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Shapes. Whether it’s a split plane, a power ring or flag under your die, or a cavity outline, they abound in any IC package substrate. Some are filled, others cross-hatched or even degassed. Whatever they look like in your design, editing them can cut into the time you spend to get your substrate perfected.
That is why, with the latest June 2015 update release of 16.6, we are bringing you a number of exciting new tools to help reduce the time you spend creating and editing them. With features to make boundary edits easier than ever and others to create convex hulls around sets of pads and cline segments, we think every one of you will discover something you’ll find very valuable.
Eager to see which new tool will add the most value for you personally? Read on and see!
The first and most comprehensive new tool set you’ll notice when you update to the latest release is a new application mode: Shape Edit. Just like the name says, this mode is all built around offering you a host of tools to interactively edit your existing shapes. Add notches, chamfer corners, slide segments or join them together to remove cuts… all these commands will save you time.
Perhaps the best part of all, though? Because this is an application mode, you can access functions directly within the canvas! Hold your mouse button down and drag a segment. Right-click on a shape to quickly trim all its corners. The possibilities are endless. To whet your appetite, look below to see what the options tab has available to you in terms of configuration options:
Before you go start up a session of SiP Layout, though, keep reading! We’re just getting started!
Perhaps you have used the Manufacture -> Bond Finger Soldermask tool before to create clean openings to expose an entire guide path’s worth of fingers to your bond engineer. There are so many more situations when you want a shape that encompasses a set of pads or even some cline segments. It might not be a mask opening. Maybe it is a section of a split plane, or a shape on an adjacent layer to use for shielding.
A brand new command is available to meet your needs here, as well. In fact, the tool is so new, it is still in beta as we look to you, our valued users, to share feedback on it. In your user preference editor, enable the “icp_bounding_shape_beta” option. Now, if you start up your SiP Layout session (to go check out that app mode!), you’ll see a new entry in the Shapes menu, Create Bounding Shape.
Whether you’re creating a dynamic shape or a static shape, you can have the tool automatically group together nearby items to give you the cleanest possible outlines (with clearance to the pad boundaries, as required), and can even reference the pads on a different layer.
But, hang on. We’re not done yet!
Shape degassing has been in both APD and SiP Layout for years. No doubt, you’ve noticed it in the Manufacturing menu and have probably run it countless times to perforate your large plane shapes and improve metal density and yield.
But, perhaps pin and via voids in the shape are aligned in just such a way that you get large areas where no degassing holes can fit. This leaves a large filled metal area that you would, previously, have had to add voids to automatically. Not anymore! Before you close the User Preferences form, run a search for “degas_multi_pass_beta” and turn it on, as well.
With this new option, you can select an already-degassed shape and, in the form, you’ll see an option for whether or not to clear the existing degassing holes. If you need to add more holes, uncheck this option, and configure the form again. The original degassing holes will remain, and the tool will make sure to stay clear of them when processing. Now, you can have large holes where there are few other objects breaking up the shape and a finer mesh of holes in areas with a lot of interference.
The result? Cleaner shapes, more consistent metal density, and more reliable substrates. Worried about your multiple sets of degassing holes overlapping voids in shapes on layers above or below? Don’t fail to notice the adjacent layer void clearance rule pull-down at the bottom of the form. Set this to avoid voids and you can make sure that adjacent layers never have overlapping degassing holes again.
These are just a sampling of the new capabilities you now can leverage in your substrate design. If you look closely, you’ll find even more tools there for you. If you find one that is of particular value to you, let us know! Or, if you have a suggestion for something that would save you significant time in your ever-shrinking development window, let us know. While you’re doing that, we will continue to add capabilities to the new application mode! When you update to the next major software release, you’ll have an even larger selection of new tools to speed you on your way to success!
Bill Acito Jr.