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  • SI Analysis tool?

    To the best of my knowledge three major tools exist for SI, 1) Mentor Hyperlynx, 2) Cadence Sigrity, 3) CST;
    - Do you want to add another tool to the list?
    - Among them, which do you prefer for your board analysis?
    - I am personally a Hyperlynx user, but it is not that easy to work.
    - Along with SI and PI, can we expect these tools to do some thermal analysis?

  • #2
    robertferanec , Dear Robert, I have seen your tutorial video on SI using Cadence Sigrity.
    1) I was wondering why you are using Sigrity, not Hyperlinx, or CST? Any technical reason?
    2) Next question, since we are mostly using Altium, how is the layout data exchange between Altium and Sigrity? Are they able to talk to each other easily, or we have to use an intermediate import-export format?

    Best Regards, and thank you for your help in advance.

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    • #3
      I got a comment that ANSYS SIWave also can do SI analysis, and it accept ODB++ output from Altium, so we have 4 tools on the list.

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      • #4
        I was wondering why you are using Sigrity, not Hyperlinx, or CST? Any technical reason?
        - I contacted Mentor (before Siemens bought them), they didn't want me to make videos about Hyperlynx (also means, they do not want to provide me with the license)
        - Sigrity is very nice and Cadence is helping me to learn how to use their simulation tools and they also provide me with the license.
        - I have done also number of videos in ADS, same as Cadence, Keysight is helping me a lot and they provided me with the license. I will be doing DDR4 simulation video soon using their SI tool.
        - CST: I have never considered to try that (I am in touch with the 3ds company, they use our iMX6 Rex project for their simulation training), but it was not easy to talk to the company, so I did not proced further.

        Both, Keysight and Cadence are very nice companies, I like to work with them.

        how is the layout data exchange between Altium and Sigrity?
        2) Import / Exports between different layout and simulation software is often done through ODB++. However, Cadence Allegro now integrates some simulations directly in Allegro - and that is super useful, because you do not have to keep exporting and importing between layout and simulation software (and you do not need to keep setting up the simulation every time).

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        • #5
          - Do you want to add another tool to the list?
          ADS from Keysight

          - Among them, which do you prefer for your board analysis?
          The one where you can get the best support. To use the tool properly, it is very important to be able to talk to someone in the company directly.

          Of course, you probably mean which I think is the best software, but I think you may get similar results - only the question is how complicated it will be to get the results. I do not really have a favorite one, I used to work in Hyperlynx and I liked that it was simple to use, Cadence now has some simulations directly in Allegro (it can be useful), ADS - depends what analysis, but some are super simple to setup (however e.g. memory simulation is not easy to setup)

          - I am personally a Hyperlynx user, but it is not that easy to work.
          Some other softwares are more difficult to use

          - Along with SI and PI, can we expect these tools to do some thermal analysis?
          ADS does some thermal analysis, but for real flow (e.g. to see air flow in an enclosure) I think you would need something else (e.g. solidworks?)

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          • #6
            robertferanec , thank you very much for your answer.

            I went back and visited the DDR simulation video again and noticed the export of layout from Altium to Allegro.

            I am eagerly waiting for your DDR4 simulation video in ADS. Long time back, we used to consider ADS for RF and mostly antenna design. But sounds not correct anymore and ADS can handle PCB analysis as well.

            Regarding Sigrity, do we need to install Allegro as well, or Allegro is part of Sigrity?

            It may sound crazy, but I was thinking in the small and compact boards like iMX6 Rex, do we really need to do SI simulation? Or obeying design guides (impedance matching, tunned length, T or H routing, etc) would be just enough? I absolutely agree that in the big boards, like motherboard, memory module, it is needed, but what about small boards that DDR chip is very close to the controller?

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            • #7
              - I think, ADS also has something for RF, but I have not tried it (PathWave ?)
              - for antenna design, have a look at Cadence AWR Analyst Software: https://www.cadence.com/en_US/home/t...-software.html John used it in our RF antenna video: https://youtu.be/HAaWwZ73ygM
              - we have been working on the ddr4 video for a while now, just need to record it (it is on my list sometimes after I finish the PIC16 tutorial)
              - I think you can use Sigrity without allegro

              We do not normally simulate - it costs a lot of money (not only software, but also people and time). So we only simulate if we break too many rules.

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              • #8
                Hi Robert,

                Do you have a tutorial (not video, PDF or other type of document) on DDR4 simulation with Keysight ADS?
                Or any other documentation (not related to ADS) that helps me with DDR4 simulation or high speed signaling?

                Thank you

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                • #9
                  you covered the major ones

                  there also used to be "speed 2000" which is what cadence now sells you

                  in addition there is also "ADS" - or analog design studio (keysight), where you can do near field solves or make channel models of berr/eye based on physical constructs of board for serdes lines

                  and, there is also simbeor, which Altium is partially using,

                  and, a very basic one from "TOYO" which is called emistream


                  Other than that - I'll add that Hyperlynx comes in 3 flavors
                  the basic (and useless version),
                  the standard flavor - which is OK, and
                  the 3d field solver version , aka Hyperlynx 2.5D

                  and on top of that they have some "kits" that allow you to adapt to DDR - however they usually require some timing parameters not listed on the controller spec, so some level of NDA with chip vendor is needed




                  they all have their uses depending on if you need
                  - a field mesher/solver - for near field effects
                  - a tline extracter/solver - great if you want to use IBIS models for drivers/receivers
                  - or just something spice like such as hspice
                  (IE you can do tline solving in SPICE, but you have a lot of extracting to make a model)















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                  • #10
                    Also perhaps of interest here is an article I read recently about low-cost and free tools in Signal Integrity Journal

                    https://www.signalintegrityjournal.c...ersonal-budget

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