Design007 Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 73

May 2016 • The PCB Design Magazine 13 ple fashion, or it will become over constrained, unroutable, and time-consuming to complete. With Intercept's constraint browser in its Mo- zaix schematic and Pantheon layout software, users are presented with sets of options that layer upon one another. Simple net clearance rules are set up first, and then area rules can be defined where specific areas of the board don't fit the main clearance rules. This can be made more intricate if needed by adding class-to-class rules, or via or component rules. For designs with diff pairs, there are options to define diff pair rules and net constraints. Finally, there is a full section in Intercept's constraint browser dedicated to just high speed constraints. This is the area where there seemed to be a desperate need to simplify what design- ers and engineers are trying to accomplish. To make it easier for users, the Intercept constraint browser presents itself very simply as a way to select net names and constrain them to specific minimum and maximum lengths. This seems to be what most high speed designers are happy to use as-is. But behind this surface are many THE STATE OF THE ELECTRONIC DESIGN AUTOMATION NATION design area, has made autorouting ever more powerful, and has eased the headaches of high speed design requirements. But this area of automation is a nightmare for some, while others sometimes find that the functions they really need simply aren't avail- able. Some EDA software programs aimed them- selves squarely at the electrical engineers with more of a chip design mindset, which ended in programs offering a confusing maze of end- less possibilities, to the point that no one could achieve any productivity gains. Some call this the familiar "giving them the whole kitchen sink" approach, which software programmers familiar with the importance of the user experi- ence would call an epic fail. It doesn't matter how brilliant your engineer is, the days of keep- ing a manual beside your digitizer and cards sit- ting over your function key options are over. Intercept's approach to this movement was to build a constraint browser that offers a high level of functionality, just under the surface of a much simpler-to-use set of options. Constrain- ing a board has to be done in a systematic, sim- Figure 2: Intercept's constraint browser.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Design007 Magazine - PCBD-May2016