Mentor Graphics Corporation and Agilent Technologies Inc. have jointly developed solution that can significantly improve productivity for the design of RF circuits

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Using the RF Solution, specific parametric RF shapes can be imported into the Mentor environment and all parameters are maintained. No longer are the board traces "dumb metal", but now are recognized as RF components and circuits, making interaction between the Mentor and Agilent systems accurate, reproducible, and quick.
on printed circuit boards. The solution is expected to cut PCB design cycle times in half and improve the quality of mixed-technology designs.

This tightly integrated solution enables PCB mixed-signal designers (RF, analog and digital) to concurrently design a PCB using Mentor’s Expedition Enterprise™ or Board Station® XE flows and seamlessly integrate it with Agilent’s Advanced Design System (ADS) EDA software for RF design and simulation.

Agilent’s ADS is a high-frequency, high-speed electronic design automation software platform. It offers complete design integration to designers of products such as cellular and portable phones, pagers, wireless networks, radar and satellite communications systems, and high-speed digital serial links.

RF circuits can now be designed directly in Mentor or be transferred to Mentor from Agilent ADS using the dynamic link. To fully support RF designs, Board Station XE and Expedition Enterprise have been designed to understand RF, not just translate the design.

Mentor Graphics’ Expedition Enterprise and Board Station XE design flows provide users with an advanced PCB systems design technologies and address the business needs of the world’s leading electronics companies: shorter time to market, reduced development and product costs, and the most competitive end-products.

Schematic entry and RF circuit layout can be started in the Mentor or Agilent ADS environment; the dynamic link gives maximum flexibility. The simulation, tuning and optimization capabilities of the RF simulation environment are supplied by the RF simulator. The dynamic link transfers the complete RF circuit intent over to the RF simulator. This is not done by transferring the whole design, but by transferring only what the RF simulator needs for a successful simulation. Error prone translation processes are eliminated. "System designs have evolved to the point where digital, analog and RF on the same PCB for wireless, handheld and telecom industries is the norm," said Henry Potts, vice president and general manager of Mentor’s Systems Design Division. "Designing these mixed-technology systems requires tight integration of the physical layout environments and their respective simulation tools to ensure optimized performance and short design cycle times. While Mentor Graphics is the leader in signal integrity simulation for digital PCBs, a collaboration with Agilent to integrate its RF specialized tools with the Mentor PCB systems design flows will provide our customers with capabilities needed to solve the complex multi-mode system issues they encounter today."

"Customers tell us they face delays in product development due to a disconnect between RF design and simulation and PCB implementation," said Jim McGillivary, vice president and general manager with Agilent’s EEsof EDA division. "My team’s commitment to problem solving and working with Mentor has resulted in this efficiency breakthrough, eliminating the delays that come from switching between software tools. We fully expect this new integration to cut our customers’ typical product development cycle in half."