Design007 Magazine

Design007-Oct2019

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OCTOBER 2019 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 81 • Powerful and simple rule creation • Same-rule environment for both schematic and layout • Automatically creating differential pairs • Automated fanout for vias • Interactive single and multi-trace routing • Interactive tuning for DDR nets • Dynamic plane functionality • Via stitching for large plane areas The routing tool you choose should offer an intelligent mix of interactive and automated routing capabilities that exceed the capabili- ties of traditional routing tools. Whereas in- teractive routing is much faster than typical point-and-click manual routing, sketch routing can achieve the same results even faster. Most importantly, sketch router technology routes a majority of the traces and allows you to meet today's tight design schedules and handle last- minute changes quickly and easily. By adopting a tool that provides all of these capabilities, combined with other automation features, you will be able to reduce design time and improve design quality. DESIGN007 Brent Klingforth is a technical marketing engineer at Mentor, a Siemens business, specializing in schematic, PCB, and manu- facturing products. He has 25+ years of experience in PCB de- sign and is IPC-certified. Topological insulators are a game-changing class of materials; charged particles can flow freely on their edg- es and route themselves around defects but can't pass through their interiors. Now, researchers from the Uni- versity of Pennsylvania, where topological insulators were first discovered in 2005, have shown a way to ful- fil that promise in a field where physical space is at an even bigger premium: photonics. They have shown, for the first time, a way for a topological insulator to make use of its entire footprint. By using photons instead of electrons, photonic chips promise even faster data transfer speeds and infor- mation-dense applications, but the components neces- sary for building them remain considerably larger than their electronic counterparts due to the lack of efficient data- routing architecture. A pho - tonic topological insulator with edges that can be re- defined on the fly, however, would help solve the footprint problem. Being able to route these "roads" around one an- other as needed means the entire interior bulk could be used to efficiently build data links. Researchers at Penn's School of Engineering and Ap- plied Science have built and tested such a device for the first time, publishing their findings in Science. The re- searchers' prototype photonic chip is roughly 250 µm 2 and features a tessellated grid of oval rings. By "pump- ing" the chip with an external laser targeted to alter the photonic properties of individual rings, they are able to alter which of those rings con- stitute the boundaries of a waveguide. The result is a reconfigurable topological insulator. Since the system requires an off-chip la- ser source to redefine the shape of the waveguides, the research- er's system is not yet small enough to be useful for data cen- ters or other commercial appli- cations. The next steps for the team will be to establish a fast reconfiguring scheme in an inte- grated fashion. (Source: UPenn) New Topological Insulator Could Pave the Way for Making Faster Chips

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