Altium, Nimbic team on power integrity tool for PCB design - Embedded.com

Altium, Nimbic team on power integrity tool for PCB design

At Designcon this week, Nimbic and Altium Ltd. announced a new strategic partnership, as well as one of the first and most immediate results of that team effort: the Altium PI-DC.

Altium Limited is a specialist in what it calls smart system design automation, 3D PCB design and embedded software development while Nimbic is a provider of electromagnetic simulation tools.

The first tangible result of the teaming up of the companies is the Altium PI-DC, which according to Daniel Fernsebner, Director of Technical Partnerships for Altium, gives board developers the ability to validate DC voltage and current performance in their designs before prototype and production.

“Now, designers can avoid issues with power delivery and are better able to identify potential failure points,” he said. “This includes high via currents that could cause fusing, or high resistance neck-down regions resulting in excessive voltage drop.”

According to Bala Vishwanath, Chief Marketing Officer of Nimbic, the PI-DC platform is based on Nimbic’s specialized 3D full-wave electromagnetic solver, and is designed to address the requirements of large-scale power integrity problems. Unlike other solutions in the market, the Altium PI-DC delivers fast solution times without compromising on accuracy.

Altium PI-DC integrates into Altium Designer as an optional extension, giving engineers a seamless environment for DC analysis. Nets for analysis are selected in Altium Designer with DC voltage drop and current density results displayed directly over the layout. This allows a designer to interactively identify and fix issues with no guess work about what layout structure might be causing the issue.

“Ball grid arrays (BGAs) have hundreds of power and ground pins with numerous supply rails requiring complex networks of capacitors to manage 'pure' power,” said Fernsebner. “The sophistication of the PDN (power distribution network) requires engineers to be able to effectively analyze and make corrections early on in the design process.”

Showcased and demonstrated this week at Designcon 2014, the Altium PI-DC will be released later this quarter.

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