Re: [SI-LIST] : XTK vs. Spectraquest.........

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From: Tadashi ARAI (arap@jdc.paso.fujitsu.co.jp)
Date: Wed Oct 20 1999 - 22:21:36 PDT


Hi Mike, and Gurus,

I am a user of both XTK and SPECCTRAQuest.

If you have suites of CADENCE design environment, SPECCTRAQuest is, I
guess, the best choice because they have functions of the forward and
back annotation in the vertical integrated environment.

Because of the absence of Allegro, and I'm only a circuit designer but
not a layout designer, I cannot make good use of SPECCTRAQuest. It need
Allegro to make physical peckage models that are required to do
floorplan. This function is one of the biggest sales-point of the tool.
Using this tool to think of network topology, the former version
(PE13.0) has poor functionality because it cannot translate many IBIS
only producing huge warnings and errors and only have simple T-line
model. But current version (PE13.5) is good in that it has coupled-line
model and "brutal" translater.

For the beginner, SPECCTRAQuest has a good GUI and is looked to be easy
to learn. You need to spend some amount of time reading manuals and make
some files with vi or some to use XTK.
But practically, XTK is easier to master than SPECCTRAQuest. There are
jolly good and easy-to-learn documents provided with XTK. On the other
hand, SPECCTRAQuest doesn't have such documents.
You can easyly understand and make modification to XTK files, but
with SPPECTRAQuest you must read complicated files such as
parenthetical-crasy DMLs and fight with insufficient advised tool.

It also good about XTK that it can be controlled from external programs.
(For now, I cannot exploit this function. Please tell me or give me some
samples if you have any techniques)

However, SPECCTRAQuest has some advantage with its function.
It is much difficult to do cut-and-try for routed board with XTK.
SPECCTRAQuest can easyly modefy the routing of almost-completed design.
Yet SPECCTRAQuest has sweep function that is useful to search critical
value of parameters, such as trace-length, width, gap-width,
resister-value and so on, at the pre-layout stage. (You can do it with
XTK, to edit files time and again or using optional product named
ePlanner)

To tell on the accuracy, I think both tool is almost same. It much
depends on the models.

Regards,
//// /// // / / / / / / / / / /
Tadashi Arai//Platform Developing Dept.,Desktop Prd Div. Fujitsu Limited
arap@paso.fujitsu.co.jp TEL:+81-42-370-7617 Inagi-shi, Tokyo, Japan
/ / / / / / / / / / / // ///
On Wed, 20 Oct 1999 13:19:36 -0400
Mail from mgreim@mc.com described as below:

> Given that you've had a significant amount of time on both tools,
> I'd like to get your comments on if you had to make a choice
> right now, which would be your preference and why. They appear
> at a high altitude to offer similar functionality for a similar cost
> structure. Making the choice muddier is that we have Viewlogic
> on the front end and Cadence Allegro on the back end. We will
> be using all the usual transmission standards, lvttl, gtl, rambus,
> hstl, sstl, pecl, lvds. XTK claims that it is the most widely deployed.
> Any insight would be appreciated.
>
> Best Regards,
>
> Michael Greim
>
> The bounds of Time, Space or Mechanics should never stand
> in the way of a perfectly good idea.......
>
> The time is gone, The email's over, thought I'd
> something more to say.........
>
> Michael C. Greim Consulting Engineer
> Mercury Computer Systems, Inc email: mgreim@mc.com
> 199 Riverneck Road V: 978-256-0052/x1607
> Chelmsford, MA 01824-2820 F: 978-256-4778
>
>
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