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Product Highlights from DesignCon 2015

CST, Elgris Technology, Alpha Wire, Keysight Technologies, National Instruments and Altium represent companies demonstrating chip and board level tools.

By “IoT Embedded Systems” staff

The DesignCon 2015 technical conference program had 14 tracks covering electronic design, from chips through boards and systems. Unconfirmed numbers suggested that there were more exhibitors than last year. Here are some noteworthy technologies and products.

Image1 CST_EMC_STUDIOComputer Simulation Technology (CST) was demonstrating the CST EMC STUDIO, a product for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) analysis.

The electromagnetic simulation suite helps identify potential compliance issues before the actual prototype is built, and also analyze products that fail compliance testing. Engineers can study effects such as radiated or conducted emissions, or susceptibility to electrostatic discharge, lightning strike, and high-intensity radiated fields (HIRF).

EMC STUDIO uses general purpose 3D modules for time and frequency domain simulation alongside more specialized solvers. In particular, it includes the 3D transmission line matrix (TLM) method solver, which simplifies numerical EMC analysis with, among other things, compact models and octree meshing. The bidirectional cable/field simulation enables more realistic modeling of noise propagation and radiation over cables. True transient EM/circuit helps analyze the effect of nonlinear circuitry on EMC performance.


Image2 Elgris TechnologyElgris Technology featured their EDA data interchange tools. Those tools simplify the task of integrating, migrating, and archiving design data from various EDA platforms. Elgris has XML translators for: Mentor Graphic’s DesignArchitect, Boardstation, and Workview; Cadence’s OrCAD Capture, PADS Powerlogic, P-CAD, and ConceptHDL Schematic Capture. The Elgris tool also provide visualization software that makes it very easy to access, view and mark-up design data. The company develops and supports EDIF (Electronic Design Interchange Format) translators that are used by ASIC, PCB, and MCM designers.

Image3 Alpha-Mini-300x186Alpha Wire showcased an addition to its EcoCable cable line. The new 300 V version is up to 32% smaller and 44% lighter than standard 300 V PVC cable. EcoCable Mini has recyclable mPPE jacketing and insulation with improved dielectric properties, a -40° to 80°C temperature range, five shielding options, and is available in over 250 standard multi-conductor and multi-pair constructions from 28 to 20 AWG.

Image4 Keysight 9375AKeysight Technologies demonstrated high-speed digital design and test solutions at DesignCon with a broad range of simulation, modeling, test and compliance solutions fitting the industry’s latest standards. The company showed the U4154B 4 Gbit/s state mode logic analyzer module for DDR2/3/4 and LPDDR/2/3/4 protocol validation and debug and DDR Bus Simulator and DDR4 Compliance Test Bench. Also there was the upgraded J-BERT M8020A high-performance bit error rate tester. The M8195A 65 Gs/s arbitrary waveform generator will handle just about any signal you desire.

Keysight also showed their Electronic Products Magazine – Product of the Year Award winner, the M9375A PXIe based Vector Network Analyzer module with operation over 300 kHz to 26.5 GHz. This small module goes in a PXI chassis for multiport device characterization with PLTS (physical layer test system) and supports full 2-port S-parameter characterization.

Image5 NI VirtualBenchNational Instruments highlighted their VirtualBench multi-function instrument. The 10 × 7.5 × 2.9 inch unit used a wireless tablet or laptop computer for operator interface and provides a mixed-signal oscilloscope with protocol analysis, a digital multimeter, a function generator, a programmable dc power supply, and a bunch of digital I/Os. Configurations and screen-shots can be saved and shared, save screen shots. The instruments included NI LabVIEW software for programming tasks. National also had the MultiSim Blue all-in-one circuit design and PCB tool that performed everything from schematic capture to BOM and purchase functions. The company partnered with Mouser Electronics for sales of MultiSim. The design tool has over 100,000 components built-in and supports unlimited board size with up to 64 layers.

Altium highlighted their Designer 15, a PCB and system design tool with a lot of features, including precise, interoperable data sets for fabrication, assembly, procurement and mechanical co-design. The platform can generate link-rich PDF documentation, and perform design reviews with real time cross-domain probing, web, and data sheet links. Altium has now partnered with Valydate VERA for an extension to Designer that the company claims will fully inspect 100% of the nets on a schematic using pre-defined check sand an extensive intelligent model component library.

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