If you play well with others, concurrent PCB design these days just makes sense. As ATM’s have proven, you can expect a high reliability, multi-user database to work fast… enough. The benefits of having multiple layout designers all working at the same time start with a faster design cycle, but there are more benefits if you share using a tool with built-in parallelism. You would not expect your cash withdraw for the price of a movie to lock out and stall everyone else from their request for a few dollars, not even for a few seconds. Concurrent design software is also instantaneous.
With Mentor Graphics Expedition tools, like DxDesigner and CES, parallel access is part of the framework. I always smile when people ask, “Where is the save button in DxDesigner?” There is an adjustment here realizing you aren’t working alone and off-line. Your work is real-time and shared. It’s your choice to just enjoy the environment or get your geek on and look a the underside of the tools. For concurrent layout, Mentor has a few papers on how and why you should on Mentor.com. Here I want to show you the coolest part, force fields.
In the photo above, if you turn on concurrent layout design and let Mentor software worry about the details, the only thing left to wonder about is what part of the design do I own right now? That is what force fields are, your bubble, an impenetrable sphere of influence. Wherever you are no one else can lay etch right across your toes. And, as you are working on layout or going for coffee, your bubble grows and shrinks as appropriate. There is no need for partitioning or complex branch and merge sharing coordination. So dive into the parallel world and get ‘er done.