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One theme that runs through a lot of the Cadence tool portfolio is the idea of natively integrating tools on common databases so that files do not have to be translated. There always seems to be some loss of semantic clarity, in much the same way if you do the fun experiment of using Google Translate to convert something into English from French by first translating French to Japanese, and then Japanese to English.
What we used to call PCB design used to be about...well...designing printed circuit boards. But now we call it system design because it involves so much more than just placing some components on a board and getting them connected. A modern high-performance board-based system (think of something like a smartphone or a server "pizza box") involves not just the board but cables and connectors, signal integrity, thermal analysis, RF, multiple design groups, and a whole portfolio of design tools. Wouldn't it be nice to have a single cockpit where all that stuff just worked together cleanly? And, since this is 2021, we want it to scale into the cloud and use machine learning (ML) to get better results without our brains having to do all the work.
Yesterday, at CadenceLIVE Americas, Lip-Bu Tan, Cadence's CEO, introduced exactly this product, the Allegro X Design Platform. Actually, he just mentioned it in passing but we decided we should put the press release out yesterday. Today, Anirudh covered Allegro X in a bit more detail in his keynote, so I pinched a couple of images from his deck.
And a video version of some of the same points:
For the first time, Allegro X unifies schematic, layout, analysis, design collaboration, and data management for the system designer. Built upon our tried-and-true Allegro and OrCAD core technology, the new Allegro X platform streamlines the system design process. It offers unparalleled collaboration across all engineering disciplines, integration with best-in-class Cadence signoff-level simulation and analysis products, and greater layout performance.
The Allegro X platform leverages a hybrid cloud solution that provides scalable compute resources and full technology access while reducing deployment footprints and complexity. With the Allegro X platform, engineers can now deliver high-quality designs with access to the Cadence Clarity 3D Solver, Celsius Thermal Solver, Sigrity technology, PSpice for simulation and analysis, Allegro Pulse for design data management, and interoperability with the AWR Microwave Office RF design flow.
But wait, there's more. And not steak knives. There is intelligence under the hood. By leveraging GPU technology, performance is improved across a wide range of operations. In addition, the Allegro X platform can use cloud resources to synthesize full or partial PCB designs. Innovative ML techniques concurrently optimize the design for manufacturing and SI and PI requirements while designing the power delivery network (PDN), device placement, and signal interconnect as specified by the system architect and signal integrity engineer.
The result: a productivity increase of 4X. NVIDIA has found as much as 20X on interactive operations that leverage its GPUs. That's Molto Allegro indeed. Maybe we should have called it Presto. Either way, it is all very harmonious.
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