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PCB Design Blog

11 Apr, 2014

Charles Pfeil This is the second post in this routing series. View the introduction post here. To increase fabrication yield, it is important to center the traces between the fanout vias inside the BGA area. Large BGAs are usually 1mm pitch and medium sized ones are 0.8mm. Then we go down to 0.65, 0.5, 0.45 and 0.4. Is anybody designing with even finer pitch BGAs? In any case, it is important to center the traces … Read More

2 Apr, 2014

Vern Wnek Long before video games, children had simpler means of entertainment. Boys had their army men and marbles. Girls had their coloring books and paper dolls. As a young boy, I used to watch my sister carefully cut out dolls and clothes to glue on them, and thought yuck! 15 years later I found myself doing the same thing…well kind of. If you have been in the PCB design industry for as long as I have, you … Read More

28 Mar, 2014

John McMillan

Successful PCB designs start with your library. You can’t afford to spend hours in library development and management!  With the VX release, you’ll start your design faster and have better quality at completion. Let us show you how. Join PADS Product Marketing Manager Jim Martens as he presents this Webinar on How PADS Advanced Library Capabilities Accelerate the PCB Design Cycle. In this webinar

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26 Mar, 2014

Vern Wnek 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 … Read More

21 Mar, 2014

PCB and Routing Solutions: Introduction

Posted by Charles Pfeil

Charles Pfeil This is the first of a series of blog topics related to routing PCBs My name is Charles Pfeil and my role at Mentor Graphics is one in which I always have a primary focus on routing technology and methods – although I do get involved in numerous other projects. I began in this industry working my summers in high school inspecting Ruby-Lithe designs for scratches and repairing them. Sounds rather antiquated? … Read More

13 Jan, 2014

How to connect a capacitor?

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier Capacitors are the backbone of a board power distribution network, or PDN.  However, just as important as having the capacitors connected to the PDN is how they are connected.  If you think that connecting them with inch-long 5-mil traces is a good idea, you might want to reconsider (or maybe you are still living in the ’70s?).  Obviously that is an extreme example, but there are a number of nuances … Read More

9 Jan, 2014

What capacitor values do I use?

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier A common question when designing a PDN (power distribution network) for a printed circuit board is which capacitor values to use.  A common practice is to use values in each decade – values like 10uF, 1uF, 0.1uF, and 0.01uF… and there is some reasoning behind that, but a little knowledge of decoupling capacitors can help you pick values that make more sense.  There is a great deal of information … Read More

19 Nov, 2013

An Introduction to Xpedition

Posted by Ed Goldman

Ed Goldman Both veterans and newcomers to PCB systems design may appreciate this video on our website that showcases the evolution of PCB design over the past decades and the role that Mentor Graphics has played in this journey. While visiting our website, you may notice something else—we have introduced Xpedition, the new identity for our flagship PCB design flow. Why have we introduced this new identity? The … Read More

16 Aug, 2013

Jim Martens

Hello.  Sorry for the lag from the last blog answering questions from the Start Smarter webinar.  Between vacation with my family in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and a trip to the PacRim, I’ve been slow getting back to this.  On the positive side, it’s given many users time to view the on-demand version, which generated some more questions!  So here’s part 3: Q:  Oscar Z asks if PADS has provisions

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3 Jul, 2013

Patrick Carrier When designing a PCB, part of the design process is making sure the PCB works correctly.  At the very least, someone does some functional testing.  But what happens if problems are found?  A more detailed look at the design must be performed.  And in fact, the best way to end up with a working design is to check the performance during the design process. So if you have to choose between simulating or … Read More


28 Jun, 2013

Correlating simulation and measurement

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier

We go through great pains to ensure that our analysis tools give highly accurate answers in the most efficient manner possible.  That requires accurate field solving – in both 2 dimensions and 3 dimensions, as appropriate – as well as accurate simulation.  Accurate simulation includes simulation of S-parameters in the time domain, which requires appropriate handling of causality and passivity

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26 Jun, 2013

Simulation and measurement

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier 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: Correlating … Read More


3 May, 2013

Gary Lameris

Do you use PADS?  Did you know that the PADS ES Suite ships with the DxDesigner Schematic Editor providing a robust and powerful design environment tightly coupled to PADS layout with DxDatabook a powerful component information system and cross probing. With an innovative and reliable architecture, designed from the start to support hierarchy; a user needs only to create a circuit once before reusing

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Schematic Design

1 May, 2013

Michael Ford

Unbelieveable! Don’t get me wrong, it is not the fact that pop-up ads appear all over commercial websites that annoys me; after all, we have had the same thing in magazines and newspapers for many years. Advertisements appear almost everywhere these days, the funding from which is an important part of many companies’ business plans. This is not the issue. The issue starts with the difference between

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10 Apr, 2013

Jim Martens

Have you ever wanted to, or had the requirement to, print a color image of a Decal? This can be done directly in the Decal Editor. In this PADS Tip and Trick, Bill Tkachuk from CSD explains how to: 1. Load a decal into the Decal Editor and zoom to extents, 2. Define the visible colors you want printed, 3. Open the Output Window by going to View > Output Window, and 4. Select the Macro tab within the Output

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