e-5d are specialised in PCB simulation design services.
As digital designs have become faster and silicon densities have increased, Signal Integrity (SI), Power Integrity(PI) and Thermal performance have become critical issues. e-5d have made significant investments in 2D and 3D simulation tools to address these issues. These tools allow us to identify and solve problems ‘Up front’ while still in the design phase, increasing ‘Right First Time’ design performance and reducing overall development cost.
e-5d leverages the advantages of simulation in its product design by adding two additional processes, Pre-Design Analysis and Post-Design Analysis.
This process starts before the PCB design has started and looks at the fundamentals of the design. Using simulation tools we are able to optimise the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) layer stack to achieve good Signal Integrity/Power Integrity and minimise electro-magnetic emissions. We also conduct ‘What if’ analysis to optimise circuit layout and terminations and then to determine the required Power Distribution Network (PDN) impedance targets and identify decoupling capacitors and values. Once these have been established we then use the tools to convert electrical specification (e.g. overshoot, undershoot, crosstalk, skew etc.) into physical specification and create clear and concise PCB design constraints ‘Up Front’ that ensure the required performance levels are achieved. This helps to reduce late design changes, layout time and improve ‘Right First Time’ performance.
This process starts during and then finishes after the PCB design has been complete. During the design it often becomes apparent that it is not always possible to achieve all the design constraints (specified during pre-design analysis). Where compromises have been made simulations can be re-run to determine if these cause problems and used to determine possible countermeasures. Once the PCB has been finalised, critical circuits are simulated to confirm that the electrical specifications have been achieved and all the results are compiled into a Signal Integrity Report. This is then used by design Engineers as part of the PCB sign off process. All this significantly reduces design uncertainty and improved ‘Right First Time’ performance.
A ‘front-loaded design approach seeks to reduce development time and cost by shifting the identification and solving of design problems to earlier phases of product development’ . This approach improves ‘Right First Time’ performance. e-5D utilise advanced simulation tools and techniques to achieve this.
Problem Solution Costs and Development Stage
Comparison of Design Methodologies
Cut & Try Design Methodology
As designs have become more complicated and the use of high speed digital technologies are widespread, the cost of building prototypes has become very significant. The drive to achieve high speed operation has driven down components geometries, making it increasingly difficult to measure, fault-find and fix problems. In some cases the only way to fix the problem is to re-spin the prototype. This methodology relies heavily on post design verification to identify and solve problems. This can be problematic often causing ‘cascade’ issues (problems hiding problems) that lead to late design changes, schedule delays, problems being leaked into production and significant cost over runs.
 Shortening Product Development Time Through “Front-loading” Problem-Solving. Stephan Thomke (Harvard University), Takahiro Fuijimoto (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.)