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What’s new with Mentor’s PADS 9.2?

May 23, 2010

Lots, if you look closely! If you look at the previous PADS 9.0 flow release, a typical Suite configuration includes:
* Design entry including DxDesigner, variant management, and data import/translators from competitors’ PCB design systems.
* HyperLynx pre-and post-layout signal integrity simulation, thermal analysis and analog simulation.
* PADS Layout with powerful auto-routing, high-speed rule adherence, unlimited database and layers, and design reuse.
* Advanced manufacturing rules.
* 3D Viewer and integration to multi-disciplined collaboration solutions.

This latest release of PADS seems to have gone a mile or two further. The final verdict stays with the end users.

Jim Martens, product marketing manager, PADS Solutions Group, Mentor Graphics.

Jim Martens, product marketing manager, PADS Solutions Group, Mentor Graphics.

Well, it was a great pleasure to meet up with Jim Martens, product marketing manager, PADS Solutions Group, Mentor Graphics and Yan Killy, CID, Application Engineer Consultant, Mentor Graphics, while they were on a three-city tour of India in connection with the Mentor Graphics PCB Technology Day.

Specifically, there were sessions on PADS 9.2, the newest and most powerful release of the PADS solution yet! PADS Layout is said to be the most widely used desktop PCB design solution in the world. There have also been major enhancements in DxDesigner and also how the PADS flow has been extended to now include 3D viewing, power integrity, thermal analysis, collaborative design tools, and better ties to fabrication and assembly.

Live product demonstations were the major highlight of Mentor’s PCB Technology Day. If I am correct, PADS 9.2 is due for release shortly!

PADS solves design challenges in handhelds

Touching upon design challenges in handheld, Martens highlighted a few, such as handheld vendors adding more functions in the same space. Packaging poses a challenge as well. For example, the available board area is 476mm2, while the component area is 400mm2. Some other areas providing challenges include multiband connectivity, re-using the external casing, mechanical assembly, etc.

Yan Killy, CID, Application Engineer Consultant, Mentor Graphics.

Yan Killy, CID, Application Engineer Consultant, Mentor Graphics.

Yan Killy, who also provided a demo of using PADS with consumer handhelds, added that while component management could be a problem, the PADS integrated design allows for component management. Features include wizards for fast and efficient library creation. Part attributes have been organized in standard databases, thus making it easier to find parts and manage libraries.

Another feature is design data management, which has features such as spreadsheet views for fast editing of design data, and finding optimal parts as parametric seach.

PADS’ new release features conceptual signal integrity analysis — where you can optimize layer stack up and also perform spectrum analysis for EMI potential; advance constraints management — users can assign net classes, differential pairs, min./max. length, and matched length groups, as well as define heirarchical rules. System integration allows for a tighter integration between design definition and layout for high productivity.

Killy added that interactive route editing was one of the strengths of PADS, which features unique aids for interactive routing, as well as dynamic and manual route nodes. PADS also features angle free automatic routing as well as physical design route.

Another feature of PADS is its advanced packaging toolkit, which features wirebond editor, die flag generation and wirebond report generation. Of course, there is the PADS RF support as well, with features such as DXF import in layout and Decal editor, along with solder mask and CAM output improvements.

FPGA I/O Designer and Hyperlynx

The next session was on the FPGA I/O Designer, which advances FPGA on-board productivity, which was followed by sessions on Hyperlynx Power Integrity (PI) and Green Systems Design using HyperLynx Power and Signal Integrity Engine.
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