PCB design package is Mentor’s ‘most significant product in years’

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Looking to address a range of PCB design challenges, including growing complexity, Mentor Graphics has announced the first phase of a new systems design enterprise platform.

Called Xpedition – and described as Mentor's 'most significant product in years' – the platform is said to simplify and accelerate the development of even the most challenging designs. With an intuitive design environment, Xpedition is said by Mentor to address the changing responsibilities of designers, so users can perform at expert levels for optimum productivity. The result is quicker product development, fewer design respins and improved product quality. The first phase of the launch announces new Xpedition PCB layout technology. David Wiens, business development manager for Mentor's systems design division, noted: "PCBs aren't getting simpler, so we have had to evolve tools to support designers, who are having to consider more factors during layout process, including mechanical, power and thermal. Tools have to be more tightly integrated and easier to use." The first phase of the Xpedition roll out is a PCB layout platform, which addresses placement planning, efficient routing and electromechanical optimisation. Central to this is Sketch Router, which provides interactive control of the assisted routing process. Charles Pfeil, engineering director, advanced product development, added: "We've done a lot of work on user interfaces to make them consistent and simplified and it will be easier for circuit designers who need to work on layout. We're telling customers to expect a 25% improvement in total routing time." Also included is 3D design capability, supporting ECAD/MCAD cooperation. Wiens said: "We have integrated a 3D mechanical kernel; it's not just an interface. There's also a 3D library with 4million part numbers. We're looking to put 3D into the hands of the designer so when they do validation, they have already resolved the problems." The first phase of Xpedition will start to roll out shortly, with additional modules being introduced in the near future.