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Cadence Design Systems has released a variety of PCB design tools lately, and we wanted to find out a little more about what’s new at Cadence. I tracked down Product Marketing Director Brad Griffin and asked him to discuss some of the newest technology coming out of Cadence.
Andy Shaughnessy: Tell us about some of the new PCB design tools at Cadence Design Systems.
Brad Griffin: We recently launched a product called OrCAD Sigrity ERC. ERC is an acronym for electrical rule checks. This product represents one of several ways where we have taken advanced Sigrity technology and scaled it to a usable model for folks that are not experts in Signal and Power Integrity. As an example, a PCB designer, without any models or experience with signal integrity tools, is able to screen his design for impedance discontinuities and high levels of crosstalk. This is particularly valuable on dense designs where routed traces may accidentally get pushed over voids or gaps between power or ground shapes on adjacent layers. Instead of having the signal integrity engineer send the board back for changes, the PCB designer catches the problems on his own and leaves the SI guy to focus on the tough stuff.
Shaughnessy: What new technologies are you excited about?
Griffin: I am particularly excited about how our analysis tool product line is enabling a broad range of design expertise in a streamlined fashion. Everyone knew when we acquired Sigrity in 2012 that we were getting some of the industry’s most powerful signal and power integrity tools. Being able to segment that technology for our customer base—from the mainstream PCB designers in the OrCAD space to those creating bleeding-edge designs at some of the largest companies in the world using Allegro—is extremely satisfying. When I meet with customers and hear their ideas of how we can continue to improve our integration between our PCB design and PCB analysis tools, I get even more excited about the future.
Shaughnessy: Which customer challenges led you to develop these new products?
Griffin: Over the past several years, the strategy of most of our customers has been to develop products that are smaller, faster, and cheaper, while consuming less power but providing even greater functionality. This is obviously no small task, but as you can see by the constant improvement in mobile devices, IoT devices, and automotive electrical content, they have been successful. Yet, we constantly hear about the need to be more efficient. Our customers are communicating to us three big business challenges. They want to reduce product cost, they want to accelerate their time to volume production, and they want to reduce the surprises in the design cycle making time to market more predictable.
To read this entire article, which appeared in the February 2016 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.