CAD tool addresses rigid-flex and high-speed designs

August 16, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Mentor Graphics is redesigning its Xpedition PCB flow to address the increasing complexity of today’s advanced systems designs, enabling the design and verification of 3D rigid-flex structures while automating layout of high-speed topologies with advanced constraints.

Flex and rigid-flex PCBs are now found in all types of electronics products, from small consumer devices to aerospace, defence and automotive electronics where high reliability and safety are critical. The Xpedition rigid-flex technology enables a streamlined design process from initial stack-up creation through manufacturing.

Engineers can design complex rigid and flex PCBs in a fully supported 3D environment (3D design and verification—not just a 3D view), resulting in a correct-by-construction methodology for optimum reliability and product quality. 3D verification ensures that bends are in the right position, and elements on the board do not interfere with folding; this can be reviewed early in the design stage to prevent costly redesigns. Users can then export a 3D solid model to MCAD for efficient bi-directional PCB-enclosure co-design.

Integration with Mentor’s HyperLynx high-speed analysis technology enables optimization of signal and power integrity across complex rigid-flex stack-up structures. For fabrication preparation, the Xpedition flow provides all flex and rigid information using the ODB++ common data format.

The rigid-flex stack-up is defined with unique outlines for each region, enabling simpler design changes than stack-up by zone. Standard flex materials (e.g. laminates, ‘embedded’ or ‘bikini’ cover layers, stiffeners, adhesives, etc.) can be included in the stack-up. The flex-aware signal and power integrity analysis supports accurate modelling of interconnect as it passes through different stack-up regions.

Visit Mentor Graphics at www.mentor.com