Design Automation


Integrated RF and PCB design flow

12 November 2008 Design Automation

AWR and Mentor Graphics have announced AWR Connected for Mentor Graphics. This new synergy of design flow between AWR and Mentor obsoletes file translation between Mentor’s Expedition Enterprise design environment and AWR's Microwave Office microwave and RF design environment. The resulting design and simulation solution is said to be easy to learn and use and its operation fully transparent to the user.

PCB designers are increasingly tasked with creating products that integrate analog, digital and RF or microwave circuits on the same printed circuit board. Until now, translating files between PCB and high-frequency EDA tools has consumed many minutes if not hours and impeded designers' ability to rapidly create mixed-technology products. AWR Connected eliminates file translation and thereby reduces the time to move from one tool/environment to the other.

Library data for all design components is continuously synchronised between the Expedition Enterprise parts library and AWR Design Environment for microstrip, stripline and copper components. Circuit and electromagnetic (EM) simulation is available on demand throughout the flow, regardless of which tool is being used to view or manipulate the design. The combined tools transfer not just tool data but messages as well, so that EM analysis and circuit simulation can be performed in Microwave Office software from Mentor's tools either on the same computer or across a network or Internet. Multiple Microwave Office projects can also be simultaneously connected to the same Mentor PCB design, allowing design partitioning across the toolsets.

Extractions can be created for AWR's ACE circuit extraction tool or AXIEM EM simulator, as well as any third-party EM solver integrated within AWR's open design environment. The extractions are performed while preserving the ability to perform circuit simulations with Microwave Office, APLAC harmonic balance, or HSPICE circuit simulators directly from Mentor circuits, or after transferring schematics and layouts from Mentor to AWR at any point in the design flow. This capability eliminates the need to create a duplicate library in AWR tools based on the Mentor library by dynamically generating the required AWR-specific parts library 'on the fly', including symbols, part numbers, footprints and even models.



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