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If you’ve run the 17.4 release, you have probably seen two 3D rendering tools – 3D Viewer and 3D Canvas – present in the View menu:
Why are there two? That’s a good question, and the answer lies in the type of design you have and what information you need from the viewer. So, let’s talk about the strengths of each.
The 3D Viewer is familiar to most of you who have used the Cadence APD and SiP products in the past. This tool allows you to not only see your design in 3D but also do some checking of your bond wire tiers. You can check true 3D clearances between different wires, between wires and the edges of components in the die stack, or even the wires and the edges of cavities in the substrate.
The accuracy of bond wires is dependent on the level of detail you put into the profile definitions in your design. You could use some of the vendor certified profiles that are shipped with the tool or come up with your own working with your bonding machine provider.
The viewer is designed to simulate the wires in a way similar to the off-line programming (OLP) tools that will define them. As such, you can use the same profile definition for wires of different lengths; the final segment in an individual wire is determined by the gap left undefined by the defined segments. This means that your air gap measurements in the viewer are very accurate.
In addition, you can modify the profile definitions directly in the viewer. As you make changes, you will see the differences reflected in the rendered image. DRC checks defined will be updated as well. When you are finished tweaking the definitions, push them back into the design to make the changes permanent.
The viewer environment also provides you with a robust set of markup commands. Use these to draw notes, highlight areas needing attention, and quickly export the image for use in presentations or email communication with colleagues.
Finally, and this is something that not many people realize, the viewer allows you to combine the views of multiple designs into a single display. If you’re doing a package-on-package design, and you need to see how the dies in one are related to those in the other, the height of the BGA balls for the upper design, or more, use the File – Append command to import files representing the contents of other design into the active view.
17.4 marks the first release for the 3D Canvas in the packaging tools. First released in 17.2 for the PCB tools, 3D Canvas may lack the detailed bond wire profiles and 3D DRC checks, but it offers other exciting capabilities like dynamic cutting planes and STEP models for components.
Above, we see a design with STEP models representing connectors and a top plate. STEP will allow you to replace the more basic place-bound outline of your components with one that includes silkscreen labels, reference points, and more. This would be an ideal way to create an accurate rendition of a molding cap on top of the package and other mechanical elements.
Below, we see the fascinating insight the cutting plane offers. Peer inside the finished product with this view, as if you were cutting through your package with a laser – without the cost!
The collision detection tools in the 3D Canvas are more useful with substrates that can bend and flex, but they are still useful in cases where you’re trying to check clearances between your stacked dies and the molding cap or between an embedded die component and the surrounding substrate layers.
Both tools offer strong capabilities. Eventually, these features will be combined in a single environment. Working to ensure that the full breadth of capabilities of both are present, that nothing is lost before either is removed from the product.
If your focus is on wire bonding, you will most likely lean towards the 3D Viewer. On the other hand, those of you working on multi-chip modules with varieties of discrete components and other elements requiring the accuracy of STEP will tend towards the Canvas.
Whichever choice you make, both are provided in the base packaging tools starting in 17.4. Go ahead, try the other environment. See what you like better and what use models you prefer from your go-to tool!