SAN MATEO, Calif. Cadence Design Systems Inc. this week will announce the release of a PCB library development tool, endorsing the Si2's Extensible Markup Language (XML) as an industrywide EDA library symbol standard for schematic entry tools.
Kim Singer, product marketing manager for Cadence PCB Systems Division, said to date most IC makers have not readily supplied documentation on their ICs and, if they do, it has largely been inconsistent from company to company, making the job of EDA librarians difficult.
Now, with Cadence's new PCB Librarian Expert supporting Electronic Component Exchange (ECIX) project's XML, Cadence hopes to streamline the process and have all chip makers supply consistent data in one pin count symbol format based on XML. That will allow EDA librarians to download XML files and develop consistent libraries of part symbols that can be easily used by schematic entry tools.
"EDA librarians are trying to create EDA library symbols manually," Singer said. "We want to drive component manufacturers to start publishing their data in a format that librarians can automatically derive their schematic symbols."
Cadence also wants the data to be consistent so that its recent Internet spin-off, SpinCircuit, can quickly build and easily maintain large component libraries in a single format and efficiently supply those to design and system houses.
Cadence boasts that its new PCB Librarian Expert product is the first library management tool to support consistent source data from which to derive EDA library parts.
"The library tool will look on the Internet for pin information such as pin type, pin definition from a component supplier and then apply part templates to help the librarian create the graphical data to their local proprietary format," said Singer. "Or, they can go to SpinCircuit, where the data is already created in a graphical format. They can then just import that graphical data, apply the company's specifications (text types, properties, etc.) for Cadence Concept and OrCAD series formats."
Specifically, the library management tool suite currently supports library data generation for use by pc-board designers and engineers with the latest versions of Cadence Concept, OrCAD Capture and Cadence Allegro.
Nonetheless, the company said that other EDA vendors with schematic and layout tools supporting XML will also be able to use the tool. So far, only Innoveda the recent merger of Viewlogic and Summit Design has sent a letter of intent supporting the tool.
PCB Librarian Expert includes XML import, part template, data management and verification features.
According to the company, the XML import feature allows the user to search Web sites, such as SpinCircuit's Activeparts, for data sheets from manufacturers and import that information quickly into their engineering libraries.
The part template feature guarantees that the parts are created in accordance with a corporate library specification to ensure that teams working in different locations can reuse one another's efforts.
The data management feature prevents unmanaged or unauthorized changes as well as manages revisions.
The new PCB Library Expert product is priced at $35,000. The tool will ship this summer and will be available on Windows NT and Unix. Cadence will also offer services to get system houses and manufacturers up to speed on using the technology and generating documentation compliant with the tool.