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58 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2018 A Review of HyperLynx DRC Beyond Design by Barry Olney, IN-CIRCUIT DESIGN PTY LTD / AUSTRALIA There is an old saying, "You get what you pay for." Does this mean that you should not expect too much from free software? After all, free software usually comes at a price: the results might be inaccurate, the software might be time-consuming to set up and use, and the tool might overlook issues that require a revi- sion to mitigate. But HyperLynx DRC is the exception to the rule. In this month's column, I will review Mentor's new HyperLynx DRC Free Edition, which provides analysis tools that complement any PCB layout tool that can export ODB++ or IPC-2581B formats. Amazingly enough, this software is free. You'll need to confirm registration annually, but that is not a problem; the tool remains free. There is also a more comprehensive, affordably priced Gold Edition. HyperLynx DRC is an electrical design rule checking (DRC) tool that can automate the verification of complex digital design rules that are not easily detected, such as rules for traces crossing split planes and electromag- netic compliance (EMC). It does not require expert knowledge and can literally save hours of manual inspection. The tool helps one avoid costly errors and oversights, directing the nov- ice high-speed PCB designer to the source of signal integrity (SI), power integrity (PI) and EMC issues. Even experienced designers make mistakes and overlook small issues that can become major headaches further down the design, Figure 1: Setting up EMI rules for nets crossing gaps in HyperLynx DRC.

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