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50 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2020 signer, and it's going to shrink that design cy- cle. Anything we can do to help the designer produce a better board before it goes to an SI or a PI expert will reduce that design cycle and improve the overall profitability of the design. Shaughnessy: We keep hearing that 80% of the cost of manufacturing the board is determined in the design cycle. Griffin: I agree. In 2012, we acquired Sigrity, a company known for SI and PI. It has been our mission ever since we acquired them to embed those engines into our PCB design tools, both Allegro and OrCAD. Now, inside of Allegro, we have some in-design analysis capabilities that look for impedance dis- continuities, nearby sig- nals that are coupled more than others, and it looks at return path quality. All these are us- ing Sigrity engines un- derneath, but the de- signer doesn't know it. They say, "Perform an impedance check," and it scans the board and gives them a list of where the outliers are. We recently announced a new product called Sigrity Aurora, which bridges the gap between the design tool and the ultimate SI and PI anal- ysis that you need for signoff. The difference between Sigrity Aurora and Allegro is that we provide additional workflows that assume the user has some SI and/or PI experience. The user is going to ensure that drivers and receiv- ers have IBIS models assigned and that for PI, our PowerTree utility is applied to assign all the voltage sources and sinks so the user can run AC and DC analysis. The same Sigri- ty engines embedded into Allegro for imped- ance and coupling screening are now available for traditional SI and PI analysis in Aurora on top of the Allegro user experience. You're add- ing another layer of sophistication onto that level of analysis. In addition, we have made it a seamless transition to the advanced SI or the advanced PI analysis using the same engines and models. It's a nice, continuous flow. Shaughnessy: Is it always running in the back- ground, or is it on-demand? Griffin: So far, our strategy is to make it on-de- mand. With all the things that they have to do with area fill checks and changing shapes, we don't want to steal any of that CPU power that they need. We have an on-demand check to use when they're ready and think, "Let me go do an impedance check before I get laughed at by the SI expert. Oh, I see a bunch of things I can fix." It's meant to be a useful tool to reduce it- erations but not take any power away from the layout tool. Shaughnessy: How do you get designers to use the new functionality? Some of them are so old- fashioned; they would rather take longer to hand-route a design than use an autorouter. It's like they're proud of doing things the old way. Griffin: My perception is that when I do speak to PCB designers, they fit into one of two cat- egories. One, they've been running Allegro for 25 years, and they're not going to change. They know every feature in it. You give them a new feature, and they say, "No, I'm good with what I have." But there's a new, younger class coming in because a lot of those designers are retiring. But the younger ones are used to apps on their cellphones, and they want things to be much more push-button. Honestly, they're probably looking at what we've done with in- design analysis, where they want it to run in the background. We're in that transition stage right now, where we're serving both the hard and true diehards out there and the new peo- ple coming on board.

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