[sdiy] Nanosecond delays - the clean or dirty method?

Steve Lenham steve at bendentech.co.uk
Thu Feb 25 16:56:06 CET 2021

I need to delay the Chip Enable signal to a RAM IC by a tiny amount - 
around 25ns. I'm building a replacement memory cart for a vintage unit, 
and this is necessary to allow the use of a battery-free F-RAM for 
storage (some F-RAMs have certain timing quirks).

I know that the proper way to do this would be to insert one or more 
pairs of inverters to delay the signal by a few propagation delays, but 
that needs, like, another chip.

The DIRTY way to do it is to add a tiny RC delay. I tried 1K5 and 22pF 
and it worked perfectly, delaying the edge by about 50ns and solving my 

I'm well aware of the dangers of slow pulse edges and would never 
consider this for something more lengthy without adding a Schmitt 
buffer, but am curious as to whether it is still seen as irredeemably 
bad practice for a tiny nudge such as this. I'm sure I have seen it done 
in various vintage schematics.

Any thoughts would be appeciated!


Steve L.
Benden Sound Technology

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