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Multi-dimensional electronic design tool

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ALTIUM has announced the release of nVisage, a new 'multi-dimensional' design capture tool that allows design engineers to capture the conceptual design of their entire electronic system into a single, integrated environment.

With the launch of nVisage, Altium pioneers a new, holistic design capture methodology that offers engineers the choice of multiple design entry methods and final implementation targets.

Engineers can input their designs using schematic or VHDL-based design entry methods, or a combination of both, and can output the design data to be implemented on a PCB, inside an FPGA, or a combination of both implementation options.

"Multi-dimensional design capture is the natural successor to current two-dimensional design capture in the evolution of electronics design," says Nick Martin, founder and joint CEO, Altium.

"It moves beyond the realm of board design to encompass design for all aspects of the electronics system - regardless of the final target implementation or whether the circuitry is physical or virtual.

“It moves beyond schematic capture and opens up access to other text-based entry methodologies in a multi-layered design environment with full support for multi-channel design."

As design cycles continue to shorten, the design process for all elements of the electronics system are under pressure to converge. For this to be workable for mainstream design engineers, an integrated design platform and a method for keeping design data synchronised need to be accessible to the mass market.

Key capabilities include:

· Hierarchical schematic capture for both board-level and FPGA designs.

· Bidirectional Orcad® schematic and library translation.

· Support for nested multi-channel (channel-within-channel) schematic designs.

· Mixed schematic and VHDL FPGA design.

· VHDL-driven RTL synthesis for multiple FPGA target architectures.

· SPICE 3f5 / XSpice-compliant simulation directly from schematic.

· VHDL simulation with support for timing back annotation.

· Pre-layout signal integrity analysis directly from schematic.

nVisage integrates multi-channel, hierarchical schematic-based circuit and FPGA design with text-based VHDL, and allows a single design to be captured using any mix of these design entry methods.

As well as offering engineers a choice of design entry methodologies, nVisage includes design analysis and verification tools including SPICE-compliant circuit simulation, VHDL simulation and pre-layout signal integrity capabilities.

nVisage will also include synthesis and compilation tools to prepare design information for its progression to the design implementation stage.

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