Improve the Signal Integrity of your PCB using 3D STEP.
03 August, 2016For electronic designers worldwide, the need for increased signal speed within smaller layout areas is an everyday struggle. Not only is manufacturing being pushed to the limits with minute geometries packed into dense regions, but maintaining signal integrity (SI) is becoming a formidable challenge. There are many tools for pre-layout SI, however this article addresses the more critical post-layout solution for SI.
Experts agree it's always more cost-effective to find problems early in the design flow, and that's why a majority of simulation and SI work is performed during pre-layout. However it's the post-layout design that has the most importance, because ultimately it is the post-layout physical design which gets manufactured and becomes your final awesome product.
The key to performing post-layout SI, is the ability to easily generate 3D models from your electronic design.
Four steps how to generate a 3D STEP from your post-layout design (i.e CAM files).
- From your CAD tool, complete your post-layout design.
- Output CAM files (Gerber/Drill, ODB++, etc.)
- Convert to an optimized 3D STEP model (that can be imported into any 3D simulation tool).
- Perform your 3D Simulation to detect any SI problems.
Note: Should any SI or simulation problems be detected, make any necessary layout changes in CAD and repeat.
Here's a tutorial movie demonstrating how to output 3D STEP files during any stage of your post-layout using FAB 3000. The resulting STEP file can be imported into any 3D analysis/simulation tool.
What if, my PCB CAD tool already has a STEP export command?
3D STEP files output from PCB CAD tools typically include just the board outline with components and is not optimized for electronic simulation. Our tools include advanced STEP options necessary for successful SI and simulation, such as plating thickness compensation, trim pads, create separate dielectric and hole assemblies, plus the ability to cutout small sections of the entire design.
What if, my 3D simulation tool already has the ability to import ECAD files?
We know ECAD data. Many existing 3D simulation tools claim to directly import ECAD files (such as Gerber, NC, ODB++, GDSII) however their results are not always reliable. We specialize in ECAD data and reliably process the most complex and troublesome ECAD files with ease, and output optimized 3D STEP files which can be imported by any 3D simulation/analysis tool.
Try it yourself with a free trial. Click below for more information about FAB 3000.