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Field Solvers—GIGO Hurts!
The “left shift” concept has been underway for at least five years, as EDA tool providers offer more powerful functionality earlier in the stages of PCB design and layout. This month, we focus on one tool that’s been shifting leftward for some time now: the field solver.
Once the domain of the experienced SI engineer, field solvers are now available in PCB design software tools. With improved user interfaces, field solvers are being used by PCB designers and design engineers, many of whom have not mastered electromagnetics theory.
When we first started planning this issue on field solvers, one thing became clear right away: Field solvers can be fairly difficult tools to use, even for veteran SI specialists, and it’s even tougher to make sure that you’re using the correct data so that you get the results that you need. Signal integrity experts we spoke with said that even experienced engineers could wind up with “garbage in, garbage out” (GIGO) if they aren’t careful. And for a non-degreed PCB designer, learning to use a field solver might feel like drinking from a firehose.
So, for this issue, we asked our expert contributors to share their thoughts on field solvers, and what new users need to know to get up to speed.
Find out more in the July issue of Design007 Magazine.
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