New Products

SYDNEY, AustraliaAltium Ltd. announced the addition of new productivity-enhancing features for its Altium Designer unified electronics development system to assist engineers with handling high-speed design issues.
Altium Designer 6’s intelligent interactive routing system has been enhanced with the addition of a new interactive length-tuning tool specifically for high-speed designs. This new feature reportedly allows designers to quickly optimize and control net lengths by inserting “accordion” segments into a track. Tuning can be manual or rules-driven, and designers can select from several available amplitude styles. This feature is said to combine seamlessly with impedance-controlled, differential pair and multi-trace routing capabilities to give Altium Designer users a comprehensive interactive solution tuned for high-speed, high-density board design projects.
Enhanced control and display over PCB layers will reportedly have more efficient enhanced productivity when moving around large complex designs. The placement and editing of polygons has been streamlined to make the creation of large copper-filled areas fast and intuitive. Improvements have also been made to the way components and libraries are identified and used within the system to deliver greater levels of user control and flexibility. Creating and delivering output for designs that contain embedded board arrays has been improved with added intelligence for identifying layer stackup violations. In addition, enhanced output dialogs for Gerber and ODB++ now reportedly make it even easier for users to make decisions about whether to proceed with output or resolve compatibility violations.
MAHWAH, NJMH&W International has released Keratherm 86/77 for providing electrically conductive bonding sites on a flexible, thermally conductive material that can be attached to non-linear, heat spreading structures. Uses include the mounting of LEDs and other hot components on curved surfaces where FR-4, metal clad PCBs (MCPCBs) and other rigid materials can’t be used. It also replaces thicker, heavier PCBs where size and weight are restricted, such as in portable electronics.
Keratherm 86/77 is a flexible thermal circuit (FTC) that consists of a thin layer of etchable copper bonded to a highly thermally conductive silicone film. The material can be applied to curved and irregular heat spreading surfaces with peel-and-stick attachment. The material allows LED arrays to be placed along stairs and railings, inside headlights, across display cases and other locations where LED usage requires both attachment and thermal management.
The copper layer can be etched into a wide variety of circuit pathways. The conformable material ranges from 0.16 to 0.326 mm thick and can be secured with thermally conductive adhesive. Thermal transfer performance is superior to that of flexible circuits made from PI, PET and PEN films.
A single 86/77 flexible circuit can replace multiple boards, eliminating jumpers and connectors. Different copper thicknesses are available for specific power requirements. Kertherm 86/77 does not contain hazardous materials.
MONTREAL, Quebec, CanadaCimmetry Systems has introduced AutoVue 3D Pro SME, the latest addition to Cimmetry's AutoVue family of visualization solutions, targeting the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) market.

According to a news release, strong demand for Cimmetry's native viewing technology has created the need to recognize the special requirements of small and medium sized enterprises and their tendency to work with the lower priced, mid-range 3D CAD packages. AutoVue 3D Pro SME is said to provide users of mid-range 3D CAD packages, such as SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD Mechanical and Solid Edge, with the freedom to choose their authoring tools and still work with different mid-range 3D formats from partners, customers or suppliers.

AutoVue 3D Pro SME reportedly features powerful native document viewing, markup, printing, stamping and collaboration capabilities for the leading mid-range 3D CAD packages, as well as leading 2D CAD tools, providing users with the ability to quickly view documents without requiring authoring applications or undergoing costly and error prone file conversions with publishing systems.

Customers that require the ability to view the higher-end 3D CAD packages, such as CATIA, NX or Pro/Engineer, may upgrade to the AutoVue SolidModel Pro product.

AUSTIN, TXNational Instruments Electronics Workbench Group has released Multisim 10.0 and Ultiboard 10.0, the latest versions of its interactive SPICE simulation and circuit analysis software used for schematic capture, interactive simulation, board layout and integrated testing. This platform reportedly extends the flexibility of virtual instrumentation to the electronics designer's benchtop, bridging the gap between test and design functions.

