A few months ago my colleague Chuck Ferry posted a blog about a correlation study he did for DesignCon, where he compared results from a multi-Gbs SERDES simulation to some measured results and showed excellent correlation. If you are interested, scroll down and you can find that blog, or you can click on this link: http://blogs.mentor.com/hyperblog/blog/2013/02/07/developing-confidence-in-your-analysis-tool-hyperlynx-9-0-demonstration/.
Correlating simulation and measurement is not a particularly “easy” task, since it requires advanced knowledge of simulation as well as measurement. Very often designers will rely on one more than the other, usually depending on their expertise. But going through the exercise of comparing the two will be of great benefit to anyone designing a PCB, as it can reveal limitations in simulation as well as measurement, and what steps need to be taken to ensure that simulations match measurements, and measurements match simulations. An understanding of the difference between them is a good first step, and can be found in the following article: http://electronicdesign.com/what-s-difference-between/what-s-difference-between-simulation-and-measurement
Some of the material from Chuck’s correlation study was used for the article.
Simulation and measurement technology continue to evolve to meet the needs of ever-increasing performance of our electronics designs, and understanding how to utilize them in the design process can lead to more reliable products. At today’s speeds, running “blind” and using neither will almost surely result in design failure.