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What’s the big deal with Xpedition?

Vern Wnek

Vern Wnek

Posted Mar 26, 2014
8 Comments

You’ve likely heard that there has been a new release of the product formerly known as Expedition Enterprise, called Xpedition. So, what’s this release all about? How does the new functionality compare to the tools you use today and what’s in it for you?

I’m Vern Wnek, Technical Marketing Engineer for the Xpedition software group. But, before I lose you with that let me explain my background and why the discussions you and I will have through this blog are relevant. I’m a PCB designer by trade and have been in the industry for over 35 years. After designing boards, working in board houses, assembly houses and test facilities, I have landed where I’m at now. I’ve worked for service bureaus and large companies from military to commercial.

I’ve encountered the challenges and seen the industry evolve to better address them. I’m going to discuss efficiency in tools, processes, and technology trends. But most of all, I care about your challenges.

What are your challenges? What’s your take on the paradigm shifts of the industry and have any of them changed the way you look at PCB design?

Expedition has been the source of my livelihood since the days of Veribest. I have seen new versions come and go and tested a number of PCB design tools. Mentor Graphics is the best of the best and I’m not just saying that because I work here. I’m looking for you to challenge me. Prove me wrong. Show me what we’re missing. Let’s discover all that makes up Xpedition and how it’s relevant to you.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s to come:Xpedition Layout
•    Placement challenges and new strategies
•    New auto-assisted routing paradigms
•    3D integrated layout
•    System and multi-board design
•    PCB layout designer resource challenges
•    Industry trends in design technology and manufacturing of PCBs

Through our discussions on this blog, I think you’ll see that Xpedition VX is SO much more than just a rebranded name on a slightly new version of the Expedition Enterprise product. This latest release really has earned a new name and I’m looking forward to showing you why.

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Comments 8

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cool stuff Vern!

john medina
8:46 PM Mar 27, 2014

Nice read Vern, good start and looking forward to where this all goes... Best of luck and well wishes. The tool has a lot of great features and always good to hear on use. ~Dave

Dave
3:30 PM Apr 1, 2014

Is there a way to subscribe to these? I just noticed I missed one from Charles, too!

Jack Olson
6:40 PM Apr 2, 2014

Vern, here are several of the drawbacks: 1. In DxDesigner - keyboard can not be easily mapped by the user (attach any function to a SINGLE key! - not a 2 or 3 keys) this improves productivity 2. In DxDesigner and Expedition when part is rotated the silkscreen should always stay in correct position - letters should not be displayed sideways or upside down. If this is done again will improve the productivity. 3. In Expedition PCB net names should be visible and displayed on the copper. This becomes very powerful feature when boards for power applications are designed. This type of boards usually have many power/ground split planes and many copper pours. Regards, Krikor Dolian krikor@tesecinc.com

Krikor Dolian
10:22 PM Apr 2, 2014

I have watched Mentor's webnar about Sketch router month ago and think this technology is one of must-having routing technologies which will effectively bring the productivity and efficency to experienced designer who really know how to do best fanout and know what type of layer-based assigments is valid to plow out traces in a dense area. It definitely save design times hugely if it can finished connections within minitues. Another techology which most of pcb designers wanna have is a machine-learning technology, I mean the tool be able to analyse the layout database and learn the route style from other or 3rd layout dabases, then use it in current design if it found there are matched circuites. Currently most of mobile designs and computer boards are derivied from vendor's reference design, so most of work times layout designer takes on how to copy it. yanfeng

Yanfeng yu
10:48 PM Apr 2, 2014

Krikor, Thanks for your comments and here are a few answers for you. 1. Keyboard mapping is available in xDXDesigner through the Keybindings.vbs file. You can find more information in the Help files for adjusting this file to your needs. 2. In Xpedition, you can control the rotation of the silkscreen per the cell rotation using Ref Des and Part Number Text Rotation in the Editor Control. This is a great way to keep the rotations consistent, and leave you with very little cleanup work when you create final documentation. As for schematic symbols, it has also been corrected for a future release which is currently in beta testing. 3. Netnames are now visible in the copper traces in the upcoming release. This is an enhancement that many have asked for, and Mentor delivered! take a look at this webinar if you want to see some of the User Interface improvements in the new release. http://www.mentor.com/pcb/multimedia/xpedition-pcb-layout-design-environment-webinar And as always, feel free to join the Mentor Communities site where you can get helpful information at any time, all you have to do is ask. http://communities.mentor.com/mgcx/index.jspa Thanks Again, Vern

Vernon Wnek
6:24 PM Apr 3, 2014

Cool stuff!A talented and skilled designer would get a lot from this....As well as newbees....Please convert all your working instruction similar to evaluation release!easy to understand even beginner can follow!

Route
1:33 AM Jun 19, 2014

For everyone who reads this blog be advised that one of the things that's not getting enough attention is the amount of time we have spent building an enormous amount of collateral for both the new and more experienced user. There are videos available for most anything you can think of and more coming. There is a complete design guide for the entire PCB flow! This in addition to things many of you may have already seen like toolbar tootips and of course online help. We are dedicated to helping our user base and our new users be as productive right out of the box as is possible!

Steven Herbstman
3:46 PM Aug 24, 2014

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