Mentor Offers Advanced Design Capabilities for Flex and Rigid-flex Boards

12/21/2004 - Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT), the market leader in printed circuit board (PCB) design software, announced it has incorporated advanced design capabilities for flex and rigid-flex boards into its ExpeditionTM and Board Station® RE PCB layout tools. Mentor Graphics is meeting the growing need of customers in the telecom and consumer electronics industries who are increasingly adopting flex PCB technology for applications requiring high functionality in small, handheld form factors.

The use of flex PCBs is not new but until recently had been relegated to very specialized uses such as automotive dashboards and other flexible connection methods such as laptops. These limited applications were designed using mostly manual, layout methods. Now the use of flex PCBs is pervasive in cell phones, PDAs, digital cameras and most other space constrained, high functionality consumer products. For example, most handheld digital cameras now include a single rigid-flex board folded into the form factor. In these highly competitive markets time-to-market is paramount and product life cycles are short. Designers need the same levels of design productivity for flex that they have for their rigid boards.

"Industry statistics show that a significant portion of the growth in PCB manufacturing will be in flex and rigid-flex production," said Henry Potts, vice president and general manager, Systems Design Division, Mentor Graphics. "We anticipated this trend based on interactions with some of our major customers in the telecom and consumer electronics industries and invested to enhance our solutions to meet their needs."

Specialized Features
Mentor Graphics has enhanced its leading AutoActive® placement and routing environment in its Board Station and Expedition design flows to allow the definition and checking of the complex rules for flex circuit design while maintaining the high levels of productivity offered with the AutoActive tool's push-and-shove and multi-plow routing. These flex rules include curved trace settings by area, complex contour following for routes, teardrops at pins, t-junctions and route width changes, cross-hatching of shielding areas, and selective pad modifications. These rules enable the complex shapes of flex circuits as well as maintain product reliability after severe bending. Now designers can achieve the same levels of productivity for flex circuits as they experience for rigid PCBs.

Pricing and Availability
These flex circuit enhancements are available immediately and can be purchased as options to the Expedition Series and Board Station RE flows. Pricing starts at U.S. $7,500 per year. More information is available at or by calling 1-800-547-3000 x2.

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 $700 million and employs approximately 3,800 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 Board Station, and AutoActive are registered trademarks and Expedition is a trademark of Mentor Graphics Corporation.

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