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PCB Design Blog

13 Nov, 2012

Gary Lameris

For those who missed today’s webinar titled  Is Your PCB Engineering Team Collaborating Efficiently?  The archived addition is now live!  This was the second in the series of four webinars on DxDesigner.  To see the first webinar and subscribe to the next two, click to register for the webinar series. In webinar number two on concurrency, I reviewed why concurrency is important and how the innovative

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5 Nov, 2012

Introducing Aspen

Posted by Gary Lameris

Gary Lameris

You may have noticed many of the demo graphics used are new to the 7.9.4 release. The Aspen demo was designed to showcase the Expedition Enterprise flow starting with DxDesigner and I/O Designer and continuing through Expedition XtremePCB and Valor. On Tuesday, November 13 during my webinar on concurrent engineering I will feature Aspen and how the Mentor Technical Marketing team used the integrated

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1 Nov, 2012

Sharing Your PCB Layout

Posted by Randall Myers

Randall Myers

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

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1 Nov, 2012

Gary Lameris

How efficiently does your team collaborate? How much time are your engineers spending on administrative tasks, review meetings, and unnecessary overhead? If the answer is, “too much!” then it’s time to evaluate Expedition Enterprise. PCB Design creation, definition, and reuse has been completely updated in the new DxDesigner with greater capabilities and improved ease of use. In the second webinar in

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25 Oct, 2012

Randall Myers

In case you didn’t get the opportunity to go to PCB West 2012 in September, my favorite moment was the fabrication capability update from StreamLine circuits. Overall, the crowd was already noticeably more upbeat and energetic than the last couple years. But in a room of over a hundred nerds wearing jeans and button-down shirts, there were outbreaks of murmuring excitement when the latest board cross-sections

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Design for Manufacture, High Density Interconnects

25 Oct, 2012

rdavies

  Think you know DxDesigner? This complete solution for PCB design creation, definition, and reuse has been thoroughly updated with greater depth and breadth of capabilities and improved ease-of-use. In the series of webinars this fall, we explore the key benefits of DxDesigner and examine what’s new in EE7.9.4. Listen to the benefits of attending the webinar, available in two time zones

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Schematic Design

19 Oct, 2012

Randall Myers

In case you didn’t get the opportunity to go to PCB West 2012 in September, my favorite moment was the fabrication capability update from StreamLine circuits.  Overall, the crowd was already noticeably more upbeat and energetic than the last couple years.  But in a room of over a hundred nerds wearing jeans and button-down shirts, there were outbreaks of murmuring excitement when the latest board cross-sections

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19 Oct, 2012

Gary Lameris

Have you used the modern DxDesigner?  On program launch you will notice many visual and productivity enhancements with the current release. There is a new start page appears with multiple panes of information.  On the left-side, you will find the task pane featuring templates where you can start new projects designed to meet your company’s standards.  Then on the right, is a suite of useful links

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Schematic Design

18 Oct, 2012

PADS 9.5 Now Available

Posted by Jim Martens

Jim Martens

PADS 9.5 is now available for download on SupportNet at http://supportnet.mentor.com/downloads/index.cfm?id=201206070&product=C115-S153-G192-P10548&redirected=true&reason=0 PADS 9.5 includes the following new features: Virtual pin support Bottom View (Mentor Idea D254) Automation interface enhancements (Mentor Ideas D2749, D3246, D3247, D3248) Placement Keepouts in Decals (Mentor Ideas

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15 Oct, 2012

Space Jump

Posted by Gary Lameris

Gary Lameris

I was browsing the television guide on Sunday morning looking for something interesting, and noticed “Space Jump” was on the Discovery channel.  Hoping this was the rescheduled jump for daredevil Felix Baumgartner, I switched to the channel at the right time, just as the helium balloon was being inflated for lift off.  I ended up watching most of the event, in part because, “you don’t see this everyday”,

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10 Oct, 2012

Try DxDesigner Virtually

Posted by Gary Lameris

Gary Lameris

Released this week is the DxDesigner 7.9.4 highlights Virtual Lab that walks you through all of the new features in Mentor Graphics’ DxDesigner 7.9.4.  Instead of downloading large installation files, setting up the software on your own computer, getting a license, and then creating a demonstration design, we can now deliver the software preinstalled on a virtual machine in the cloud with demonstration

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10 Oct, 2012

Return current on a stripline

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier

In previous blogs, I have discussed the importance of an uninterrupted, intact reference plane for signals.  But, what if you have two reference planes for your signal?  This is probably true of most signals in any board over 6 layers – a great deal of routing exists on the inner layers.  In a symmetrical stripline, the return current is shared equally between both planes.  So, both planes need

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9 Oct, 2012

Is it ever okay to cross a plane split?

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier

NO. Okay, well, I guess you could say “it depends”, but in general, no, it is not okay to cross a plane split. Why not? Basically, you are creating a break in the current return path for the signal.  That turns your trace/plane combination into more of an antenna than a transmission line.  And if you are radiating energy, that means you are not transmitting energy to your receiver.  So,

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8 Oct, 2012

Collective Intelligence

Posted by Michael Ford

Michael Ford

We learn different things in different ways. Which are the ways in which we learn that we enjoy and more importantly can trust? When I was at school, I veered towards the sciences, especially physics, electronics and maths, I guess very much in common with those of us in this industry. I steered well clear of subjects such as history and geography. For me, there seem to be four elements that contributed

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8 Oct, 2012

Patrick Carrier

Many electromagnetic interference (EMI) problems on PCBs happen when antennas are unintentionally created on the board.  How can this be avoided?  By making sure currents, especially high-frequency currents, travel in a loop.  On high-speed lines, that loop is made up of a PCB trace AND the reference plane below it.  Put a break in either one, and you’ve created an antenna.  Obviously you would

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