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

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From: Weston Beal (weston_beal@mentorg.com)
Date: Mon Feb 28 2000 - 09:06:01 PST


Eli,

My personal opinion is that ICX is the best tool available for most things.
I believe in the tool so much that I came to work for Mentor Graphics. With
that said, I don't believe that it the correct tool for every artist and
every job.

In general, you get what you pay for. If you pay $5k for a tool, you don't
get all the features that you do for $50k. Also, each tool has it's forte.
You need to decide what feature is the most important for you and then we
can help more. In my opinion, the single most important feature in any
simulation tool is modeling. Look at model support for each tool that you
evaluate. Just because someone says that they support IBIS 3.x does not
mean that they support every feature of the version. Even ICX is lacking a
couple. Look at the models of the technologies that actual use and will use
in the near future.

As for EMI, a lot of companies have made attempts at creating EMI estimation
tools. I've found that the tools that are really accurate take way too long
to run, and are usually hard to use; especially for beginners. Some of
these tools can be useful, but remember that they are just tools and need to
be used correctly. You can't give a sledge hammer to a child and expect him
to build a house.

This has all been pretty general. If you have more specific questions, feel
free to ask and we will give more specific answers.

Regards,
Weston

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-si-list@silab.eng.sun.com
[mailto:owner-si-list@silab.eng.sun.com]On Behalf Of Eli Fernald
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2000 3:27 PM
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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