What’s your excuse?

By smckinne

Over the last few months, I’ve visited dozens of customers talking with them about power distribution design.  Power Distribution design on the PCB is one of those areas that is fairly new to many companies, so there is a minimal amount of in-house expertise.  Usually there are one or two people that are the go-to guys/gals for solving a power problem but on the whole, power distribution design (and thus power integrity analysis) is an area that a lot of companies don’t spend a lot of time doing in their design process.

There are the usual reasons for this – “I don’t have the time”  “I don’t have the resources”  “I don’t have the money” “I just do what my IC vendor tells me” – all seeming like reasonable excuses.  But my question is, how can you afford not to do anything?? As one of my bosses use to say “Would you bet your job on that?”

In those terms “would you bet your job on that?”, I don’t know about you, but darned if I’m not going to take the time that is needed to do my engineering due diligence!  Seriously, think about all the compromises you have to make in your design and then the fact that a lot of today’s ICs have low voltage cores and high current requirements.  You’ve  probably got things in your board like copper floods stitched together with as few vias as you can use on multiple layers and no power planes to speak-of, a compromised stackup design, and a bunch of capacitors that you put as close as you could to your ICs, but you’ve really got no idea if they are serving a purpose.   Wouldn’t it be nice to know if they serve a purpose?   Wouldn’t you like to tell your boss “yeah, I’ll bet my job on it!”

Maybe you’ve already heard, but let me introduce you to something that I think will make you smile.  It can light up your eyes like that Christmas present under the tree you’ve always wanted, or make you smile like finding that random $100 bill in your wallet/purse – it’s called HyperLynx PI. 🙂

What is HyperLynx PI you might ask?  Well, let me tell you!

In a nutshell, HyperLynx PI allows you do analysis of IR drop and decoupling on your power nets.  You can validate that you meet the DC voltage and current requirements of your ICs.  You can also do analysis on capacitor decoupling and voltage ripple on power planes, all with full wave simulation engines.

HyperLynx PI is the best power integrity tool on the planet!  Do you think I’m lying?  I challenge you to try it out for yourself before you call me a liar!  Sure there are other power integrity analysis tools on the market, but what makes HyperLynx PI special?  It’s special because it was designed with you, the engineer, in mind.  Some people believe that for a tool to be powerful, it’s got to be hard to use.  We have a different philosophy here at Mentor.  We believe that a tool has to be easy-to-use for you to get value out of it, yet have the power you need to get your job done with high accuracy.  You don’t need to have to tweak every little knob every time you need an answer – it shouldn’t be that complicated.  We’ve designed HyperLynx PI (as well as HyperLynx SI) so that it’s something any electrical engineer can jump into without having to remember ‘which knob does what’ every time they get in the driver’s seat.

Time is precious these days, especially as resources are harder to come by, so you need to have tools that get you accurate answers without having to read the manual to get them, which is exactly what HyperLynx PI does for you.  Accurate answers to your power design questions with fast time-to-results – that’s what we’re about!  Don’t let an excuse be your validation methodology, check out what HyperLynx PI has to offer you.  If you want more details, check out these links:

Webinar on Optimizing decoupling designs with HyperLynx PI

Webinar on Identifying DC Drop issues with HyperLynx PI

White paper on HyperLynx PI accuracy

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at