# Providing power plane as the reference

#### hioyo

##### Member level 2
Can I provide 12V power plane as a reference to High Speed layer

#### KlausST

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi,

Theoretically yes. But you need to know about the (HF) current paths.

Maybe you can give more details.

Klaus

hioyo

### hioyo

Points: 2

#### hioyo

##### Member level 2
Hi,

Theoretically yes. But you need to know about the (HF) current paths.

Maybe you can give more details.

Klaus
Hi,

May I know Why we need to know about high-frequency current paths.

Regards
HARI

#### KlausST

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi,

An electrical signal needs a return path.
There is no signal that goes only from A to B, it also needs the return path back from B to A.
It is a loop.
And the return path is equally important as the signal path.

If a trace travels over an uncut GND plane, then the "return" current travels rather exactly back atbthe same location in the plane. Not much right or left.
(Electromagnetic field)
If there is a cut in the GND plane ... under the trace...
Then the return current at this place of plane can not travel directly, it needs to use a different, longer path ... causing impedance jumps in the signal line, echoing, bad signal quality...

Klaus

hioyo

### hioyo

Points: 2

#### FvM

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
It's not unusual for an economical and not super fast design to utilize power planes as transmission line ground. It's o.k. if the power plane has low inductance and suffciently distributed bypassing to the primary logic ground. The requirement is usually fulfilled for logic power supplies that should have bypassing capacitors placed near each supply pin. For other planes, e.g. a 12 V planes you possibly don't have sufficient bypassing in the transmission line region. Still no problem for differential signals that don't involve return currents but not so good for single ended signals.

hioyo

### hioyo

Points: 2

#### hioyo

##### Member level 2
Hi,

An electrical signal needs a return path.
There is no signal that goes only from A to B, it also needs the return path back from B to A.
It is a loop.
And the return path is equally important as the signal path.

If a trace travels over an uncut GND plane, then the "return" current travels rather exactly back atbthe same location in the plane. Not much right or left.
(Electromagnetic field)
If there is a cut in the GND plane ... under the trace...
Then the return current at this place of plane can not travel directly, it needs to use a different, longer path ... causing impedance jumps in the signal line, echoing, bad signal quality...

Klaus
here we are providing power plane as reference.the return current flowing through the power plane will cause any problems.

#### KlausST

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi
.the return current flowing through the power plane will cause any problems.
What problems exactly?
Show us your design as .png or .pdf