Keysight Technologies Joins Altium's Nexar Partner Program


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Altium, LLC, announces a strategic partnership with Keysight Technologies, a leading provider of electronic design, test automation, and measurement equipment. Keysight joins a growing group of Nexar partner organizations, including Arduino, Arrow, Avishtech, Diotech, Microchip, Samtec, Sintecs, and UltraLibrarian.

Keysight’s products encompass solutions across the electronics development lifecycle, including design simulation, prototype validation, automated software testing, manufacturing analysis, and network performance optimization. With annual revenues of $4.2B, the company serves a wide range of industries.

Altium’s Nexar platform provides partners access to the Altium 365 cloud-based ecosystem where PCB, electronics and mechanical designers, suppliers, manufacturers, and fabricators can access the tools, data, and community they need to create a printed circuit board or electronic product, from design through delivery.

“The partnership with Altium helps Keysight further grow their business while transforming the electronics design, development, and manufacturing process from isolated tool chains and disconnected processes into a streamlined, next generation workflow that is connected by a comprehensive data model for printed circuit boards,” Ted Pawela, Chief Ecosystem Officer at Altium, explains.

Faster Collaboration and Shorter Design Iterations at Any Stage in the Design Cycle

One of Keysight’s goals has been to streamline data sharing between electronic CAD tools and EDA simulation platforms, to quickly detect issues, and share findings among key stakeholders, at any stage of the electronics design cycle.

As a Nexar partner, Keysight will address Altium’s large community of designers with an integrated user-experience for signal and power integrity, within PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS) software. PathWave ADS is used by engineers to verify signal and power integrity requirements, by means of channel simulation, circuit simulation and electromagnetic simulation - essential for high-speed consumer electronics, datacenter, RF microwave products, automotive, aerospace and more.

As part of the Nexar partner program, Keysight will be able to connect PathWave ADS to the Altium ecosystem through the Nexar API, aiding collaboration and making advanced simulation more accessible to all hardware engineers and PCB designers.

“Keysight is excited about working with Altium to improve our customers’ workflows,” said Tom Lillig, General Manager of PathWave Software Solutions at Keysight. “Our PathWave software framework allows interoperability across our customers’ entire product development lifecycle, from design through validation and manufacturing. Engineers can use the same measurement software during both their simulation and test phases. This allows our customers’ teams to work more closely together, more easily correlate measurement results, share data more efficiently, and ultimately get to market faster. We’re thrilled to bring the Altium Nexar PCB design community into the PathWave framework for applications like DDR and PCIe. Keysight is already the industry leader in both the simulation and test of high-speed circuits. Together with Altium, we can complete the end-to-end high-speed PCB design workflow.”

Streamlining the Simulation Process with Nexar

Typical design cycles involve extensive iterations. As a PCB design evolves, layout engineers need to frequently communicate design changes to both mechanical engineers, and signal integrity experts, to reach design sign-off. This is a bottleneck, slowing the overall design cycle. To improve the process, signal integrity simulations need to be performed earlier— with schematic-based ‘pre-layout’ simulation, to avoid later rework of the PCB layout.

As Stephen Slater, Product Manager for PathWave ADS, elaborates, “PCB layout engineers want to be as efficient as possible and avoid rework, while at the same-time SI engineers want more frequent access to sanitized layout data. Today signal and power integrity engineers check the electrical performance of the PCB using PathWave ADS to perform electromagnetic extraction, channel simulation and to test for compliance to high-speed digital standards. Yet, when they find an issue to fix, the primary communication method is through phone calls, email and screen captures. This can be improved.”

“With Nexar and Altium 365, it’ll be much easier to keep track of conversations, and design revisions, ensuring everything is in one place, including comments, documented simulation assumptions, simulation results and files, notifications, and conversations key stakeholders need to know about,” Slater offers. 

The Nexar API eliminates the need for intermediate files, providing simple, programmatic access to any design parameter for CAM/CAD software, simulation and analysis, PLM, ERP, and any other software application or system. Easier data exchanges help expedite the design process from schematics through manufacturing, to optimize designs and reduce time to market for electronics products. Keysight and Altium will continue to work together on future integrations.

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