RF Ground Vias is another take on the Add Via function that comes with Xpedition. It does some of the same things as Add Via, and some different. It’s simple and easy to use. It does all the math for you, with basic and easy-to-understand inputs. Select a trace to add the guard vias to, select the via to use, then tell it what the spacing from the trace to the vias should be. The spacing value can be put in in any units – the tool will figure out what they are and do the necessary conversions. Put in the signal frequency and dielectric constant, and the full and fractional wavelengths are calculated, with the minimum via spacing recommendation. The recommended value can be changed if needed. The tool can run with DRC on or off, without regard to the current DRC setting in Xpedition.
– Add a plane obstruct around the trace. If for whatever reason a plane clearance with a larger spacing value than the default set up in CES is needed, it can be added quickly and easily.
– Add a solder mask clearance to the trace. Typically traces will be covered with solder mask. Some RF engineers want their RF traces uncovered. This function does that, placing a drawn polygon on the the same layer as the selected trace (top or bottom only, of course).
Here’s a video of the tool working: