AWR, an innovation leader in high frequency EDA, and Mentor Graphics® Corp., a market and technology leader in printed circuit board (PCB) design solutions, announced AWR Connected™ for Mentor Graphics. This new synergy of design flow between AWR and Mentor Graphics obsoletes file translation between Mentor Graphics' Expedition Enterprise design environment and AWR's Microwave Office® microwave and RF design environment. The resulting design and simulation solution is easy to learn and use and its operation is fully transparent to the user.
"The PCB and RF/microwave design worlds have been merging for some time, but the first-generation design flows built around file translation have proven not to be flows at all," according to Mike Heimlich, Microwave Office product marketing director at AWR. "This solution truly creates a useful flow in which libraries are no longer an issue and co-design is a reality. We are committed to continuing this avenue of cooperation with Mentor Graphics as it delivers real benefits to the design community."
PCB designers are increasingly tasked with creating products that integrate analog, digital and RF or microwave circuits on the same PCB. Until now, translating files between PCB and high frequency EDA tools has consumed many minutes if not hours and impeded designers' ability to rapidly create mixed-technology products. AWR Connected for Mentor Graphics Expedition eliminates file translation and reduces the time to move from one tool/environment to another to nearly zero.
Library data for all design components is continuously synchronized between the Expedition Enterprise parts library and AWR Design Environment™ for microstrip, stripline and copper components. Circuit and electromagnetic (EM) simulation is available on demand throughout the flow regardless of which tool is being used to view or manipulate the design. The combined tools transfer not just tool data but messages as well, so that EM analysis and circuit simulation can be performed in Microwave Office software from Mentor's tools either on the same computer or across a network or Internet. Multiple Microwave Office projects can also be simultaneously connected to the same Mentor PCB design, allowing design partitioning across the toolsets.
Extractions can be created for AWR's ACE™ circuit extraction tool or AXIEM™ EM simulator as well as any third-party EM solver integrated within AWR's open design environment. The extractions are performed while preserving the ability to perform circuit simulations with AWR's Microwave Office, APLAC® harmonic balance, or HSPICE® circuit simulators directly from Mentor circuits, or after transferring schematics and layouts from Mentor to AWR at any point in the design flow. This capability eliminates the need to create a duplicate library in AWR tools based on the Mentor library by dynamically generating the required AWR-specific parts library "on the fly", including symbols, part numbers, footprints and even models.