EDA / PCB Design

The world of electronic design automation is broad, covering everything from the simplest PCB to the most complex custom device. But without such tools, designers would be unable to create innovative consumer and industrial products.

In this section, New Electronics provides technical insight on the latest PCB design packages, as well as on the design tools essential to the creation of devices such as FPGAs and ASICs.

Inter plane stitching for optimum high speed digital signal integrity

With operating speeds running well into the Gigahertz region during the past decade, engineers must be ever more vigilant when it comes routing circuits on PCBs. In this contributed article, Robert Trautman says whether you do your own routing, hand it off to another group within your company or send it out to be done, it is now more important than ever before to fully understand the transmission line effects of the copper traces and how they affect high speed digital signal integrity. To read the complete article, click here.

PCB based system brings increased flexibility to satellite test systems

The proliferation of artificial satellites is quite staggering; almost 7000 satellites have been deployed to date, around half are still in orbit and something like 1000 are still active. It's no exaggeration to say that modern life wouldn't be the same without satellite technology and so it's not surprising to learn it's a growing industry.

Raspberry Pi and Arduino cater to the masses

Raspberry Pi has been a phenomenon. As it celebrates its second birthday this month, it was hoped that it would have sold 2million units. In fact it passed this milestone back in October 2013. While Arduino can't quite match the unit sales, it does have more hardware options and flexibility.

Balanced approach matches analogue design requirements

Despite its continuing – and, in many cases, increasing – importance in modern chips, analogue and mixed signal (AMS) design has proved difficult to automate. While digital design automation has seen rapid advancement during the last 30 years, the only major step forward for AMS designers has been the introduction of foundry verified cells, termed by various eda vendors as T-Cells, PCells, Mcells, Flexcells or Pycells. Beyond this, remarkably little has changed: it is not uncommon to find AMS designers relying on their expertise, experience and 'feel' to perform polygon based layout by hand. But, as design complexity has increased, this approach is becoming increasingly untenable.

FPGA-PCB codesign; a 21st Century approach to integrating fpgas into the pcb design process

Integrating advanced fpgas on a pcb is becoming increasingly challenging, with issues including generating optimal fpga pin assignments that do not add layers to a pcb or increase the time required to integrate the fpga with the pcb design. Because of this, fpga designers, schematic engineers and pcb designers struggle to create fpga pin assignments that meet the goals for the entire system.

Chip designers move up to the next level of abstraction

Engineers recognised years ago that increasing chip complexity meant they had to move to a higher level of abstraction. The problem has been determining precisely what this 'next level up' is and then making the connection back down to rtl code for physical hardware implementation.

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