Mentor continues PCB software revamp with data management design

Mentor continues PCB software revamp with data management design

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By eeNews Europe

As a single, comprehensive data management solution, the xDM Design solution manages design data for work-in-progress designs, and library and component data for the entire PCB design flow. It is intended to ensure the accuracy, integrity and security of the PCB data used throughout the enterprise flow, with the aims of cost reduction, increased productivity, and data protection across each state of the PCB development process to efficiently manage complexity.

The software aims to manage the increasing challenges and complexity of PCB systems design with the xDM Design solution which is an integral part of the xDM suite. The xDM Design tool manages data from a broad range of sources, serving as a central design “cockpit” for all tools and data used by the project stakeholders. A key feature is design traceability, which creates a family tree and tracks all events associated with design objects. The xDM Design collaboration client feature enables team collaboration across the enterprise, providing complete design viewing in a web browser, allowing redlines and mark-ups for design reviews. The collaboration client also enables quick access to design state information including metrics such as total parts, total nets, constraints, and per cent routed — enabling management to have a quick read of design status at any time.

The xDM Design product provides an automated index of all ECAD design metrics—gathering, tracking, and analysing design state data at multiple levels: design status, online hazards, annotation status, and design constraints, also providing the ability to search on desired metrics. This unique set of project meta-data is only visible available from within Mentor Graphics products.

“[We believe that]… our Xpedition data management solution far exceeds the capabilities of other data management tools in the industry,” stated Henry Potts, general manager and senior vice president of Mentor Graphics Systems Design Division. “Our mission is to provide advanced technologies and services that ease the customers’ increasing design challenges.”

The xDM product suite also includes xDM Library, which enables comprehensive library development and management, including part creation, 3D modelling, component management, and process integration.

Some of the key features for xDM Library include:

• Library editing for symbols, cells, and padstacks with integrated distribution for the enterprise

• Providing a central hub for 3D model management – supporting both Mentor-provided 3D models and custom 3D STEP models

An advanced xDM Library option is available, and this version provides the following automated features:

• Component data management including incorporation of company-specific part data, alternates, supplier information, where-used checking for obsolescence, BOM access for early compliance checking, and management of preferred parts lists

• Process integration across the flow, where engineers doing design work have direct access to the rich component data, providing automatic filtering of preferred parts, comparison and identification of alternate parts from vendor datasheets, ECAD BOM management, and compliance audits on design BOMs

The xDM Library ensures product quality and cost efficiency by providing visibility of key design and part selection factors early in the development process for fast and upfront identification of preferred viable parts to avoid costly rework downstream. The xDM Library enables reduced infrastructure cost by re-using library parts across multiple locations, maximising usage of existing inventory, and prevention of part shortages.

Enterprise Data eXchange (EDX) is a new standard data format which allows the capture of PCB-related IP in a consistent representation to facilitate sharing this data across the enterprise safely and securely. EDX enables secure data exchange and process integration between the user’s PCB tools and any third-party applications used across the enterprise. EDX provides a robust and stable data format, independent of product releases, vendors, and internal tool database structures. The Mentor Graphics xDM Design product suite provides EDX designs and libraries as standard outputs to facilitate data exchange with other third party applications.

“Mentor’s xDM Design enables us to increase visibility of the work-in-progress ECAD design process which fosters collaboration within design teams, as well as with external disciplines. Instead of relying on each individual, we can increase traceability of the design data and prevent the design from becoming a ‘black box’ where only designers know what’s going on,” stated Hiroyuki Moriya, manager of engineering management at JRC, Ltd. “We plan to streamline the approval and review process by doing it all online which should reduce manual processes, paper, and errors. We consider our work-in-progress data our corporate IP and xDM Design’s tight integration with the Xpedition flow is essential to transform “black-box” data into true IP.”

The xDM product suite will be available in October 2014. Mentor Graphics;

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