RE: [SI-LIST] : RE: Spectraquest Vs. XTK/XNS Vs. ICX

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From: Keith Felton (keithf@cadence.com)
Date: Fri Nov 10 2000 - 13:08:49 PST


RE: Spectraquest Vs. XTK/XNS Vs. ICXTony,

SPECCTRAQuest has a 2D field solver, and a proven simulation engine that is
not IBIS-only constrained. Further more electrical topology templates
defined in SPECCTRAQuest are completely understood by Allegro providing you
with a seamless concurrent design environment. ICX has no ability to
integrate with Allegro the same way, its no different from trying to use
Innoveda XTK and ePlanner with Allegro, the result is a series of loosely
integrated point tools and a non-ideal design flow. SPECCTRAQuest, as
discussed by many users, is the only real design tool worth considering if
you use Allegro. It provides a seamlessly integrated design flow, is
proven, and in use by some of the industries top systems design companies.

I understand your need to speak about ICX when none of your users seem
willing to do so, however I prefer to let my users educate each other on
the merits and capabilities of SPECCTRAQuest, especially when this list is
not designed as a Marketing forum.

Keith Felton

Cadence Design Systems

  -----Original Message-----
  From: owner-si-list@silab.eng.sun.com
[mailto:owner-si-list@silab.eng.sun.com]On Behalf Of Cusanelli, Tony
  Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 1:59 PM
  To: si-list@silab.eng.sun.com
  Subject: [SI-LIST] : RE: Spectraquest Vs. XTK/XNS Vs. ICX

  I have been trying to resist since I may be perceived as having a biased
opinion, but:

  There has been discussion of the benefits of having an integrated tool
that can help you correct the issue rather than just detect it. "Detectors"
like Hyperlynx and XTK force you to iterate back to your CAD system.

    As Ken says below, SpectraQuest works if you have an Allegro back end.
ICX (from Mentor Graphics)has a complete set of integrated tools that allow
for detection and correction of signal integrity issues. It has been
shipping for 5 years and is compatible with both Mentor and Allegro.
Mentor's timing tool (Tau) is compatible with any schematic system that can
export EDIF netlists (Cadence, OrCAD, ViewDraw) as well as having a direct
interface to Mentor DA. Tau is capable of handling Asynchronous and
Synchronous analysis as well as clock tree jitter.

    ICX's competitive edge over all other tools is that it does not rely on
geometric rules to estimate signal integrity effects. It uses a 2-d field
solver and requirements are specified as nanoseconds of delay or millivolts
of crosstalk.

  Sorry for the commercial, but I wanted to present all sides.

  Tony

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Haller, Robert [mailto:rhaller@cereva.com]
  Sent: Friday, November 10, 2000 8:23 AM
  To: 'Ken Willis'; si-list@silab.eng.sun.com
  Subject: [SI-LIST] : RE: [SI-LIST]: Spectraquest Vs. XTK/XNS

  Ken,
          You did a great job of summarizing the major
  benefits and issues. I concur that SQ is an excellent
  choice if you use Allegro for your PWB design.

  Over the years I have spent an inordinate amount of time getting
  tools to 'talk' to each other and debugging translation issues.
  Definitely put thought in your Overall CAD Process flow !

  As far as timing goes I find Blast (formerly Motive) is acceptable
  (but has limitations). It is fairly easy to go from SQ into Blast.

  My $0.02

  Bob Haller
  Cereva Networks
  3 Network Drive
  Marlboro MA. 01752
  Phone: 508-486-9660 X 3365
  FAX: 508-486-9661
  Email: rhaller@cereva.com

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Ken Willis [mailto:Ken.Willis@sycamorenet.com]
  Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 6:40 PM
  To: si-list@silab.eng.sun.com
  Subject: [SI-LIST] : RE: [SI-LIST]: Spectraquest Vs. XTK/XNS

  Hi everyone,

  The interconnect modeling capability of SQ is actually very
  strong, with its frequency dependent lossy coupled TLine
  functionality, a la W element. If you put in the right
  loss tangent values for the materials you are using, you
  can get very good agreement. I have gotten very good
  eye pattern correlation up to data rates of 2.5 GHz, through
  backplanes, connectors, etc. You have to do some extra effort
  on via modeling (simple lumped via models don't work well at
  those frequencies). But since SQ is spice-based, you can write
  your own spice subcircuits for vias when you get to those
  frequencies. The spice-based nature allows you to model all
  kinds of detailed stuff very well.

  But SQ is definitely a toolset for people using Allegro as the
  back end. There is some loose integration to import PADS
  and Mentor databases, but I don't see this as the strength at all.
  The integration with Allegro is a huge plus, and the ability to
  quickly extract a graphical electrical topology is something
  I use daily, and find invaluable for troubleshooting. It is
  also pretty easy to hook multiple (Allegro) databases together
  and do massive batch simulations. I have now simulated well over
  a dozen complete (big) designs and we have had very good lab
  correlation, and caught lots of stuff before going to fab.

  On the negative side, documentation is weak compared
  to HL or XTK, and the support/training can vary a lot. But if your
  company uses an Allegro back end and you know what you are doing,
  SQ can be a lifesaver if you need to do industrial-strength levels
  of analysis. There is also huge potential to enable
  formal constraint-driven design downstream in Allegro, which I
  think is largely untapped at this point.

  Ken Willis
  Sycamore Networks

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Ken Cantrell [mailto:Ken.Cantrell@srccomp.com]
  Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 4:05 PM
  To: Todd Westerhoff; si-list
  Subject: RE: [SI-LIST] : RE: [SI-LIST]: Spectraquest Vs. XTK/XNS

  Re: Todd's 2 cents,
  I would add that if you are in a large product line environment (on stop
  shopping), SpectraQuest is great with it's global auto-update features,
  saves you significant time. I thought their interconnect modeling was
  weak
  though, and their timing analysis depended on your already knowing your
  timing margins. Have they updated those features?
  Ken

  -

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