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26 The PCB Design Magazine • October 2015 A key aspect of the new generation of prod- uct-centric design tools is their ability to man- age a multi-board design as a 3D system in the context of the enclosure as well as the complete mechanical design. During PCB planning de- signers can manage all of the boards in the sys- tem in a single view and evaluate the trade-offs involved in changing the number, size, type and configuration of PCBs while moving functions between them. Changing a board size will prop- agate to the space planning view where the en- closure and the multiple boards can be viewed concurrently with collision checking. Once the architecture is approved, the functional design moves to the schematic authorizing tool, the PCBs move to the 3D multi-board design tool, and data are moved with the push of a button without data loss or re-entry. During detailed design PCB designers can import the mechanical enclosure via STEP di- rectly into the 3D multi-board design tool in order to get the design right the first time. Elec- trical designers can thus design to the true 3D constraints as defined by the mechanical engi- neers while mechanical engineers in turn have access to the true 3D board design exported via STEP. Design checks for collisions and clear- ance are done throughout the design process eliminating any late design cycle surprises. System-level 3D co-design tools enable co- design of the chip, package and board in a single environment so each person working on the proj- ect can see their piece of the puzzle in context of the full product. Engineers can do system-level design, full package design, full PCB design, in- terposer design, and optimize the redistribution layer (RDL) routing and die bump placement for IC design in a single user interface. The mechani- cal enclosure design can be checked against the final ECAD form factor (PCBs, packages, and ICs) dimensions to ensure fit and clearance. An in- tegrated design-for-manufacturing tool makes it possible to verify the design to vendor technolo- gy-specific manufacturing checks for fabrication and assembly during layout. Push button inte- gration with multi-physics analysis tools ensure design data is transferred efficiently and quickly to achieve quick turnaround. Conclusion With industry-leading products now com- peting on a wide range of parameters such as features, weight, performance, size, style and battery life, designing competitive products re- quires a more collaborative effort now than ever before. A new product-centric design methodol- ogy provides a holistic view of the design that enables complete visibility to all disciplines feature ACCELERATING THE DESIGN CYCLE Figure 3: 3D multi-board design promotes electrical-mechanical collaboration.

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