Board-level designers often have concerns about the proper way to handle grounding for integrated circuits (ICs) which have separate analog and digital grounds. Should the two be completely separate and never touch? Should they connect at a single point with cuts in the ground plane to enforce this single point or “Mecca” ground? How can a Mecca ground be implemented when there are several ICs that call for analog and digital grounds?
This series of three articles comprises a basic tutorial on proper printed circuit board (PCB) grounding for mixed-signal designs.