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PCB design software learning method
PCB News
PCB design software learning method

PCB design software learning method


The process and methods of PCB board software learning are summarized as follows, hoping to be helpful to novices.


(1) Learning documentation

The documentation includes the help files in the software and professional Chinese learning materials. In the help file, cadence is not very easy to understand. After reading the Chinese introduction materials, it is easy to understand; mentor is very good, detailed and relatively easy to understand. But you have to be super good in English. Among the professional Chinese learning materials, candence is quite abundant at present, which are everywhere on the Internet. There are mainly ZTE training materials (15.7), and there are also many books (currently only see 16.2), super detailed, and also written by netizens. The simple materials of mentor have basic concepts after reading these; relatively few mentor, the Chinese materials that come out are all popular science, simple and impractical, almost all of them are WG2005 (such as Zhou Runjing's book), EE7.9.2 It's almost impossible to see.

(2) Learning video materials

Cadence's video material is mainly from Dr. Yu, which is very classic. Unfortunately, the schematic diagram is about Design Entry CIS, and there is no Design Entry HDL. But it's okay. After watching this video, there is basically no obstacle to making a PCB board. I copy these videos to my mobile phone, watch and listen whenever I have time (communication, business trips), and it is very effective.

Mentor’s video material may be produced by Mentor, which is too simple, impractical, and has no sound. No sound, no matter how good the video material is. After watching this video, I know a little bit, but I don’t know what I understand. So all look at the help documentation.

(3) Learn from others to draw PCB

At present, the PCBs drawn by netizens are basically available in all major forums. Let's take a look and learn for reference. Look at a few, you can understand the PCB style of different software.

(4) Compared with the PCB software familiar before

In the process of learning some, I compared the familiar AD with Cadence 16.5 and Mentor EE7.9.2, mainly the basic concepts and terminology that everyone shared, thinking and comparing, so that I have a reference and foundation when learning. Not to be vague and at a loss. In fact, the basic concepts are the same. The difference lies in the way of implementation, the pros and cons of functions, and the operating style. Of course, it may be that these differences have brought us different efficiency, quality and fun in developing PCBs.

Functional differences, such as human-computer interaction, SI, PI, EMI, etc., are mixed when drawing lines, but of course there are more. But the most annoying thing is that cadence and Mentor have the same function and have to use a different term (maybe to avoid plagiarism). High-end software algorithms may be better, but to do a good job PCB requires a lot of difficult projects to set up, which requires a lot of professional knowledge; low-end software can't be said to be wrong, it can be used anyway, with few settings, and easy operation. It's more foolish, but for high-speed PCB, it really depends on your own experience, and it feels like a fate (personal feeling).

In terms of operating style, AD, Cadence, and Mentor EE are really different, which is closely related to their respective development history. The operation of AD is more friendly and handy, which may be related to the earliest learning. No matter what the function is, it must be admitted that it does have good operability. I learned cadence some time ago, but the operation was not smooth. For example, choosing a painted Cline. According to AD’s habit, I didn’t select it for an hour or two. Finally, I saw the explanation of enthusiastic netizens on the forum. The space bar in AD is very useful, cadence is not friendly. After getting used to the cadence style, using Mentor was troublesome again. Pulling a line in the schematic diagram turned out to be directly pulling the net, and the first net only used the avoid method, and it took 1 day to understand; because Mentor's operating style is similar to autocad It's a bit similar, but fortunately autocad has been used before, so it didn't take as much effort as learning cadence. Of course, the three softwares have their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on whether they meet their actual needs. High, medium, and low-end have their needs, and they also have different learning fun.

In short, learning PCB software requires constant comparison during learning. Once it is similar to a previously familiar software operation and function, it is necessary to think deeply about repeated actual combat, and it will soon be on the road.

(5) Improve PCB level by learning some SI and PI simulations

Only by doing SI and PI simulations can PCB software learning be advanced, which in turn promotes the level of PCB. You will learn a lot of terms and concepts, such as pad knowledge, board layer knowledge, termination knowledge, and so on. More importantly, after doing SI and PI, you will have a comprehensive understanding of plate making, and the board quality design will be more guaranteed.

The SI of AD is integrated with the schematic and PCB, and I have used it several times; maybe I didn’t use it well, but the Thevenin terminal was added to the simulation (100MHz), but the actual debugging effect can’t come out. Re-make the plate with experience, without simulation, it can be done in one adjustment. Since then, I haven't used AD to simulate again, maybe I am limited.

Cadence's SI is quite good, the entire software integration design is in place, SigXplore is convenient and quick to extract the topology structure, and the passive model generation is also convenient. It's quick to get started, imitate the front and back in one go, and the waveform is displayed for the first time, which feels good. EMC and simple timing simulation are okay. Complex timing simulation requires processing skills.

Mentor's SI and Hyperlynx are also very useful, but they need to be installed independently, not integrated with EE, the interface feels not as good as cadence, and the simulation effect is also good. EMC simulation has characteristics, but unfortunately there is no timing simulation. I haven't seen how to extract the topology yet. There seems to be a reminder that there is no wiring during the previous simulation, which is one of the differences from the previous simulation of cadence SI.