The latest update to Mentor Graphics' Xpedition Enterprise PCB design suite targets multi-board projects and will be released this December.
As with earlier additions to Xpedition (formerly Expedition), the focus is on unifying and filling in blanks within the PCB flow.
For multi-board projects, the new Xpedition Systems Designer offers what the company calls a "single cockpit" within which PCB designers can centrally manage and perform tasks previously undertaken with separate tools or manually.
"Current systems design processes for advanced electronics are fraught with multiple, disconnected tools used for system definition, with no standard methodology to synchronize and transfer design data between design disciplines and abstraction levels. This results in incorrect electrical connections, mechanical interference, and the high costs of manual synchronization," Mentor said.
Xpedition System Designer's Cockpit will capture a consistent definition of the core logic system. This will then be applied throughout the flow with the goal of offering greater consistency, thus avoiding common errors of the past. The definition includes individual blocks within a multi-board system and connections between both the blocks and the boards. This definition is then used across various tools in a more broadly Xpedition-based flow and others.
The Cockpit will also synchronize PCB designs as multiple engineers work on them at, potentially, multiple sites.
Other multi-board features being introduced in Xpedition System Designer include:
- Simplified system-wide partitioning: A system can be easily partitioned into multiple board projects and associated connectivity. Automated connectivity will allow designers to run ‘what-if’ re-partitioning exercises aimed at optimizing performance, size and cost.
- Correct-by-design connector management: The effort to add, manipulate and update connectors is simplified with on-the-fly creation of parameterized connectors. Automated connector mating and pin pairing, as well as synchronization between PCB projects and system design data, aim to eliminate connector errors throughout the design cycle.
- Automated connectivity definition and verification: Definition of connections between system elements including connection order and wiring of multiple nets and wires is highly automated. Signals can be traced across the entire system to ensure that the connectivity is as specified.
Further information on Xpedition System Designer ahead of its formally launch is available here on Mentor's website.