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fast-paced, ever-changing world of electronics design, we attack the big
challenges relentlessly. But it's the "little things" that can add up quickly and
kill design team productivity if we don't stay on top of them.
team behind OrCAD just
announced three new products that attack less-glamorous but still
crucial areas of engineering productivity.
And it all started, according to Josh Moore, director of product management
for OrCAD Solutions at Cadence (pictured right), with a consistent question that a team mulls:
"Where can we eliminate or reduce those tasks in the design process that chew
once considered afterthoughts or worthy of just a minor feature
or--worse--relegated to email exchanges, have been reconsidered and enhanced.
Just announced were:
Moore, in an interview, walked us through each.
OrCAD Engineering Data
EDM is about giving engineers control over their work in progress (WIP) design data and doing
so directly inside their OrCAD Capture schematic design environment," Moore
"Today engineering teams can be siloed and independent," Moore said.
"But EDM provides an environment through which they can collaborate with each
How was this achieved earlier? Quite simply: email, where, especially on complex
projects, "There can be a wasted effort, and an inability to communicate
effectively," Moore said. "Inside the OrCAD EDM environment, I can see who's
working on what, what the project status is. I can query and get other copies
of other designs. If I need to build a power supply section, I can look at
other designs and extract for reuse."
Unless you built your own OrCAD data management system and
mandated its use internally, you didn't have this functionality. "It was
all ad hoc," he added.
OrCAD Documentation Editor
"The CAD tools
in which you do documentation were never developed to do documentation," Moore
said. "They were developed to do PCB place and route."
The editor includes, among other features:
Moore said documentation tends to be an afterthought but is
a critical part of the design process and consumes on average about 20% of the
design cycle. OrCAD Documentation Editor can reduce the process of
creating documentation by up to 80 percent, substantially reducing design time.
OrCAD Library Builder
A former PCB design engineer himself, Moore said, "It's tedious and
time-consuming to build symbols and footprints for schematic and PCB, especially the really complex ones. Too little is automated about the process. OrCAD
Library Builder takes it to the next level."
Among other features, OrCAD Library Builder can extract pin and part information
directly from a datasheet to build the schematic symbol.
"That's a massive time saver," Moore said. "The bigger the part, the
more tedious it gets to place one pin after another after another as opposed to
windowing around a datasheet pin table and saying 'build me this.'"
Potential outcome? At least a 70% reduction in wasted time, Moore said, adding, "As parts get more
complex, that time savings increases exponentially."
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