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  • Big Board Design?

    Hi Guys,

    Recently I was checking some teardown videos on Youtube, an engineer taking 3G and 4G base stations from famous companies and tear it down then he gives a circuit analysis introducing major components and explaining how it works, I found it very interesting.
    Here is a sample:
    https://youtu.be/WDPujlVuTgM

    There is another one that opens a big network server then assembles it back,
    https://youtu.be/TyMkTvRoDbo

    Along very useful info from those videos, I got questions. The board used in those products covers many different circuit types, analog, digital, RF. Even the power supply, is huge! Considering the complexity of boards, can we expect Altium capable of handling such a task? Definitely designing those boards need a large design group, to the best of my knowledge Altium is not capable of teamwork, am I correct?

    Which design tool is in use for such a big and serious design? Allegro or PADS? What about Zuken?

    Watching those videos, another point is the perfect harmony between electronic and mechanic; the product is a huge 3D puzzle but everything is in place. Again and to best of my knowledge, we can not expect it from Altium. What is your opinion?

    Br

  • #2
    I have never seen a huge server like board designed in Altium - it has always been Allegro.

    But I believe the main reason is, that all the big boards I have seen were server boards and the chips used on these boards are often designed in Cadence software and I believe Cadence provides Allegro for free together with their Chip design software and therefore many reference boards for these chips are then designed in Allegro. At least, that is what rumors says - I am not sure if that is truth.

    According to performance: Once I wanted to import server board in Allegro into Altium and compare the performance ..... and I tried a LOT, but I was not even able to import server board designed in Allegro into Altium - the import always crashed. Also, I am not sure how Altium handles large boards - sometimes Altium has quite a lot of problems to handle middle size boards, so I would expect, if you are working with large boards in Altium, you need to optimize your settings and work around it (e.g. turn off some things like polygons, unnecessary drc rules, etc).

    I heard, that Allegro also may have sometimes problems to handle large boards - but that is only what I heard. You could see in my server video, that Allegro was working oki with large board:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...3yeEbwVsNGU4jY

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    • #3
      Thank you for the explanation, touring video link and also for main page links,
      Is it your design? I am very interested to know how big is the design team and low long it take to finish the task like this board.
      A design like this, as well as those with RF and Microwave, will need sort of heatsink or shielding which may need dealing with the metallic part. Do you have mechanic engineers in your group?

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      • #4
        It is not our design, so I am not sure how many people work on these boards.

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