CADSTAR Power Integrity (PI)

CADSTAR Users Enthusiastic about New Power Integrity Advance Solution

In the last few weeks I’ve been on the road visiting the well-attended Engineering Days in Benelux (Eindhoven), UK (Shropshire) and ZDAC in San Antonio, USA. My colleague Humair Mandavia and I formed a tag-team to introduce the new Power Integrity Advance solution to our customers; with my focus this time on our CADSTAR users.

Take a look at Humair’s recent blog post: Improve your PCB Quality and Cost with Concurrent Power Integrity Analysis for his view, and to see our presentation on this issue.

The power integrity challenge

CADSTAR Power Integrity Advance results for a Virtex5/DDR3 design – select to enlarge

I know I’m preaching to the converted when I say that power integrity issues are now one of the greatest challenges that designers of digital PCBs are facing. Faster processing and increased functional density mean higher energy/charge demands of modern ICs across all application areas.

This means that higher switching currents can occur during the operation of these ICs, and often proper operation is at risk. In addition, higher emissions may occur, which then interfere with and affect the performance of other electronic equipment. Power distribution design and proper supply delivery to ICs is arguably the most critical issue facing the electronics industry.

Powering a new approach

Current design practice involves spreading decoupling capacitors over the boards to prevent power distribution issues during the engineering of printed circuit boards. But this may cause an over-defensive design, unnecessary costs, and sometimes problems that are only detected in the first prototype. Much tighter requirements due to regulations, quality, and time-to-market, mean that these time-consuming tasks need to be shifted into the design flow.

The Zuken Power Integrity Advance tool, available with the CR-5000 and CADSTAR design flows, offers a new approach to address both power integrity and decoupling issues during the PCB design process. This approach bridges the gap between science and practice by enabling the fast analysis of complex printed circuits boards, while offering power integrity and decoupling-related ‘what if’ capabilities. This allows power distribution system optimization (i.e. costs vs. quality) during the design process, thereby speeding time to market, improving product quality, and enhancing the productivity of engineering designers.

The users’ view

While the marathon travel stint in October/November has been tiring, it was worth it to be able to get immediate feedback from our users and have discussions based on our presentation of the new solution. It showed the fast growing interest in power integrity analysis technology, following the development to more complex and difficult-to-handle design challenges for the PCBs of the future.

Combining Zuken’s price/performance tool for PCB design with our advanced power integrity tool means users now have new ways of addressing these challenges more efficiently.

I’m looking forward to further interesting customer discussions and user feedback in the near future.

Written by

Ralf works as Product Manager for High-speed Design Systems at the Zuken EMC Technology Center in Paderborn/Germany, responsible for product marketing and business development for the Zuken SI, PI and EMC analysis tools. He holds a diploma degree in computer science, electrical engineering and economics from the University of Paderborn. He has 30 years of experience in Electronics and EDA. He is regular speaker on international conferences, but is involved in European Funding project and standardization activities as well.

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