Mentor Graphics Corp. announced the release of version 8.2 of the HyperLynx® suite of analysis tools offering significant new functionality for optimizing printed circuit board (PCB) designs, including 3D full-wave field solving and integrated thermal/power co-simulation analysis capabilities. Analysis of today’s multi-GHz SERDES channel interconnects—such as PCIe-Gen 3—requires specialized 3D modeling for accurate signal integrity analysis.

Another major feature is the integration of the HyperLynx Thermal analysis with the HyperLynx PI (power integrity) products to calculate the affects of heat generated by areas of high current density in complex power distribution networks (PDN) on the PCB. These major enhancements enable HyperLynx users to reliably utilize the industry’s most advanced high-speed IC and PCB technologies while developing more competitive products and hitting tight market windows.

For digital serial interconnects operating in data rate ranges of 5 to 28 Gbps, it is important to include the 3D effects of certain PCB structures, such as vias, in the signal integrity analysis. However, analyzing the complete interconnect using full-wave 3D field analysis would not be practical, as the computing times would be excessive. Using a new feature in the HyperLynx 8.2 product, analysis is performed with 3D full-wave models for structures such as vias, and with 2D/2.5D solutions for constructs such as traces. The result is fast and accurate full interconnect analysis.

“We’ve used the new HyperLynx LineSim interface 3D EM solver to analyze our vias for very high-speed interconnects,” said Yanfeng Yu, principal engineer, ZTE Corp.. “This feature is one of the must-have features for serial channel design. It's easy to use and the performance is very good.”

Another effect of today’s more advanced, high-performance designs is the necessity for multiple and complex power distribution networks due to the increasing number of supply voltages. This complexity can result in neck-down areas of copper on the PCB and high current densities, which can then lead to excessive copper heating and, in severe cases, copper failure. The HyperLynx PI product now includes co-simulation between power integrity DC and thermal analysis to reflect the combination of heating of the PDNs and heat dissipation from the components, and the increased copper resistivity due to this heating. These integrated products now alert the designer to possible product failures due to excessive heat, as well as possible signal/power integrity performance issues.

“This merging of signal/power integrity and thermal analysis is yet another example of how once isolated design disciplines are affecting each other,” said Dave Kohlmeier, director of analysis products, Systems Design Division, Mentor Graphics. “Mentor’s strategy of creating an integrated suite of analysis tools that allow collaboration among the many disciplines involved in the product development process is enabling our customers to deliver more advanced and competitive products to market faster and with higher quality.”