevent voltage fluctuations. By optimizing the value and placement of decoupling capacitors, target impedance and frequency requirements can be met and the best power integrity solution determined.
Advanced Mechanical Design
Accton continuously seeks to improve mechanical design elements in product development. The main focus is always to ensure product reliability, but efforts to shorten development cycles and reduce costs also play an important part.
Structure Assessment and Risk Management – To improve quality and to save time and costs is at the core of any product design. Accton pays particular importance to structure assessment and risk management, specifically related to solder-joint cracking. Before any PCB layout is undertaken, a cross-functional team decides on a balanced structure in the design with a focus on:
PCB durability location vs. device location
BGA contact force vs. PCB contact force
PCB durability location vs. trace location
Durability during shipping
Durability during SMT process
To effectively manage ASIC solder-join crack risks, Accton uses computer-aided engineering (CAE) software tools to analyze and find the best location for ASICs on the PCB, thus preventing major issues during the product design stage.
Automatic Tolerance Analysis – The use of software tools for tolerance analysis to enhance accuracy and save time during the design stage.
Automatic Cable Routing Design – The use of 3D rendered images for cable routing, ensuring correct lengths and the best paths.
3D Printer Tool for Design – The use of 3D printing for quick prototypes, enabling ID and pre-test checks.
Package Design – Optimizing Package Material – Accton takes great care to find the optimum package designs for its products. Software analysis and simulation are used extensively before there is any package testing. The goal is to pass the package drop, vibration, and shock tests with the very first prototype.
The challenges of finding effective thermal solutions have increased with today’s high-power ASICs and other components. The design considerations for high-performance cooling modules, high-power PSUs, and the costs of thermal interface materials are some of the main areas of recent developments.
Thermal Interface Materials – To standardize the size and type of parts is Accton’s primary focus when developing thermal solutions, thereby reducing the number of parts required and therefore costs. In addition, Accton continues to engage new thermal interface materials in order to mitigate warpage issues on ASIC surfaces.
To bring additional cost benefits, Accton has also started to introduce an auto-dispensing gel process for mass production.
Economical Thermal Designs – Accton always aims to provide the best-optimized and lowest-cost thermal solution for products. To understand customer requirements and deliver an economical thermal solution is the main goal. In a simulation plan, a product’s system-level parameters are given first priority before cooling-component parameters. A full cross-functional team discussion of the simulation results is essential for an optimum solution.
High-End Cooling Solutions – For some high-power (10 kW) product designs, thermosiphon cooling can be used as a solution. Thermosiphon cooling employs a gas-liquid-solid heat exchanger that can support multiple heat sources. The result is increased performance and significantly decreased airflow impedance within the product. Accton also continues to research new cooling solutions as more thermal challenges are faced, such as flatness studies, the application of different materials for natural convection, cooling theory studies, 3D vapor chambers, looping pipes, surface treatments for forced convection, and new fan studies.
PSU Airflow Performance – Wind tunnel testing is performed to ensure sufficient airflow for the next-generation of high-power (2000W-3000W) PSUs. The wind tunnel equipment can measure the following parameters:
System airflow rate (CFM)
System impedance curve
PSU airflow rate (CFM)
PSU impedance curve
Fan performance curve
By increasing the venting holes and using air baffles, the effects of back-pressure caused by high-performance system fans can be overcome. With accurate PSU evaluation and selection early in the design phase, the airflow challenges can be resolved and PSU reliability ensured.
Regulatory Compliance Certification
Accton performs an in-depth analysis of products in relation to international compliance testing and evaluation. All relevant testing and evaluation needs are identified and test are carried out using Accton’s own facilities and outside agencies.
IEEE Compliance Equipment – For IEEE testing, Accton uses the latest equipment from Keysight, Tektronix, and Spirent, including:
Alien crosstalk tester
VNA S11 return loss balun
Auto-test application and fixture
SA spectrum analyzer
IEEE PoE Conformance – Accton uses equipment from Sifos Technologies to perform power interface conformance tests for PoE-PSE (IEEE 802.3af and 802.3at) devices.
Certification Compliance – Accton performs the following compliance testing for products:
Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
- FCC Part 15b, VCCI 32, CE EN55032+24
- AS/NZS CISPR 32, CNS 13438
- Electromagnetic Susceptibility (EMS)
- RS, CS, ESD, EFT, Surge, Power DIP
RF Compatibility (2.4G+5G+60G)
- FCC Part 15C/15E
- CE EN300 328/EN300 893/EN301-489
- CE EN302 567
- Worldwide RF regulatory
- Safety Certification
- UL, CSA, TUV, CB … etc.
- Safety lab for certification test
- Partial GR1089 pretesting in Taiwan lab.
- Full NEBS formal report in U.S lab
In-house EMC Test Equipment – Accton has its own EMI chamber for debugging and an ESD test room for EN 61000-3-2 compliance.
Reliability and Validation
All Accton products go through complete reliability and validation tests at several stages of the design process. As well as mechanical and lifetime tests, a range of environmental tests are performed, including climatic, dynamic, and outdoor.
MTBF Prediction – After selecting the most reliable key components, and optimizing the design and thermal characteristics, an MTBF can be determined.
HALT & HASA/HASS Tests – The Highly Accelerated Life Test (HALT) and Highly Accelerated Stress Audit/Screening (HASA/HASS) are standard methods for determining product weaknesses and points of failure in both design and manufacturing.
Environmental Test Capabilities – Include environmental (temperature, humidity, thermal shock, and altitude), dynamic (shock, drop, bump, bounce, and earthquake), outdoor IP code (sand/dust, rain, solar radiation, wind, salt spray, gas corrosion), and other (acoustic, compression, ESD, ISTA transportation).
Network Test Center – Accton subjects all products to complete testing in its professional Network Test Center (NTC). Included in the product verification are tests for conformance, function, performance, interoperability, stability, and Wi-Fi /WHQL pre-test.