New Products

MINNEAPOLIS, MNMinco has released its Flex Circuits Design Kit for engineers wishing to incorporate flex circuitry in their projects.
The kit includes a start-up guide that lists design guidelines, specifications and manufacturing procedures, illustrations and a glossary of commonly used terms. A sample case holds over 25 pieces of raw material and circuit examples.
“Although flex circuits are made to bend, most field failures occur as a result of these bending or flexing operations,” said Mark Finstad, principle application engineer for the flex circuits division. “To avoid failures, a designer must factor in all parameters that involve bending and flexing including bend radii, dielectric thickness and type, foil weight, copper plating, number of layers, and number of flexures.”
The kit also comes with an offer for a free mechanical sample of your design made with actual flex circuit stack-up materials. A mechanical sample ensures that a flex circuit is the right size and shape and is properly constructed for its environmental interfaces, which will help avoid installation problems, or latent mechanical issues that could cause failures.
NEWBERG, ORWISE Software has released its VisualCAM product. It includes HyperNETLIST generation, which is said to increase netlist generation performance over other comparable competitive tools by 5-10 times.
WISE’s new assembly reverse engineering functionality, (not to be confused with CAD reverse engineering) focuses on providing component centroid information when all a user has to work from is Gerber data. VisualCAM offers five different methods of component identification, including automatic processes that can work from a variety of information found within a standard bare-board production dataset.

Additionally, graphical netlist comparison performance has been increased five times over GT-Fabricator, while draw-to-flash conversion has been increased 5-10 times. A brand-new, fully automatic draw-to-flash conversion is now being offered as well, which is said to further reduce the amount of hands-on user time required to complete the conversion process. Improvements have been made to WISE’s paste mask stencil enhancement capabilities, offering greater levels of control during shape replacement. The increased control during shape replacement is designed to minimize the number of iterations required to achieve the desired mask results, further reducing the amount of time required to complete the overall task.
VisualCAM includes 100+ additional enhancements to core technology. Migration offers are available to those GerbTool users that wish to move up to VisualCAM, however WISE intends to maintain both product lines going forward.
PITTSBURGH - Ansoft Corp. has released AnsoftLinks v4 for Microsoft Windows 2000 SP2 and XP Professional. AnsoftLinks is said to simplify the transfer of design databases from third-party EDA tools and Mechanical CAD (MCAD) packages into Ansoft's suite of electromagnetic-based products.
EDA links are available for a number of tools offered by Cadence, Zuken, Mentor Graphics and Synopsys. MCAD links include IGES and STEP formats common to mechanical drawing tools, such as ProE, Catia and Unigraphics.
AnsoftLinks V4 highlights are said to include: Auto port generation for HFSS projects, the ability to define an air-box size, a grid in model window, the ability to ignore planes smaller than a user-specified area, a minimum edge length setting in GUI, a dielectric expansion factor setting, the option to ignore small cutouts, online help in HTML format, the ability to import layouts from Mentor Graphics PADS within the AnsoftLinks GUI by pointing to the ASCII output file (*.asc), and an improved Mentor Graphics Expedtion translator.

Customers can download the software from

PALO ALTO, CAAgilent Technologies Inc. has expanded its logic analyzer portfolio with eight new fixed-configuration models creating its next-generation 16800 series. The 16800 series of analyzers is said to offer high-performance measurement capabilities in a smaller, fixed-configuration package with advanced features at an affordable price.
The series is comprised of eight logic analyzer models - all equipped with a 15-inch display and optional touch-screen interface. The touch-screen interface has been a hallmark of Agilent's modular logic analyzer systems for more than 20 years, but has never before been available in a fixed-configuration model.
The16800 family reportedly quadruples the industry's maximum fixed-configuration memory depth to 32M samples. Products with this acquisition depth were previously only available in higher-priced modular logic analyzers. In addition, three models offer an integrated digital stimulus that allows design teams to quickly emulate missing components, inject faults and assist in performing design characterization.

MakeDOPowerTools is said to be a complete easy-to-use Allegrocentric Constraint System for managing the Allegro PCB Router. Includes graphical board ReViewer for pre- and post-route timing analysis and net highlighting, built-in route catalog for Design ReUse and Series Path Wizard. Inputs SPECCTRA DSN from all CAD systems, all DO Files and OrCAD Capture schematic files.

EMSAT is an EMC rule checking program from IBM that reads PCB layout files and permits selection of which EMC rule(s) to test the board against. A violation to the EMC rules may be viewed either directly in Allegro or as an HTML document. This product incorporates many years of EMC knowledge and experience from IBM’s EMC Engineers. IBM offers three EM simulation tools: PowerPEEC, EMSIM and CZ2D. PowerPEEC and EMSIM are fullwave tools, solving Maxwell’s equations with no simplifying assumptions. CZ2D is a quasi-static EM simulation tool and is best used for electrically small models when RLC extraction is desired. IBM also offers EMC engineering consultation, training and EMI testing.

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