New Mentor Xpedition Platform Delivers 'Shift-Left' Multi-Dimensional Verification


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Mentor, a Siemens business, has announced the new Xpedition printed circuit board (PCB) design platform focused on multi-dimensional verification. With the increasing complexities of today’s systems, PCB design managers can be challenged by the lack of robust verification tools and/or the difficulty in applying these tools, to identify problems early in the design development phase. Mentor tools enable engineers to integrate a broad range of easy-to-use verification tools into a PCB design platform within a singular authoring environment to identify problems at the schematic or layout phases. This new Xpedition platform for non-specialist PCB engineers delivers accurate concurrent design analysis and verification, and comprehensive tool integration, helping achieve substantial time and cost savings while delivering higher-quality products. 

According to a recent electronics simulation-driven design study by Lifecycle Insights (September 13, 2018), the average number of design re-spins is 2.9 per project, which amounts to approximately 16 days of unplanned development time and $82.6K in additional costs. The study found that PCB design teams who adopted a “shift-left” verification methodology across their design processes realized a 14% increase in on-time project delivery, reduced re-spins, and overall improved design quality. 

“Our most recent research shows that the broad use of analysis and verification throughout the design phase directly supports engineering management’s efforts to compress the design cycle while improving board system quality,” stated Chad Jackson, president and principal analyst, Lifecycle Insights. “Mentor's advancements in PCB design simulation solutions is a critical enabler to such efforts, and managers should take a hard look at these offerings." 

Authoring Environment for Non-specialist PCB Designers

Leveraging industry best-practice processes, the Xpedition verification platform is designed for non-specialist PCB designers to enable quick and intuitive simulation and analysis functions. Launched within the designer’s authoring tool, integrated verification technologies provide automatic model creation, concurrent simulation, cross probing from results, and error reviews within a single environment. 

Multi-Dimensional Verification Solution

The Xpedition platform is comprised of a broad range of robust technologies: schematic analysis, signal integrity (SI) and power integrity (PI) analysis, electrical rule checking (ERC), thermal simulation, vibration analysis, design-for-fab (DFF), assembly (DFA) and test (DFT) manufacturability testing. These integrated technologies, applied within a single authoring environment familiar to the designer or design team, provide early virtual design prototypes. The new Xpedition platform introduces a comprehensive, multi-dimensional solution for upfront design verification, from concept to design hand-off for assured manufacturability. 

The new Xpedition verification platform incorporates novel technologies in several areas: 

Schematic design verification: new, fully-automated and powerful schematic integrity tool to replace manual visual schematic inspection, eliminating re-spins early in the design by as much as 70%.

Design-for-test analysis: identifies test point requirements that are automatically passed from schematic design to layout as constraints to improve testability coverage. This feature creates test and inspection outputs for machines in process preparation with early diagnostics, thereby lowering the overall cost of testing.

Improved integrations in the new Xpedition platform include: 

Design-for-manufacturability (DFM) analysis: provides comprehensive DFM analysis covering fabrication, assembly, test, flex/rigid-flex, substrate and panel validation early and concurrently during PCB design, without leaving the layout in the new Xpedition integration environment.

Electrical performance sign-off: automatic electrical rule checking (ERC) quickly identifies critical signal integrity, power integrity and EMI/EMC issues concurrently with PCB layout, potentially accelerating design reviews from days to just minutes.

“Recognizing that systems design complexity continues to increase, one of Mentor’s key initiatives is to empower our customers with industry-leading verification technologies, which have been historically leveraged in specialized, or discrete instances,” stated A.J. Incorvaia, senior vice president, Mentor Electronic Board Systems. “With our new Xpedition platform targeting PCB designers, these integrated solutions enable verification within the design process to ease deployment, accelerate time-to-results, and allow our customers to maximize their investments.”

About Mentor Graphics

Mentor Graphics Corporation, a Siemens business, is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services, and award-winning support for the world’s most successful electronic, semiconductor, and systems companies. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777. For more information, click here.

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