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We hear from a lot of customers. Whether it’s asking for help using our IR drop analysis or AC analysis technology, how to improve PCB design processes, or optimizing decoupling capacitor usage, we hear a variety of issues that are driving our efforts to improve power and signal integrity design. One recent common theme is that the existing methodology of finding problems late in the design cycle and having to iterate multiple times with the PCB or IC Package designer is painful. Even worse, in some cases, the unpredictability of design cycles is hurting company profits.
In PCB design circles, people quite often refer to a constraint driven design flow. This is intended to set guidelines early and guide the PCB designer as they implement the PCB design. However, these constraints mainly apply to routed signals. Rules that require net lengths to match or insist on certain spacing between signals are key to meeting timing and signal integrity requirements.
There is not a lot of chatter out there about a flow for Power Integrity (PI). Most folks follow the point tool methodology. Route the design, run the analysis, instruct the designer on what needs to be fixed, re-analyze and find a few more problems, and on and on the process goes. Finally, time is up, and you can either face a schedule delay or go ahead and build a prototype knowing that there are still PI concerns.
Does that sound like the world you live in?
Do you think there might be a better way?
At Cadence, the Allegro and Sigrity teams have worked together to indeed give you a better way. We believe that design engineers, PCB designers, and power integrity engineers can work together to start identifying PI issues as early as component selection during the logical design and continue the process through layout. By the time a PCB design gets to the PI engineer, many of the traditional “first pass” problems are resolved and the focus can be on performance and cost optimization. Instead of extended design cycles, design teams can efficiently produce cost effective designs that will help put your business unit “back in the black” and a return to profitability.
We put together this fun little video for you to imagine two different design teams within your company. One using traditional “best in class” tools and the other using a fully integrated Cadence flow. If you are a design engineer, PCB designer, power integrity engineer, or design team manager, we think you may see some familiar challenges. More importantly, you will see solutions using the team-based PCB PI solution available now from Cadence.
We hope you will leave us comments below on the team-based PCB power integrity solution.