[SI-LIST] : tool compatibilities?

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From: Kim Flint (kim@kimflint.org)
Date: Wed Nov 22 2000 - 00:57:02 PST


Hi-

I'm putting together a board design tool environment for my company. I'm
wondering if some of you could share experiences with how well various SI
tools work with the schematic/layout packages I would like to use?

I'm not looking for a comparison of the SI tools themselves, I think that
has been discussed enough. I'm more interested in what problems I might
face as I try to mix and match different tools. It seems to me that no
environment is really ideal, so I'm trying to figure out which set of
tradeoffs are the least painful. :-)

For a variety of non-SI reasons, I would like to use Orcad CIS for
schematics, and PADs for PCB layout. So let's start from there. I'm not
much interested in the pros/cons of these two, I know those already.

Methodology-wise, I want a heavy emphasis on simulation up front as a
pre-layout process used to constrain layout. during/after layout I would
like simulation to serve as more a verification step.

The combinations that come to mind are:

OrCAD - Innoveda eplanner/XTK - PADs

OrCAD - Cadence specctraquest - PADs

OrCAD - Innoveda hyperlynx - PADs

So does anybody have experiences with those combinations and the current
tool versions? Any opinions of which will work and which won't? Any other
SI tools I should be considering in there?

The various acquisitions in the EDA industry of course play a big part in
this for the future. There are big open questions in my mind about the
development directions of some of these tools and how well they might work
together in the future. Cadence now owns OrCAD, so can I expect better
interaction between OrCAD and Specctraquest in the future? PADs bought
Hyperlynx some time ago. Then Innoveda bought PADs. Will eplanner/XTK
eventually have a user-friendly hyperlynx interface and tight integration
with PADs? Will I be retired before any of that happens?

It does scare me anyway that OrCAD and PADs - probably the most common
schematic/layout combo out there - are now split across the
Cadence/Innoveda line.

I already had one bad experience with eplanner. We liked the features and
were using XTK already, but only after purchasing it did we discover that
most of the eplanner features could not be used unless you used viewdraw
schematics. Our salesperson conveniently forgot to mention that. We had
somewhere over 700 existing designs in OrCAD and PADs, dozens more in
progress, a large number of OrCAD licenses, and the whole company's part
management system in CIS. Switching over to viewdraw was not going to
happen. We were able to use the scratchpad part of eplanner and that was
it. So can any of you help me avoid that sort of frustration this time
around, or at least help me understand what I'm walking into before we put
the money down?

thanks for any ideas!

kim

_______________________________________________________
Kim Flint http://www.kimflint.org
kim@kimflint.org

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