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Calculator Wish List March 3, 2006

If there is a calculator that you feel would be a good addition to this site, please add it to the comment section of this post and we’ll do what we can to implement them.


1. Victor Radu - April 13, 2006


I’d like to be able to calculate the Max. current density for
- via
- trace
- plane

given the material and geometry information

2. Joe Janowski - May 16, 2006

Thermal resistance of a pcb trace vs. copper oz

3. Administrator - May 17, 2006

I added thermal resistance here:


4. Ron Pasco - June 13, 2006


I like the calculator. I’d like to find one for silver ink traces.

5. Administrator - June 17, 2006

Thanks for the great idea. I added a conductive ink resistance calculator here:



6. Himanshu - July 8, 2006

Required caclulators:-

1) Clock jitter calculator for trace width and define layer stack up on PCB

2) Crosstalk caclulator for PCB traces

3) EMI/EMC Radiation calculator for PCB traces

7. Eric L - July 13, 2006

How about calculating the number of vias required (based on desired via parameters) for a current and the appropriate via spacing given via quantity and the current.

8. Ed Olson - August 14, 2006

I’d like to see a calculator for the inductance, capacitance and characteristic impedance of vias.

9. Joe - September 19, 2006

How about a spreadsheet, where each cell represents a unit area.
Data at each cell would define a selected material.
An additional spreadsheet would define properties (e.g. copper, FR4) for each material, including application specific properties (e.g. current, initial temp, etc).
The output would be a resister model that could be imported into spice to solve for temperature. Preferrably, the solution to the resistor model could be calculated and displayed as cell colors in the material spreadsheet.
Eventually, multiple spreadsheets could be defined for stacked layers.

10. Brad - September 19, 2006

I have messed around with this a bit, but don’t have anything ready for prime time. I should write a little article on what I have done so far. For SPICE, I made a little square symbol to represent sheet resistance – either thermal or electrical. It has a pin on each of its 4 faces so they can be placed together like building blocks. With these, you can graphically represent circuit board traces and FR4 then find the resistance, voltage drop, or temperature delta between points by injecting current etc. For the spreadsheet approach, I found that placing finite difference equations in each cell and setting Excel to solve iteratively works.

11. Joe - September 22, 2006

Exciting! This could be useful for so many things if done in a generic way. It’s a general 2D conductive cooling simulation now. If you add two more pins (for top and bottom) to your Spice element you have the makings of a 3D tool. I could comment on the user interface if you send/post something. Alternatively I could send you some ideas via excel spreadsheet examples. I’ll need your email address (you have mine) or a way to post. Perhaps the blog could support attachments.

12. alvin - September 28, 2006

nice site, very informative. how about adding a PCB clearance/ creepage calculator..


13. San Chao - October 2, 2006

Would like to see PCB Calculator that show how many vias, via sizes, etc are required for 10 ampere

14. Robert - November 7, 2006

Maybe I missed this: What I need is trace spacing for a given voltage.

15. Brad - November 8, 2006

Great ideas people! I am working on a few of these suggestions. Even if the calculator you need has already been suggested, go ahead and submit a request here. Then I will know what is needed the most and I’ll prioritize things that way.


16. Rohit jain - November 25, 2006

The trace width, trace resistance & clearence that is required to prevent the signals from High frequency nose up to 5W.

17. Chris Heard - November 28, 2006

Amphenol-TCS has a website for registered users that contains trace heating, via current, plane capacitance, trace insertion loss, chassis cooling an other calculators that may be of interest.

[link deleted]
[editor’s comment - Unfortunately, Amphenol informed me that it is only for their customers.]

Chassis Slot Pitch Analyzer
Connector Comparison Matrix
Connector Wipe Analyzer
Engagement Force Analyzer and Latch Designer
Front Panel Analyzer
Mating Sequence Analyzer
Backplane Channel Analyzer
Backplane Power Layer Resistance Analyzer
Connector Current vs Temperature Analyzer
Maximum Trace Current Carrying Analyzer
Maximum Via Current Carrying Analyzer
PCB Loss Analyzer
Power Plane Capacitance Analyzer
Skew Analyzer
Star Architecture Bandwidth Analyzer
Chassis Thermal Analyzer
EN60950 Creepage and Clearance Analyzer

18. David Sharratt - November 30, 2006

nice site, very informative. how about adding a PCB clearance/ creepage calculator..


19. Brad - November 30, 2006

I haven’t had a chance to make a clearance / creepage calculator yet, but I found one here:


20. John Yeager - December 1, 2006

I would like the via calculator to show the maximum current carrying capacity of the specified via. This is useful when designing switching power supplies and the transference of current from the switching elements to the internal power planes.

21. Brad - December 1, 2006


Regarding the maximum via current, I will have to think about that. The problem is, the thermal resistance from the via to ambient varies widely depending mainly on how much copper is near the via. So, the calculation would have to make some assumptions about the thermal resistance and the allowable temperature rise of the via. This is good food for thought.


22. Corrie - December 8, 2006

I’d like to be able to see the area needed. I don’t just need trace width, I see to see area for partial planes.

I like how I can choose the units - I’d like to choose between square mils, centimetres and square mm.

23. Brad - December 8, 2006


I am not sure I follow you. Perhaps the partial plane can be viewed as a trace. The width can be determined by the current and allowed temperature rise. The length is a function of the board layout (e.g. how far the signal needs to go), so the area is indeterminate - or am I missing something?


24. Kei - December 13, 2007

It would be nice to find here any calculator for PCB-antennas for ZigBee, BlueTooth, GPS.

PS Thanks for very usefull site.


25. mark - February 19, 2008

If I need a particular resistance value, I can connect several resistors in series or parallel. I would like a calculator where I give a final value and the calculator gives me series and or parallel combinations for each IEA series to obtain this final value.

Also, I would like to input a final value and one given value and get a result showing a series and or parallel IEA value which when combined with the given value produces the final value.

26. Phil Basford - March 1, 2008

we would like to see a calculator that could show a relationship between the length of the wire and the output voltage in a dynamo. it would help us gee-whiz the DIY development of small electric generators like the faraday effect flashlight. there are a lot of neodymium magnets in odd shapes that we want to design windings around.

27. Brad - March 7, 2008

Hi Phil,

That is an interesting dynamo concept on you web site, but I didn’t exactly follow the details about the wires like how they are arranged (coiled) and connected together and to the output. So, I am not sure how to make a calculator for that.

For a generator or dynamo, it is not really just the length of the wire that is important. The induced voltage follows Faraday’s Law. From [1], Faraday’s Law states that the induced electromotive force in a closed loop of wire (i.e. voltage) is directly proportional to the time rate of change of magnetic flux through the loop.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday%27s_law_of_induction