Engineers can use Multisim 10.0 to interactively build circuit schematics and simulate circuit behavior. According to NI, Multisim abstracts the complexity of SPICE simulation so the engineer does not need in-depth SPICE expertise to quickly capture, simulate and analyze new designs, making it especially useful in education.

Multisim 10.0 and Ultiboard 10.0 are said to introduce a large number of design features with a focus on advanced simulation tools, an enhanced component database and an expanded user community. The component database includes more than 1,200 new components and more than 500 new SPICE models. Additional enhancements include a Convergence Assistant that automatically adjusts SPICE parameters to correct simulation errors, enhanced data visualization and analyses, including a new current probe instrument and updated static probes for differential measurements.
Multisim 10.0 can be purchased as a complete, integrated design and test platform that includes Ultiboard 10.0 and National Instruments LabVIEW SignalExpress, the interactive measurement software that improves productivity by controlling all instruments on a benchtop. Multisim 10.0 is currently shipped in English; localized German and Japanese versions will be available in mid-2007.
SANTA CLARA, CASigrity Inc. introduces OptimizePI, a next-generation power delivery system (PDS) solution that is said to be the first to provide minimum-cost decoupling capacitor selection and placement to achieve desired PDS performance.
This new solution is based on Sigrity’s analysis and verification capabilities for the entire PCB and IC package structure. It reportedly allows designers to assess PDS performance against design specifications, make interactive “what if” decap placement and selection investigations, minimize decap cost for specified PDS performance and judge performance vs. lowest-cost tradeoffs.
OptimizePI considers both component and manufacturing costs during its automated selection and placement of decoupling capacitors. Its use reportedly results in significant cost savings, both through component count reduction and selection of lower-cost capacitors, with no degradation of PDS performance. Using OptimizePI, it is said that designers can recapture the PCB or IC package area for unnecessarily placed decap pads and vias.
Jiayuan Fang, president of Sigrity, said “Our customers tell us that, until now, power integrity tools did not explicitly consider design cost or optimization, forcing them to ‘best guess’ decap placement in their designs, or resort to over-designing. OptimizePI relieves them of this burden and the costs of unnecessarily robust performance. It helps them make effective business-level decisions and results in significant cost savings for their companies.”
WILSONVILLE, ORMentor Graphics Corp. has announced the availability of PADS2007. The release is said to offer layout designers and engineers the ability to implement RF and microwave circuitry using highly automated functionality, perform design for fabrication (DFF) checking early in the design process and optimize performance with advanced high-speed analysis/verification functionality, thus significantly improving their productivity and design quality.

Reported PADS2007 enhancements include:
  • High-speed routing improvements – Controls for matched length nets and differential routing improvements.  
  • Square and chamfered corners, DXF-in import and via matrixing enhancements for RF design.
  • Blind/buried via drill table improvements – Designs with partial vias (blind or buried) are automatically updated with the layer pairs and drill count of the partial vias in the design.
  • Alphanumeric pin improvements – Simplifies creation of large BGA-based parts.
  • ECO enhancements – Includes comparison of design rules between the schematic and layout databases.
  • Design for fabrication (DFF) analysis – Powerful fabrication checks, such as acid trap, starved thermals, solder mask slivers are checked in the CAD environment and database, allowing the designer to identify and correct manufacturing problems in PADS Layout, before Gerber generation.
  • Pin number visibility – The user has the ability to turn on/off the visibility of the component pin numbers, either numeric or alphanumeric, improving designer productivity during routing.
  • SI analysis – Integration of DxDesigner and the HyperLynx LineSim tool through a new interface allows fast transfer of a circuit for analysis and back annotation of termination resistor values.
  • Analog simulation - Provides a board level simulation analysis and verification through a common schematic editor for both simulation and PCB design entry.
 "Mentor Graphics continues to invest in the future of PADS by strengthening the capabilities of designers to integrate RF circuitry design, high-speed net analysis and routing, and DFF into the PADS design flow," said Dan Boncella, director of marketing, System Design Division, Mentor Graphics.

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