Cadence® system design and verification solutions, integrated under our System Development Suite, provide the simulation, acceleration, emulation, and management capabilities.
Verification Suite Related Products A-Z
Cadence® digital design and signoff solutions provide a fast path to design closure and better predictability, helping you meet your power, performance, and area (PPA) targets.
Full-Flow Digital Solution Related Products A-Z
Cadence® custom, analog, and RF design solutions can help you save time by automating many routine tasks, from block-level and mixed-signal simulation to routing and library characterization.
Overview Related Products A-Z
Driving efficiency and accuracy in advanced packaging, system planning, and multi-fabric interoperability, Cadence® package implementation products deliver the automation and accuracy.
Cadence® PCB design solutions enable shorter, more predictable design cycles with greater integration of component design and system-level simulation for a constraint-driven flow.
An open IP platform for you to customize your app-driven SoC design.
Comprehensive solutions and methodologies.
Helping you meet your broader business goals.
A global customer support infrastructure with around-the-clock help.
24/7 Support - Cadence Online Support
Locate the latest software updates, service request, technical documentation, solutions and more in your personalized environment.
Cadence offers various software services for download. This page describes our offerings, including the Allegro FREE Physical Viewer.
The Cadence Academic Network helps build strong relationships between academia and industry, and promotes the proliferation of leading-edge technologies and methodologies at universities renowned for their engineering and design excellence.
Participate in CDNLive
A huge knowledge exchange platform for academia to network with industry. We are looking for academic speakers to talk about their research to the industry attendees at the Academic Track at CDNLive EMEA and Silicon Valley.
Come & Meet Us @ Events
A huge knowledge exchange platform for academia. We are looking for academic speakers to talk about their research to industry attendees.
Americas University Software Program
Join the 250+ qualified Americas member universities who have already incorporated Cadence EDA software into their classrooms and academic research projects.
EMEA University Software Program
In EMEA, Cadence works with EUROPRACTICE to ensure cost-effective availability of our extensive electronic design automation (EDA) tools for non-commercial activities.
Apply Now For Jobs
If you are a recent college graduate or a student looking for internship. Visit our exclusive job search page for interns and recent college graduate jobs.
Cadence is a Great Place to do great work
Learn more about our internship program and visit our careers page to do meaningful work and make a great impact.
Get the most out of your investment in Cadence technologies through a wide range of training offerings.
Overview All Courses Asia Pacific EMEANorth America
Instructor-led training [ILT] are live classes that are offered in our state-of-the-art classrooms at our worldwide training centers, at your site, or as a Virtual classroom.
Online Training is delivered over the web to let you proceed at your own pace, anytime and anywhere.
Exchange ideas, news, technical information, and best practices.
The community is open to everyone, and to provide the most value, we require participants to follow our Community Guidelines that facilitate a quality exchange of ideas and information.
It's not all about the technlogy. Here we exchange ideas on the Cadence Academic Network and other subjects of general interest.
Cadence is a leading provider of system design tools, software, IP, and services.
Get email delivery of the Cadence blog featured here
Last year the PCB West conference held a lively panel discussion about data transfer formats for PCB design and manufacturing. Most panelists and many audience members were enthusiastic about IPC-2581, a vendor-neutral, "intelligent" format that can potentially replace many of the various formats in use today. At this year's PCB West September 26, 2012, two representatives of the IPC-2581 Consortium updated the progress that's been made towards this emerging standard.
Here's some quick background. The venerable Gerber format can transfer image data to manufacturing, but it can't transfer stackup data, materials information, design intent, or netlists. Therefore, PCB designers typically ship multiple files in multiple formats to fabrication and assembly houses. One attempt to create a more inclusive, intelligent format was ODB++, but since the 2010 acquisition of Valor Computerized Systems by Mentor Graphics, that format has been owned by Mentor. Thus, there's a renewed push behind IPC-2581, which was originally released in 2004, as a PCB CAD vendor-neutral format.
Cadence led the effort to create the IPC-2581 Consortium, which now includes 36 members including PCB CAD provider (and Cadence competitor) Zuken. This year's PCB West update was provided by two leaders of the consortium - Gary Carter, manager of CAD engineering at Fujitsu Network Communications (below, left) and Hemant Shah, product marketing director for Allegro PCB products at Cadence (behind podium).
Too Many Formats
Carter provided a user view of the problems driving IPC-2581. "As we get ready to go to fabrication and manufacturing, we've got a myriad of data files and drawing and information," he said. "We have to make sure all these instructions are clear and concise and that these data formats contain one single version of the truth." That is a very difficult and inefficient task, especially with multiple versions of files in different formats.
So why IPC-2581? "It's an open, vendor-neutral format and I think that is the key difference," Carter said. "It doesn't have an owner, it has a steward." Here are some other advantages he cited:
Shah noted that IPC-2581 has had a "chicken and egg" problem because for a period of years, nobody was producing or consuming the data format. One objective of the consortium is to break that cycle. "It's a consortium of the design and supply chain from beginning to end," he said. "Its goal is to accelerate the adoption of IPC-2581." Today, he noted, the consortium has 36 members, and some of them are producing IPC-2581 (including Cadence and Zuken) while others are consuming it.
The IPC-2581 Consortium has three working groups. The Why IPC-2581 group, headed by Carter, develops proposals and works with the IPC to extend the standard for new technologies and methodologies. The Technical group, headed by Ed Acheson of Cadence, validates that IPC-2581 files produced and consumed by tool vendors are complaint with the standard. The Awareness/Promotion group, headed by Shah, increases awareness through articles and events.
Earlier this year, the Technical working group produced a validation matrix showing that test case data produced by Cadence and Zuken has been correlated and validated against proprietary technology formats by several companies in the PCB manufacturing ecosystem. For more information about that, see my April 2012 blog post.
More recently, on Sept. 14, the consortium announced the first PCB built using IPC-2581. It's a 12-layer, plug-in optical module that's in production at Fujitsu Network Communications. "Having all the data in one file, validated and produced at the same time, resulted in a tremendous efficiency gain," Carter said, noting that there was about a 30% reduction in set-up time on the manufacturing side. The board was shown at PCB West.
Innovating the Standard
The IPC-2581 isn't just a rubber stamp organization; it is actively facilitating the evolution of the standard. Shah said consortium members meet every two weeks to talk about what's needed. Improvements include part polarity/part orientation marking, consistent definition of back-side/second-side component rotation, improved support for drilled/routed content, enhanced embedded component support, and more.
An audience member asked about Mentor's position with regard to IPC-2581. "I understand Mentor will accept IPC-2581 in their manufacturing cycle. They recognize customers are asking for it," Shah said. A Mentor representative in the audience added, "we'll take that step and we'll see. This is a good effort. At the moment we have an alternative [ODB++] that has been validated, but our goal is common. We have two formats that will replace the old stuff, and the benefits are the same."
Shah concluded by noting that it's very easy for companies to join the IPC-2581 Consortium. All that's needed, he said, is a statement why the company is joining the consortium and a logo. The latest news from the consortium, along with free viewer software and test cases, is available here.
Related Blog Posts
IPC-2581 Panel: A Spirited Discussion on PCB Data Transfer Formats
IPC-2581 Update: Forward Progress on a PCB Data Transfer Standard