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Board level design system updated

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ALTIUM has announced the availability of an expanded feature set for its Protel DXP board-level design system. The release of Service Pack 2 adds the full host of nVisage multi-dimensional design capture capabilities to Protel DXP as well as significant improvements to the corresponding PCB design capabilities.

This constitutes a major update to the entire end-to-end product with more than 70 enhancements.

One of the major enhancements Service Pack 2 brings to Protel DXP is interactive impedance-controlled routing and more efficient pre and post layout signal integrity analysis - making it easier for designers to avoid signal integrity problems.

The process of running signal integrity analysis prior to board layout has been streamlined to require only the input of the required characteristic trace impedance, and the PCB editor now includes a rule type that takes the desired impedance as input and automatically calculates appropriate track widths as the designer routes.

Impedance-controlled routing makes it easy for a designer to maintain optimum signal integrity conditions during board design and minimises time-consuming post-layout changes.

Service Pack 2 upgrades Protel's VHDL design capabilities to fully support mixed schematic and VHDL design entry with the addition of VHDL simulation and synthesis.

The new VHDL simulator includes an easy-to-interpret multi-waveform viewer, and supports the back-annotations of timing data from FPGA place-and-route tools.

The inclusion of RTL-level VHDL synthesis for multiple FPGA architectures allows Protel DXP to offer complete support for PCB and FPGA design within a single application.

The synthesis engine includes advanced features such as module generation, hierarchical synthesis, automatic I/O insertion and macrocell inference.

Service Pack 2 makes it easier for designers to synchronise their design projects with their company's component inventories with the inclusion of significantly enhanced database linking capabilities and improved Bill of Materials (BoM) generation.

Designers can link user-definable component parameters with any database that supports Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), making it possible to automatically update information from company stock records.

This information can then be included in Protel DXP's new and highly-configurable BoM generator to produce accurate parts tables for ordering and assembly.

Document cross-probing has been enhanced with Service Pack 2 to make project navigation easier. Designers can now cross-probe from navigational panels to corresponding objects in both the PCB and schematic simultaneously.

Service Pack 2 also delivers full bi-directional Orcad file translation features to Protel DXP. Both Orcad schematic and library file formats can be imported and exported with a high degree of accuracy, making translation of legacy files easy.

Orcad Layout PCB files can also now be imported directly into Protel DXP.

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