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PCBD-Feb2016

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34 The PCB Design Magazine • February 2016 to improve our integration between our PCB design and PCB analysis tools, I get even more excited about the future. Shaughnessy: Which customer challenges led you to develop these new products? Griffin: Over the past several years, the strategy of most of our customers has been to develop products that are smaller, faster, and cheaper, while consuming less power but providing even greater functionality. This is obviously no small task, but as you can see by the constant im- provement in mobile devices, IoT devices, and automotive electrical content, they have been successful. Yet, we constantly hear about the need to be more efficient. Our customers are communicating to us three big business chal- lenges. They want to reduce product cost, they want to accelerate their time to volume produc- tion, and they want to reduce the surprises in the design cycle making time to market more predictable. Shaughnessy: How will these new tools help ad- dress your customers' concerns? Griffin: With what seems like conflicting chal- lenges of adding more functionality to a small- er product that consumes less power yet runs faster, it is clear that signal and power integrity concerns will continue to impact PCB design. We strive to help our customers face these chal- lenges early in the design cycle through a con- straint driven flow that enables PCB designers to own a greater share of the analysis burden. By integrating Sigrity with our OrCAD and Alle- gro product lines, we believe we are giving just enough technology to the PCB designer so that the iterations that classically take place between design and analysis teams can be dramatically reduced. This can be a big help in helping them meet their product goals Shaughnessy: What sort of trends do you see in the PCB design tools market? Griffin: Data transfer speeds are going up and operating voltages are going down. We've seen this trend over multiple decades. However, we have truly reached an inflection point with mainstream interfaces such as USB running at 10 gigabits per second and PCI Express to soon be running at 16 gigabits per second. Modeling certain portions of a design now requires full- wave 3D field solvers. And with the electrical margins so small, optimizing high speed struc- tures is no longer a luxury, but must become part of a standard design flow. I have seen a growing concern about having to take these op- timized structures created by external 3D field solvers and having to redraw them in a PCB de- sign tool. Customers tell me the process is error- prone and time-consuming. They are asking us to be able to transfer the optimized structures directly from the 3D full-wave field solver into the PCB design database without having to re- draw it. Sounds like a good idea, so stay tuned. Shaughnessy: Thanks for the insight, Brad. Griffin: Thank you. PCBDESIGN Scientists at the University of Maryland have a new recipe for batteries: Bake a leaf, and add sodium. They simply heated the leaf for an hour at 1,000ºC to burn off all but the underlying carbon structure. The lower side of the maple leaf is studded with pores for the leaf to absorb water. The pores absorb the sodium electrolyte. "A leaf is designed by nature to store energy for later use, and using leaves in this way could make large-scale storage environ- mentally friendly," said Liangbing Hu, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering. The next step, Hu said, is "to investigate different types of leaves to find the best thickness, structure and flexibility" for electrical energy storage. You'll Never Be-Leaf What Makes up This Battery what's new at cadence?

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