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PCB Currents: How They Flow, How They React by Douglas Brooks

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12. Differential Current Flow

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12.1. Concepts

In a typical circuit (Figure 12-1), the signal travels down a single conductor between a driver and a receiver. All such signals have a return, and the return is typically on a second “ground” wire (or circuit) or on a plane. We call such a circuit a single-ended circuit.

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Figure 12-1 Typical single-ended circuit.

Differential circuits, on the other hand, are characterized by a pair of wires carrying complementary signals (i.e., signals that are equal and opposite) between a driver and a receiver ( ...

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