Mentor Graphics Unveils TeamPCB Collaboration Tool for PCB Design

7/29/2003 - Mentor Graphics Corporation, the market leader in printed circuit board (PCB) design software, announced TeamPCBTM, a powerful new design collaboration tool for implementing and managing team design processes more easily and effectively than previously possible. For PCB designs that are too large or complex for a single person or team to complete in the desired time frame and for PCBs with multiple technologies requiring specialized design teams, TeamPCB allows companies to effectively utilize design resources across geographically or functionally dispersed PCB design groups to dramatically reduce overall design cycles.

Unlike other team design methods that require error-prone manual editing, TeamPCB features an automated design process which manages and synchronizes layout design data, allowing multiple PCB designers to work on the same PCB layout simultaneously. TeamPCB is compatible with the Mentor Graphics® Expedition PCBTM, Board Station® RE and SFX RE layout tools. It is designed for immediate deployment and does not require time-consuming training or changes to a company's infrastructure or library to implement.

"The majority of our PCB designs are high-speed mixed-signal systems requiring collaboration with our analog designers and high-speed specialists. In the past, we have used our own concurrent design methods to shorten the overall design time," said Moo-Sik Jeon, Senior Engineer, Samsung Electronics Company, Ltd. "The automated methodology of TeamPCB not only allows us to make the best possible use of our PCB layout design resources, it also ensures data consistency."

Revolutionary Methodology Improvements
TeamPCB provides a process for partitioning a board in the layout design phase, allowing design teams to "divide and conquer" projects in a fraction of traditional schedules. Traditional team design and concurrent design methods relied on logical partitioning or design reuse blocks, which often involved the error-prone manual editing of ASCII files and databases. TeamPCB eliminates many problems associated with other team design processes, through an automated design methodology that manages all edits and keeps design files synchronized.

Before the design is partitioned, any number of reserved areas may be drawn on the board. Each reserved area must be given a name (for example, design functionality or a designer's name) before sub-directories are created in a master design database. The board is then "split" into the various partitions. Each partition includes the data from the entire master design prior to the split, but only elements within each partition may be edited from that partition.

"While PCB designs are becoming more complex than ever before, today's business climate means companies are also facing tighter time-to-market windows. As a result, they are looking for ways to effectively utilize their design resources by collaborating across geographic locations and design team specialization," said Joe Dalton, director of marketing, Systems Design Division, Mentor Graphics. "In initial trials with customers such as Lucent, results are showing that the TeamPCB methodology allows greater control over their schedules and resources and delivers a proportional reduction in design time based on the number of designers they assign to a given project. For example, on a board that has been split into four partitions, TeamPCB has the capability to reduce total layout design time by a factor of four."

Editing Capabilities
Components can be placed within TeamPCB partitions. Additionally, interactive and automatic route editing capabilities are available in TeamPCB, allowing designers to complete their partitions independently and gain the full time-savings of the parallel design process. Each designer is able to edit within an assigned partition and up to the edge of the adjoining partitions. When the partitions are re-joined, the automatic router completes the traces according to the design rules established within the master design database. Guide pins (virtual points in space that the nets will route through) may be added in the master design prior to a split, to guide and optimize routing up to the edge of, and between, reserved areas.

Viewing Edits
While designing in a TeamPCB partition, a designer can view edits from other partitions in two ways. First, all design partitions can be re-joined to the master design database. When the master design is then re-split into partitions, each designer can see all edits from the updated master design. Second, designers can communicate changes between the partitions (without re-joining and re-splitting) through a process of "peer-to-peer" updates. Designers can select any, or all, partitions in which they wish to see updates. They can then view edits up to the last save of the selected partitions.

Pricing and Availability
TeamPCB is available immediately as an optional add-on to Expedition Series, Board Station RE and SFX RE product flows and stand-alone pricing for the tool starts at $15,000 per seat. More information is available at or by calling 800-547-3000.

About Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world's most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of about $650 million and employs approximately 3,500 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777; Silicon Valley headquarters are located at 1001 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, California 95131-2314. World Wide Web site:

Mentor Graphics and Board Station are registered trademarks and TeamPCB and Expedition are trademarks of Mentor Graphics Corporation.

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