# Forum: PCB Design & Technology What is 3W Rule of PCB design?

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Hey there
Recently, I'm study the pcb design rules, one of them is pcb wire. And I
read a pcb note which said "To ensure that the distance between the
lines is large enough, when the distance between the line and the center
of the line is not less than 3 times the line width. If the line center
distance is not less than 3 times the line width, 70% of the line
electric fields will not interfere with each other, which is called 3W
rule." It is about line distance on the pcb board.
I 'm confused it and have searched it but get a few useful info, is
there anyone know it?
(The figure is attached, and enclose the ordinary words source
https://www.apogeeweb.net/electron/pcb-design-basics-wiring.html)

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This rule applies to the calculation of line width and distance of
coupled microstrip or coupled striplines. This are used for differential
highfrequency signals (for ex. HDMI, SATA, PCIe).

To ensure a good coupling between the positive and negative line, you
shall follow this 3W rule.

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Christophz wrote:
> To ensure a good coupling between the positive and negative line, you
> shall follow this 3W rule.

No.
To ensure a minimal coupling between two separate single ended lines,
you should have at least 3w distance between these lines to minimze
cross talk. It depends on the signals on these lines, especially the
rise/fall time.
If you have enough PCB space and you can spend more than 3w, then more
than 70% of the line electric fields will not interfere with each other.

On differential lines a coupling between both lines is desired. In this
case, the distance normally is less than d=3w to get a sufficient
coupling. The correct value is a result of the impedance calculation.
The result depends beside the distance d of the PCB thickness (distance
to GND layer), the desired Z-value, the PCB material and a little bit of
the line thickness.

If you have several differential line pairs near by near, the distance
between these pairs should be also at least 3w to avoid unwanted
coupling.

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This is a rule of thumb (!) to minimize near-end-crosstalk between two
50 Ohm transmission lines.

It has nothing to do with differential pairs, except maybe for this: If
you want two 50 Ohm single ended transmission lines to form a
differential pair with approx. 100 Ohm differential impedance, you
should keep the two transmission lines at least "3w" apart.

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The "3W Rule" is used to ensure the reliability and performance of
circuit boards, covering the following aspects:

Wide Traces: According to this rule, conductors (traces) carrying
high currents should be designed with wider widths. Wider traces help
reduce resistance, lower heat buildup, thereby mitigating overheating
issues and wire burnout. Additionally, wider traces can decrease
electromagnetic interference and enhance signal integrity.

Wire Spacing: The rule mandates that there should be sufficient
spacing between traces to prevent short circuits and electrical
interference. Especially in high-frequency circuits, appropriate wire
spacing can reduce cross-coupling and electromagnetic interference.

Wire Winding: When routing wires, maintaining a sufficiently large
bending radius is crucial to avoid increased resistance and signal
distortion caused by excessively tight bends. Moreover, proper wire
bending radius contributes to preserving the mechanical strength of the
circuit board and preventing wire breakage.

Copywriting source: https://www.tech-sparks.com/pcb-design-tutorial/

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Hello there;
It depends on the width; weight; and wiring problems.
To avoid short circuits; make sure the width has the right distance
between the wires.
The PCB's thickness and durability/ are referred to as its weight.
Trace setup is the main focus of wiring.

: Edited by User