RE: [SI-LIST] : Opinions on SI CAE tools

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From: Peng.Smith@inventec.com
Date: Fri Feb 25 2000 - 18:48:26 PST


Hi Eli,
     I am interested in your signal "frequency" and "speed" as both of
them are very fast for "XTK" and "ICX" to handle some very complicated
SI effects, such as power/gnd plane noise, split plane and so on which
usually accompanies EMI occurrence.
     So let's go back to these two tools themselves-- XTK, ICX and other
tools. As I know, "XTK" hardly deals with aforementioned noises effect,
even though Viewlogic has one point tool called "AC_Grade" which has
announced it could take care of noise issue. But the key point is that
whether it's enough precise and user friendly, especially "XTK" does not
provide layout engine inside it and allow you to do "what-if" at any
place what you're interested in.
     Next, "ICX" still have the problem in handling "power/gnd plane
noise" and "split plane effect" even though it provides you a very user
friendly GUI. I have to highlight one thing, i.e. not only the common SI
problems you concern, but the behind the noises effect due to your high
frequency up to 250 MHz and high speed less than 50ps. It's very
important.
    As for "Sigrity", I wonder to know if it's "speed97"?? If so, I
think it could deal with portion of noise effect, like as the power/gnd
plane noise caused by via, but not include "source" end. Meanwhile, it
only accept "SPCIE" model, and the IBIS model is ongoing. As for layout
interface, it could support these output files of "Cadence", "Autocade"
and so on, excluding "Mentor". The another important thing is its
simulation speed because it will use "field solver" and "spice like"
simulators to get the result so it's very slow, but precise. (PS. I
think it probably could not handle the batch mode and no batch report
file.)
    As for the "ansoft", I'm not sure and need other expertises' input.
Hope above opinions are helpful to you. One more thing, please evaluate
them carefully because there are some bugs hid by EDA companies when
they demonstrate their tools.

Best regards
Smith Peng
Email: peng.smith@inventec.com < mailto:peng.smith@inventec.com
<mailto:peng.smith@inventec.com> >
Tel: 886-3-3900000 ext. 2152

-----Original Message-----
From: Eli Fernald [ mailto:eli@yuninetworks.com
<mailto:eli@yuninetworks.com> ]
Sent: Saturday, February 26, 2000 7:27 AM
To: si-list
Subject: [SI-LIST] : Opinions on SI CAE tools

    I may be sorry for the volume of commentary this generates, but I
imagine it may be useful for quite a few SI beginners such as myself. I
am a freshout at a startup trying to decide on an SI tool for our
company to purchase. XTK from Viewlogic and Mentor's Interrconnectix
are the two main packages I have been looking at. We hope to spend
somewhere below $40K for a license and will probably be using Design
Architect for schematic capture and board design. Signal frequencies
are mostly around 250 MHz, but to make things more interesting we have
a few traces which will contain signals with ~50ps edge rates.
    How easy to learn/use are the two aforementioned tools? Will they
both analyze important effects that we care about at these edge rates?
Are any of the smaller companies'(Sigrity, Ansoft) tools more
useful/cost effective? Any and all input would be greatly appreciated.

                                    Regards,

                                    Eli

-----------------------------
Eli Fernald
Design Engineer, YuniNetworks
(858)350-4007
-----------------------------

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