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System Modeling Blog

5 Dec, 2014

Motor Down

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen In my last post I wrote about system reliability versus system robustness. I briefly explained my definition of the two, and suggested some design process shifts to help improve both. Sometimes the required process change is small; sometimes it is substantial, almost like an entire design paradigm shift. But the reward, whether measured in improved product reliability or robustness, is usually worth … Read More

7 Oct, 2014

Reliability vs Robustness

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen

If a system is reliable, is it also robust? And is the converse also true: does a robust system have to be reliable? The answers are no and yes. A reliable system performs its intended function when conditions are nominal. As long as design details and environmental conditions remain stable, you can count on a reliable system to do its job time after time. But what happens if these same design details

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16 Jun, 2014

Wow Factor

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen I have mentioned in earlier posts that one of my responsibilities on the SystemVision team is teaching training classes. If users want formal SystemVision or VHDL-AMS training, I am usually the instructor. It is fun and occasionally gets me out of my office for a few days. Because SystemVision is such a flexible modeling and analysis environment with a broad range of applications (think mixed-signal … Read More

Mixed-Signal, Mechatronics

31 May, 2014

SystemVision 5.10.3

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen It is official: SystemVision 5.10.3 is released and ready for download from SupportNet. The SystemVision engineering team made over 120 updates and improvements for this new release. Here are some of the highlights: Relative and Absolute statistical tolerances support improved flexibility when defining device parameter tolerancing. “Relative” defines a tolerance as a percentage of the default value; … Read More

Experiment Manager

31 Mar, 2014

IESF 2014: Military & Aerospace

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen The 2014 session of the Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum (IESF) for the Military & Aerospace industries is coming up fast. Join us to see how Mentor Graphics tools can help you develop safer, more reliable systems. Here are the dates and locations: April 22 in Dallas, Texas April 24 in Everett, Washington May 1 in Long Beach, California If you are not familiar with IESF, here is a short description … Read More


25 Mar, 2014

Engineering Oops!

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen Awhile back I wrote about the importance and joy of design practice. In that post I suggested that everytime we design something, we are practicing and improving our design skills. And while we do learn from our successful designs, we no doubt learn more from the failures that sometimes litter the path to a project success. If you have done any design practice at all, you have no doubt had a design … Read More


17 Mar, 2014

Big Engineering

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen Most of the customers I work with design small systems, or smaller pieces of larger systems. Occasionally I get to see an end product: a car, an airplane, a mockup of the International Space Station to name a few. Most of these systems are built or assembled in one location, then put to work in another. In other words, the systems most of my customers work with are portable in a very general sense. On … Read More


21 Jan, 2014

SystemVision Model Wizard

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen I wrote a month or so ago about the challenge of finding — or creating — simulation models. In that post, I suggested there are three general categories of engineers looking for a model: Give me a model Help me understand the model Help me develop a model For the “help me develop a model” category, I mentioned Graphical Modeling and Language-based Modeling as two popular model … Read More

modeling tools, Modeling, SPICE

16 Dec, 2013

SystemVision 5.10.2

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen SystemVision 5.10.2 is finished and available for immediate download from Mentor Graphics’ SupportNet website. What will you find in this new release? Here are some of the new/updated features and capabilities: Asymmetric parameter tolerances Custom, user defined statistical distributions Global Parameter support for Monte Carlo analysis details Worst Case and Extreme Value analysis support … Read More

10 Dec, 2013

Modeling: An Engineer's Dilemma

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen Many of my recent interactions with customers have been on a single theme: modeling. Simulation is a great tool, but only if you have models that tell the simulator what to do. Models vary in type and complexity, but they all share a common purpose: to tell you something about how a device or system works, often in a specific application or under specific operating conditions. But there is a gap, an … Read More

SPICE, Modeling

16 Oct, 2013

What is Your Legacy?

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen It happens every year in the fall: my birthday rolls around and I turn another year older. For good or bad, I am well into the time of my life where I have fewer years ahead of me than I do behind. I am not trying to be morose, just stating a fact. The numbers do not lie. And I suppose I am not unusual in occasionally looking back on my life wondering what my legacy will be. What will I be remembered … Read More


30 Sep, 2013

Automotive IESF 2013

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen Another IESF is in the Mentor Graphics history books. Record crowds gathered at the Ford Convention & Event Center in Dearborn, Michigan to learn about automotive system design using the latest Mentor Graphics tools. Along with hearing from keynote and industry speakers representing a broad spectrum of experience in automotive development, attendees chose from a long and varied list of technical … Read More

IESF, Mechatronic, SystemVision conneXion

3 Jul, 2013

Simple Design Solutions

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen I recently spent some time at a big-box store, an international retailer specializing in home furnishings and décor. Not the type of store where I usually spend a lot of my shopping time, but friends and family rave about it, so I decided to make a quick visit to see what all the fuss is about. Aisles in this store are somewhat narrow and have a lot of twists and turns. They wander so much in and out … Read More

IEEE 1076.1, MAST, Mechatronics

5 Jun, 2013

SystemVision 5.10

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen It is official: SystemVision 5.10 is finished and available for download from SupportNet. Even though this release took a bit longer than normal to complete, I believe the wait is worth it. Key among the new features are the following: Schematic symbol toolbar: Prior to SystemVision 5.10, placing symbols in a schematic required opening either SystemVision’s Search/Place Symbols dialog or DxDataBook … Read More


21 May, 2013

Engineering Muscle Memory

Posted by Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen I have written a time or two about my daughter’s piano recitals. As luck would have it, springtime is yet another popular recital season. This time my daughter had two – one for her own piano teacher’s studio, and the other as an invited duet accompanist to play in a friend’s recital. All-in-all, not a bad way to spend a mid-spring evening. As I listened to students play their prepared pieces, I noticed … Read More

Modeling, Mechatronics


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