Anyone still tempted to regard PCB design as electronics’ sleepy backwater, obviously hasn’t been taking notice of trends not just in shrinking form factors but also I/O and memory standards. Proliferation not just in standards but in speeds have been creating whole new sets of challenges ranging from power and signal integrity right through to design management.
Still, Cadence’s acquisition of Sigrity has shaken things up a little in terms of a market that has had a fairly stable set of players. The reasons for the deal are easy enough to define and well set out in the earlier post. At CDN Live in Beijing, however, the new owners had a little more to say about what to expect and when.
Brad Griffin, product marketing director for Allegro and OrCAD at Cadence, said that the whole board system side would be getting a refresh across four broad areas: miniaturization, design cycle reduction, faster data throughput and design chain management. These will feed into a 17.0 release of the main Allegro suite in 2013, fully integrating the Sigrity technology.
However, there is a chance that some Sigrity elements will be integrated before then. Cadence thinks it has a winner on its hands and wants to start stressing the connections asap. There is a 16.6 Allegro release due in October, though officially the focus here is on the IPC2581 standard for smoothing design data transfer to manufacturing.
Certainly though, Cadence sees Sigrity as filling out a ‘front-to-back PCB design’ flow appropriate for today’s market that will also present a greater challenge to the segment’s long-established market leader, Mentor Graphics.