SAN FRANCISCO Mentor Graphics Corp. said Tuesday (July 26) that it has begun offering printed circuit board (PCB) tool support designed to help customers achieve Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliance.
Mentor said the support would help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) ensure compliance early and throughout the design process, eliminating costly iterations. Customers are able to leverage the component library data field flexibility to implement filtered search and bill of material (BOM) capabilities, enabling OEMs to design for RoHS compliance and avoid the cost associated with redesign time, Mentor said.
The European Union's RoHS regulations, which take effect next July, require electronics companies to provide proof that they have complied with regulations limiting the amount of six hazardous materials, including lead, in their products. These materials are currently found in the components, fabrication of the PCB, and in the assembly parts. Component suppliers are being asked to document the material content of their parts in data supplied to the OEMs. Beginning in July 2006, products must demonstrate RoHS compliance to be marketable in the EU.
Using component data captured in Mentor's DMS (data management system), LMS (library management system) and DxDataBook systems, designers can now search for approved, hazardous material-free parts for their PCB designs, as well as produce work-in-process BOMs containing summations of hazardous material content in their products, Mentor said.
"The compliance deadline may be over a year in the future, but many OEMs are starting to plan processes, develop the infrastructure and incorporate RoHS-compliant practices in their design methodologies," said Henry Potts, vice president and general manager of Mentor's Systems Design division, in a statement. "We are working to provide our customers the capability to flow through the entire design process in a more efficient manner."
Mentor (Wilsonville, Ore.) said it is also aiding its customers in making changes to new board materials required for RoHS compliance. To accommodate lead-free soldering, the external layers of the PCB are now made from different materials than the internal layers, the company said, and these new materials must be correctly modeled for their electrical characteristics when designers perform delay and signal integrity analysis.
Mentor said its automated layer stack-up analyzers, driven by the manufacturer's materials data, allow designers to model the new heterogeneous layer stack-ups and accurately perform high-speed signal integrity and EMI analysis. The company said special component placement rules and new solder mask configurations can be followed by Mentor's Board Station, Expedition and PADS PCB layout and manufacturing checking products.