Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services


First schematic-free PCB design technology

27 February 2002 Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services

The industry's first schematic-free HDL-to-PCB design technology, designed to dramatically shorten the development cycle for complex printed circuit boards, has been announced by Innoveda. Called HDL2PCB, this is a unique, vendor-independent, language-based design methodology that is claimed to provide easy access to HDL (hardware design language) simulation and verification, as well as a tight connection to system-level design. This effectively reduces the product release risks involved with integrating large, complex devices on a PCB, according to the company.

Says Isaac Achler, director of R&D at San José-based Antares Microsystems, "Being able to go straight to layout without drawing a schematic is a real breakthrough. To run simulations today involves a cumbersome process of exporting HDL from schematics, which takes time and can generate errors. To avoid these problems, designs could be created natively in HDL. Schematics have to be hand-drawn to get the netlists needed for layout. Schematic entry is especially difficult with large, high pin-count parts.

"At Antares, we have to split our complex parts onto multiple schematic pages. With technology like Innoveda's HDL2PCB, we will be able to eliminate that effort and generate our netlists from HDL, without the time and expense of schematic entry. And, by taking the burden off our engineering team, we will have more time to refine and improve our own products," he adds.

How it works

Innoveda's design environment provides a path from HDL designs to PCB layout, eliminating problems inherent with graphical representation of large, complex components. For input, it accepts graphical or text-based designs created natively in Verilog or HDL. Design entry done natively in HDL offers a seamless transition to and from simulation without schematic representation or translation. The HDL2PCB design environment bypasses the need to draw schematics that typically is required to get a PCB netlist. It interfaces with Innoveda, Cadence and Mentor PCB layouts and can output EdaXML results. HDL2PCB also enables parametric attributes to be merged from an ODBC database.

For further information contact Kobus van Rooyen, ASIC Design Services, 011 315 8316, [email protected]



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