AltiumLive: Left Shift Modeling and Simulation


AltiumLive: Left Shift Modeling and Simulation

Altair’s Harry Kennedy and Sarmad Khemorro recently chatted with Andy Shaughnessy about their AltiumLive presentations, now available online. They discuss the need for modeling, simulation, and verification in PCB design, and why these actions should be performed as early as possible in the design process.

Andy Shaughnessy: You both presented at the AltiumLive conference. Harry, why don’t we start? Tell us about your presentation.

Harry Kennedy: My name is Harry Kennedy. I’m a technical specialist in electronic systems design here at Altair, and I’ve worked at a few engineering companies before. The topic of the presentation deals with the quality of PCB design with a simulation-based design methodology. What does this really mean? When I started creating and designing PCBs, I had problems; I would build with a component and then find out it’s out of stock, and the lead time would mess up my delivery date. We started looking at high-speed apps. Once we designed an assessment module to find out that there were EMC issues in all areas. I was banging my head, trying to get the lab data right and a good result, and I wasn’t sure what I could do. I had to contact subject matter experts to guide me through the process.

I could see that while I had to bring design, EMC or thermal experts into the conversations, it was time consuming and created inefficiencies in the process. Working with Altair, I quickly realized that if I had changed my methodology from a product design perspective to a more simulation-focused methodology, I could have solved many of these problems more efficiently and saved time. in the process.

One of the cool things we can do is using a new product called Altair PollEx that Altium includes in Altium Designer. It is a PCB modeler that helps you to view files, create markup tools and also add PCB checking tool. If you want to run design for manufacturing and design for electrical controls, as well as PCB analysis tool, it puts it all in one. My job in the presentation is to show how you can actually begin to shift your mindset from a product design methodology to a simulation, and ultimately increase the quality of PCB design.

Shaughnessy: What are the takeaways for attendees?

Altair_HarryKennedy.jpgKennedy: Today, we are all trying to save time and money, and we want to help our engineers become more efficient in the process by adding verification analysis before even bringing in subject matter experts. This is part of the process of moving left. Again, when you’re a design engineer, you deal with as much initial setup and initial results as possible to help the rest of the team make more effective decisions.

Another example could be that before you send a board to manufacturing, you will perform DFM checks. “Do I actually make sure this board can be made in such a way that we don’t have any issues when we ship it overseas or to our US manufacturers?” Creating these options for the design engineer saves you time and efficiency, and also allows you to have better, more productive team meetings on key points and issue aspects. You can easily use PollEx in Altium to present values ​​as well as issues, and enable your whole team to make effective, fast and easy decisions.

Shaughnessy: It sounds really good. Sarmad would you like to give us a taste of your presentation?

Sarmad_Khemmoro_220.jpgSarmad Khemorro: Andy, thanks for inviting me. I am in charge of business development for Altair Electronics. At AltiumLive, my presentation focuses on how to ensure electronic system reliability and how EDA companies like Altium and Altair are tackling it to help our mutual customers. I will talk about current trends in electronic systems design, complexity, increasing cost, timing, and depending on the industry the client is from (automotive, aerospace or medical), the many different compliance mandates that they must follow. I will also talk about the electronic system which consists of several disciplines – Electronic PCB, Mechanical, Software, Electrical and what kinds of challenges.

Customers need to integrate all of this because you can’t work on a server as a PCB designer; you always have to work with the mechanical guy, the manufacturing guy, the software guy. I will also explain the PCB and subsystem challenges. What kinds of challenges do they face, including environmental, high-speed signaling, thermal manufacturability, cost, maybe power issues? I can explain these challenges to users, and then what do customers typically do? Of course, many people do virtual lab testing and field testing, which is the most common. But many companies are now turning to simulation, virtualization, and the cost of not doing so.

I also discuss the cost of not doing virtualization or simulation on the design cycle. Then I launch into explaining what Altair is doing in this area. Altair comes to this market with a strong background in simulation on the mechanical side; we have invested heavily in the type of electronic simulation analysis. We market several solutions. One of the solutions will work with Altium to provide design users with access to our solution to perform verifications and simulations during the PCB design process.

Shaughnessy: What dishes would you like to see the participants leave with?

Khemorro: The main takeaway for participants is that when designing electronics, they also need to think about other disciplines. Think about the other people they need to work with, i.e. other team members, the CA expert, mechanics and fabricators. The design is getting more and more complicated, so they need to get all these people together early and get their input. It’s a thing. The other point to remember is that there is no single vendor or supplier that can provide all the solutions. Having multiple “partners” like Altair and Altium working together to help their customers is good for customers.

Shaughnessy: It looks good. Thank you both for this excellent interview.

Kennedy: Thanks Andy.

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