Analysis Capabilities in Cadence Allegro

For those not familiar with that product or Cadence software, it is a software suite that used to develop circuit boards and a wide variety of capabilities. There’s lots of functionality there. It’s been around a long time.

About eight years ago, Cadence acquired a company called SEGRITY, which had a lot of analysis capabilities. They have integrated those capabilities into Allegro to support this shift left industry vision to use simulation and analysis earlier in the design phase. This shift left enables engineers to make better, more informed decisions when there’s less constraint and to lower the expectation and effort to verify performance and checks later on. The real manifestation of benefit here is with reduction of response.

Role-Based Support

What has Cadence done with this capability? They’ve split the capabilities to support three separate roles. The first role is the designer who may not have a lot of electrical engineering knowledge but knows how to develop circuit boards, run traces, and place components. This set of analysis capabilities look at impedance, coupling, return path, and some basic analysis capabilities that help this shift left type of effort. Designers can check the basics of what you need to look for when you’re developing a big complex board or a simple board.

The next role is the functional test engineer. This level of engineer  knows the functionality and the engineering physics that’s going on behind it. Cadence capabilities include reflection and cross-dock analyses to identify fundamental issues that will make you conduct or execute another re-spend of hard dollars. 

Allegro offers these capabilities within the design suite. Designers and engineers can check for potential issues as they develop the board from concept and early ideas to verification and validation with expert analysts, which gets to the third phase.

SEGRITY is still a separate application. It works closely in conjunction with Allegro and gives you get more advanced functionality like thermal aware and IR drop analysis. The application lets you go deeper and takes much longer to run than the other analyses we’ve talked about so far. You can conduct the analyses very, very quickly to check, compare, and contrast design options. Cadence supports these three separate roles and the capabilities of those different roles and what they want to achieve.

Multi-Role Design Collaboration

There’s an additional functionality or capability that’s built into this or that supports it, that is really intriguing as well. It’s called Symphony. Symphony lets multiple engineers, designers, and expert analysts simultaneously access a single design for a board or a multi-board system. For example, a designer can be doing the basic analyses as they’re going along. You could have the engineer in there at the same time running their analyses and doing the higher-end type of work. The expert analysts could be using the same functionality and eventually doing that verification and validation in SEGRITY separately.

There are a lot of capabilities here that supports that vision of shift left. Using simulation and analysis earlier allows you to make better decisions, avoid re-spends, and save time in the development process. So, that’s that. There’s a lot there. That’s it. Take care and talk soon.