Cadence Presents New Software System and Technical Papers at PCB West 2018


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Cadence DesignTrue.JPGJohnson: That's one of the biggest hassles for sure. It helps if you can decide what you're designing for first. It’s always heartbreaking for a fabrication shop to have to give customers the bad news that the customer might not find anybody who can manufacture what they designed because building what they designed is going to be either hard or expensive.

Shah: There are two parts to that. One is getting the rules and design to them, which is important. The second part is that our DesignTrue DFM technology checks those rules in real time. This is a unique capability that we have. Earlier is always better. As soon as you make a mistake, it's cheaper to fix it as soon as you make it in design than if you finish the board and figure out what's wrong, and then move everything out.

One typical case is annular ring violations. As soon as you place a component, our tool will tell you that you have an annular ring violation. You don't want to place all of your components and put all the traces around it to find out late in the cycle that there are violations and you must move everything out of the way.

Johnson: It's an expensive rip up.

Shah: Exactly. Coupling the rules with this technology is what enables the designers and manufacturers to get the product out faster. It's a shorter design cycle for designers, and it's a very efficient process for manufacturers because that's where they want to go instead of doing the technical qualifiers (TQs) iterations with the customer.

Johnson: How long does the acceptance process take and what's the typical development time?

Fernsebner: The longest time for the manufacturer is creating the rules themselves. The rules can be as sophisticated or as simple as the manufacturer wants them to be. Overall, the rule set is quite robust. We now support approximately 2,500 DFM rules. Some manufacturers are not going to use all 2,500 because that's pretty extensive. Others don't want to fill out every single area because they might feel very protected and that's part of their IP. The length of time depends on how thorough they want to be when filling out the rules. However, as soon as you're registered and approved, you immediately appear as a vendor for customers.

Johnson: Do you see this as a global manufacturer network or regional?

Fernsebner: The program's brand new, so there are a few U.S. participants. The ultimate goal is to provide international services, such as Würth Electronics. They’re approved and based in Germany.

Johnson: With the Ecosystem, you’re already giving manufacturers a heads-up that there's a design started with them in mind. At some point, does the quoting and pricing information become a natural thing included in the customer/vendor conversation?

Shah: Yes. I think that's a natural progression to enable that sort of collaboration between the design house and manufacturers. We are working with a couple of partner companies to allow that directly from the design. We're not to the point of announcing that yet, but that's where we're going.

Johnson: Certainly, a concept down the road.

Shah: Correct.

Fernsebner: There is a long-term roadmap for this platform, and we are in phase one. Like Hemant said, the DesignTrue DFM technology is unique to Cadence. We have the only tools that check DFM rules in real time as the PCB designer is laying out the board. Some might argue by saying, "You're doing DFM against the actual PCB design file and not the physical manufacturing artwork." The reality is if you look at the manufacturing support we're already receiving early the program, many fabrication providers see the benefits and realize that the number of cyclical back-and-forth interactions with the design house can be greatly reduced with this platform.

Johnson: How do you see this DFM solution interacting with parts libraries?

Shah: That’s an interesting question. Part libraries become relevant when design for assembly (DFA) is part of it. The challenge is getting the manufacturers' libraries because every manufacturer has a slightly different profile. The design house can check a 3D part, but it's an approximation to what you're going to see on the manufacturing floor. We ensure that the design is correct based on the libraries customers provide, but the manufacturer will have to do that check again to make sure it's accurate. We'll bring it very close, but without having a manufacturer's library also in the design process, that's not solvable.

Johnson: That makes sense. You guys are doing some cool stuff that’s long overdue.

Shah: Yes, it is.

Fernsebner: As I said earlier, you can design whatever you want with software, but can you actually build it? That's where they say the proof is in the pudding.

Johnson: Can you tell us about the three papers you’ve recently published?

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