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22 The PCB Design Magazine • February 2017 by Dingru Xiao CADENCE DESIGN SYSTEMS Abstract Advanced PCB design is an iterative process of analysis-fix-analysis. Historically, this process is very time-consuming, requiring analysis ex- perts and PCB designers to work together to find and fix layout problems. This article describes a new PCB design methodology that allows a PCB designer to perform the power design without having to run expert-level analysis tools. This methodology provides the setup automation for advanced analysis without the need to un- derstand every minute parameter, and can be completed in a few steps. User-friendly analysis reports guide the PCB designer to the exact location where design changes must be made to meet specifications. IPC standard-based constraint of automatic cal- culations helps PCB designers understand how good is good enough for the layout changes. All violations of IPC standards can be marked di- rectly in the layout, so PCB designers can easily find the problems in the layout and fix them before handing the design over to the power in- tegrity (PI) experts. This allows PI experts focus on performance optimization, cost reduction, and other issues, so a high-quality design can be produced in a shorter amount of time. PCB Power Design Challenges For modern electronic systems, power de- sign has become more important with the re- quirements of low power, minimization, high density and high-speed data rate for high-end applications. Usually, the planes, copper pours, routed power traces and vias on a PCB serve as power distribution, signal return paths, heat dissipation and so on. The following questions must be considered: • How does the PI engineer communicate with the hardware engineer and PCB designer about problems with the design and guidance on how to fix it? • How does the PCB designer communicate with the PI engineer about solutions to those problems? • How can the design engineer and PCB designer determine whether a solution is good in the early stage? FEATURE

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