Sights on Systems

Mentor Elevates PCB Game

by Kevin Morris

For decades, the PCB design tools competition has been a board game. The scope of the problem was the design of a single PCB, and the competitors - Mentor, Cadence, Zuken, Altium/Protel, and the rest - all battled for supremacy with the scope, features, power, and cost of their solutions. The market for board tools actually got a little boring for years, with the major players competing mainly on cost and incumbency in the high-end (enterprise) level and in the low-cost (desktop) markets.

In the past few years, however, the battle has been heating up again. Demands on even “ordinary” board design have grown, as signal- and power-integrity became common problems with higher speed components, and IC packaging and mounting technology caused new challenges for layout. As a result, “desktop” tools began to inherit many of the features associated with “enterprise” tools. Enterprise design tool suites had to once again scramble to differentiate themselves and justify their significantly higher costs.  Read More


latest news

October 28, 2014

Mentor Graphics Announces Xpedition System Designer for Comprehensive Multi-board Systems Development

October 21, 2014

ASSET InterTech and Mentor Graphics IJTAG interoperability empowers two-way validation flow between chips and boards

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Altium announces Altium Designer 15 to ease high speed PCB design woes

October 02, 2014

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October 01, 2014

Altium broadens ARM Cortex-M device support to its TASKING C compiler for ARM

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Zuken Launches Entry-level PCB Design Bundle for $999

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Zuken and SiSoft unite to provide multi-gigabit design and analysis solutions

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August 04, 2014

Mouser to Release New MultiSIM BLUE Powered by National Instruments

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Editors' Blog

Planning PCB, Package, and Die Together

posted by Bryon Moyer

Cadence’s OrbitIO tries to tie together disparate tools and inefficient ways of planning pinouts. (31-Jul)

Internet of Things- This Season's Trend

posted by Dick Selwood

(10-Mar)

3D-IC Planning

posted by Bryon Moyer

How do you figure out the best way to arrange all of the pieces that are going to go into your 3D-IC/2.5D-IC/SiP? (2-Apr)

Debug Trick Uses CPU Cache as RAM

posted by Jim Turley

Can't bring up your new hardware because the %#$@! thing won't even boot? Can't access even basic RAM? Try using the CPU's on-chip cache like RAM and find the bug! (26-Feb)

Shocking Integration

posted by Bryon Moyer

You’ve been able to figure out where your PCB board needs Shocking Technologies’ ESD protection, but implementing that has been manual. Up to now. (11-Jul)

Board Editors' Blog Archive

 

forum

I Brick Your Chip

Posted on 10/30/14 at 6:24 PM by Lord Loh.

Lord Loh.
What is a counterfeit FTDI chip? USB to serial chips are generic. So are these chips that have their VID set to FTDI? And what exactly was being counterfeit? Was it just malefic labelling a generic USB to serial devices as FTDI and using their VID?

If …

Let’s Get This Party Kickstarted

Posted on 10/30/14 at 3:23 PM by bmoyer

bmoyer
I saw a presentation today at the Touch Gesture Motion conference by a company called Tactonics where the speaker asserted that most crowdfunding efforts aren't in fact about raising funds - they could get the funds in other ways.

Instead, they're simp…

I Brick Your Chip

Posted on 10/30/14 at 3:17 PM by Jim Turley

Jim Turley
> I just hope they made sure that the end users knew what went wrong.

Okay, but *how* will end users know what went wrong?

For example, my wife's FitBit stopped working a few weeks ago. Was it because of a counterfeit USB chip, or was it just a coi…

I Brick Your Chip

Posted on 10/30/14 at 1:36 AM by Noam

Well done FTDI. I just hope they made sure that the end users knew what went wrong.

End users who bought a device claimed to be legitimate, should ask/sue the seller for a replacement or money-back since the end product is faulty.
The seller should al…

I Brick Your Chip

Posted on 10/29/14 at 11:10 AM by dougwithau

I also feel FTDI did no wrong here.
Really they were lucky they could tell the difference between their chip and the counterfeits, and could disable them.
Far worse are counterfeits that identify themselves as larger or better memories, but really are …

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