Mentor Graphics ongoing roll-out of new features within its Xpedition PCB design platform addresses the ongoing standards competition for data transfer.
The Xpedition Data Management suite contains an array of design data, collaborative workbenches and metadata features intended to enable greater and more consistent data transfers across the PCB flow.
The enhancements compete with a number of similar elements and intentions behind the rival, open PCB data transfer standard, IPC-2581. IPC-2581 is, most notably in this context, backed by Mentor rivals such as Cadence Design Systems and Zuken. Mentor is primarily associated with the ODB++ data standard, which it acquired with the purchase of Valor four years ago.
XDM features include:
- Design traceability – this creates a family tree and tracks all events associated with design objects.
- A collaborative client – this offers browser-based access to the design’s current state with options for redlines and mark-ups, and information on quantitative metrics (e.g., part count, net count, percentage routed).
- Qualitative metrics – this feature contains proprietary metadata in areas such as design status, online hazards, annotation status, and design constraints.
- Library editing – this provides access to symbols, cells, and padstacks with integrated distribution across the enterprise.
- 3D model management – this uses a central hub with support for both Mentor-provided and custom 3D STEP models.
Further advanced features address component management and process management, particularly for bills of materials.
Mentor is also introducing a new data transfer standard, Enterprise Data eXchange. “[This] allows the capture of PCB-related IP in a consistent representation to facilitate sharing this data across the enterprise safely and securely. EDX enables secure data exchange and process integration between the customer’s PCB tools and any third-party applications used across the enterprise,” the company said.
The full xDM product suite will be available from October 2014. A preview of the full range of xDM features is now online.