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PCB Design Blog

1 Feb, 2013

Learning Through Video

Posted by Gary Lameris

Gary Lameris

The Mentor Graphics support group has been busy this past year creating several webinars and support videos on DxDesigner.  If you’re subscribed to the SupportPro Newsletter, you may have noticed eight new videos posted from our support team on using DxDesigner. These videos are also available at this link: http://supportnet.mentor.com/reference/tutorials with your SupportNet account. SupportNet Recently

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Schematic Design

31 Jan, 2013

Dave Kohlmeier

Over the past 16 years I’ve had the pleasure of being part of the development of HyperLynx and am excited about the latest release, HyperLynx 9.0 as we are simultaneously celebrating its 25th birthday and 10th year with Mentor Graphics. HyperLynx was founded in 1988 when cell phones were the size of a lunch box, FPGAs were just hitting the streets with a Xilinx 2064 touting 64 logic cells, VHDL and

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Power Integrity, 3DEM simulation

22 Jan, 2013

Creating a Cover Sheet with Links

Posted by Gary Lameris

Gary Lameris

A few weeks ago I was visiting a nearby customer to demonstrate the powerful ELDO SPICE simulator as an add-on to our HyperLynx Analog simulation lauchpad. To navigate through the schematic, I clicked on the arrows I use for links on the cover page to jump to the page for simulation. After the demo was complete the customer asked me, “You clicked on an arrow on the table of contents page and ended

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Analog simulation, Schematic Design

21 Jan, 2013

Randall Myers

After years of pooh-poohing AMD, Intel had to admit you could get more data throughput switching to a high-speed serial approach. Let’s say high-speed serial is in the 1 to 10 Gbps range per lane, and use PCIe as an example. This is where the benefits become irresistible and the behavior becomes unexpected according to the previous rules of layout design. The PCIe specification helps define the different

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RF, PCI Express

9 Jan, 2013

How much stitching do I need?

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier

If signal integrity engineers had the power to make their jobs as easy as possible, every signal in an electronic device would have its own coaxial cable to connect driver to transmitter.  But then electronics would be the size of buildings again and certainly wouldn’t fit in your pocket.  So instead, we try to cram as much stuff as possible onto a little PCB and make it work at 100s and 1000s

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8 Jan, 2013

Fix The Problems, Not The Symptoms!

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Fixing problems can seem hard, there is always a momentum resisting change. Is it better though, to spend time and effort to fix the symptoms of the problem? Quite honestly, no. The UK had a lot of rain recently, but, the growing season is coming around again and the greenhouse is only partially complete, so the week-end was spent outside digging in the mud, again. The next door neighbour comes along,

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7 Jan, 2013

Pick a layer and stick with it

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier

One of the nice things about newer, faster busses like DDR3 and DDR4 is on-die termination.  They are nice because you don’t have a bunch of components clogging up your routing layers, and I would say more importantly, it limits your required layer transitions which can help make your boards quieter.  So take advantage of the fact that you don’t have to route out to a terminator and try

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4 Jan, 2013

Patrick Carrier

In the past I have blogged about crossing splits in reference planes.  This is probably the most glaringly obvious of reference plane changes, and will of course result in radiation from the signal.  But another type of reference plane change which is more common, and usually much less avoidable, is when a signal transitions layers through a via.  In such a case, the reference planes will change and

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DDRx, SERDES

14 Dec, 2012

amosely

Much of the your end PCB product costs can be directly influenced by the parts selected up front during the schematic capture phase of the design process. When you incorporate information into the designer’s part selection interface such as preferred part status, compliance, and/or obsolescence, you can reduce the work and rework of designs thus saving you additional costs. Today, it is a challenge

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13 Dec, 2012

Check out our 2012 Webinar content!

Posted by Gary Lameris

Gary Lameris

Short for Web-based seminar, a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the Web.   This week the DxDesigner team completed a series of 4 webinars with the following titles: Unleash the Full Power of Your PCB Design Software Tools Is Your PCB Engineering Team Collaborating Efficiently? Scalable Design Creation Technology for Your PCB Design Flow Reduce Product Costs with Intelligent

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13 Dec, 2012

The Forecast Is Killing Me!

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Grand-father clocks have always been interesting for me. Big old timepieces, made what appear to be hundreds of years ago, with a slow and somehow imprecise tick-tock.  Looking at the second-hand going around, it is not the precise tick of a modern digital device, the hand drops forward to the next second, then somehow rears itself backwards ready for the next lurch forward. It reminds me of the ageing

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7 Dec, 2012

How Do You Design with FPGAs?

Posted by Randall Myers

Randall Myers

Since FPGAs, field programmable gate arrays, are in their very nature fluid and changing, how do you force them into your electronics design techniques that all assume fixed parts?  Hardware design uses, well… hardware, physical chips and resistors that have fixed functionality.  We pull parts from libraries, wire them up, lay etch and build the gizmo.  FPGAs throw out the definition of hardware

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FPGA

7 Dec, 2012

Gary Lameris

Did you know that support for documenting your designs with custom borders has been enhanced in recent releases of DxDesigner to automate and improve the ease of use and accuracy in documenting your electronic designs.  Several Parameterized Properties  reflect the current design information on your border symbol.  Properties like @NAME, @SHEET, and @PRINTORDER are used to display the information specified

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7 Dec, 2012

amosely

Because of today’s difficult design environments, business demands closely correspond with component selection for push for time-to-market demands, minimum flexibility in schedules, and constant pressure for productivity costs. Parts selected during PCB schematic capture directly impact the cost of the finished product. Mentor Graphics PCB Data Management System (DMS) can lower product cost by incorporating

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3 Dec, 2012

It’s Not The End Of The World!

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Oh boy, the 21st of December is the end of the world. Again. I think in this case, we can be pretty sure that it is not going to happen, apparently there were errors in way that the calculations were done with the Gregorian calendar mean that we probably should already have disappeared. Data can be quite so misleading, as can selective interpretation. It happens all over the place, including on the

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