DESIGN TOOLS: Cadence divides board line into three markets - Embedded.com

DESIGN TOOLS: Cadence divides board line into three markets

Santa Cruz, Calif. — Cadence Design Systems Inc. has segmented its Allegro PCB product line into three “tiers,” each representing different price levels and capabilities. Cadence is also rolling out new versions of Design Workbench, a data management product, and Design Publisher, which places designs into PDF files.

Cadence now offers the Allegro L series, XL series and GXL series. “We are offering segmentation to better serve customer needs, and to allow customers to pick the tools most appropriate for their designs,” said Hemant Shah, product-marketing manager for Allegro PCB products. Customers could, for example, mix and match different levels of the product as their needs require, he said.

The Allegro L series provides entry-level capabilities. It does not include built-in autorouting, although this can be added as an option. The XL series adds a high-speed, constraint-driven design flow. The top-of-the-line GXL series adds such capabilities as package co-design and high-capacity signal-integrity simulation.

L, XL and GXL options are available across the four areas supported by Allegro PCB: design creation, signal and power integrity, pc-board layout and Design Workbench. The Allegro Design Workbench XL, a new offering, focuses on library creation and library data management. It does not include all of the collaboration, design data management and product life cycle management (PLM) capabilities of the original Design Workbench offering.

“Medium-sized companies haven't bought into [PLM], but when we talk to customers, everyone agrees there's a library management problem,” said Steve Chidester, product-marketing manager for Allegro. “It's made much more difficult with RoHS and green regulations. This [XL] tier of Workbench will manage that kind of data for a customer of just about any size.”

A parts request system is a new capability available across the Workbench line, Chidester noted. Using a Web-like interface, this system allows users to track parts requests, extract metrics and track how long it's taking to build parts, he said.

Allegro Design Publisher lets users publish designs produced with Allegro Design Entry HDL in an “intelligent” portable-document format (PDF), Shah said. That gives publishers some control over what parts of designs get published and what might be restricted to select readers. That's important, he said, because 10 or 15 people typically want to review every design.

In Allegro PCB SI (signal integrity) is a new bus-analysis feature helps auto-mate source-synchronous signal verification in interfaces like DDR2 memories. Shah noted that it helps set up complex configurations for simulation. It also relieves the manual configuration needed for on-die termination, he said.

Cadence introduced tiered systems last year with Incisive functional verification and Encounter digital IC design. Allegro L, XL and GXL will be available in July.

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