Managing Footprints With Integrated EDA Tools


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Electronics companies are always under great pressure to continually grow and innovate. In addition to navigating ever-accelerating design cycles, they must also address and overcome generational complexities associated with their products, the underlying components they use, and the human capital accountable for delivering on time and on budget. Electronics firms can ill afford the time and resource inefficiencies associated with manually correcting design errors, poor library data integrity, or other inconsistencies leading to missed deadlines or even costly re-spins.

The quality of eCAD libraries—or, more specifically, the quality of the underlying logical and physical models—plays a pivotal role in stemming the challenges of delivering a successful electronics product to market. In fact, the eCAD library affects every process from PCB layout to PCB manufacturing and assembly.

The Siemens PartQuest cloud-based application is a gateway to a large collection of component technical content for electronics design. This addresses five critical factors relative to best-in-class PCB library solutions:

1. High-quality eCAD model content.
2. Symbol and footprint creation.
3. Library management.
4. Standards.
5. Integration with Xpedition and PADS Professional.

In October 2020, Siemens released the PartQuest Vault, consisting of eCAD models (symbols and footprints) for over 1 million parts. These pre-made models are entirely created, validated, and maintained by Siemens. A rules engine consisting of validation logic and thousands of checks are run against model content to confirm construction correctness, which provides end-customers with peace-of-mind when using this content. Further, the Vault is parametrically or keyword searchable, which simplifies the identification of the precise part to meet a product design’s requirements, and the Vault is expected to contain 100 million parts by the end of 1QCY21.

There are inevitably instances where premade eCAD model content might not be readily available. For these scenarios, users have one of two options. First, users can request model content be constructed; turnaround time is typically less than 24 hours. This is presently a free service. Second, PartQuest has a robust part-builder capability. Whether a simple op amp or significantly more complex flatpack with multiple terminal groups, the “Create Footprint” capability guides users through easy-to-follow wizards and templates (including tool tips) to create content that is correct by construction.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the February 2021 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.

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