VSure DFM : A series of articles on best practice - Part 2

VSure DFM : A series of articles on best practice - Part 2

This article is part 2 of a series that is intended as an introduction to the process flow of performing DFM Analysis using the Mentor vSure product.


This part will focus on the different data formats that can be imported into the application to create an ODB++ design database. In general we define two types of data: Intelligent and Non-Intelligent.


Intelligent data is data coming from the EDA systems and will contain objects like components, padstacks, traces and netnames. After the translation into ODB++ the vSure application allows an engineer to see the same type of objects allowing for ease-of-use. vSure supports a wide range of EDA systems either by importing CAD native formats or by importing the ODB++ that was created directly out of the EDA system. As an example we will explain the import of a PADS design in .asc format using a few screenshots starting with the EDA import window, the EDA Interface.



After selecting the EDA source, the path of the .asc file, the job and step name the [Translate] button will translate the PADS .asc file into an ODB++ job which can be viewed by opening the Graphic Editor.



The engineer can display a layer from the buildup like e.g. the components top, select a component and see specific information in the gray line in the bottom of the screenshot. Refdes, Part Number, CAD Package, Number of Pins, XY location, Length and Width, Height, Rotation and Pin Pitch. Selecting a component pad and requesting information will show meaning full information :


Information that we have selected pin number 24 of component U37 connected to netname +5V.


Un-Intelligent data is data in vector format like Gerber, HPGL or Excellon drill where we see a sequence of single entity definitions composing a single layer of information. An external source is needed to determine the use of such single layer. Sometimes this is the filename or a readme.txt document. Once unintelligent data is imported into the vSure an engineer must use functions to identify those single layers e.g. what is signal or what is soldermask from with the Graphic Editor. As an example we imported a set of gerber files and see that the layer buildup is in alphabetic filename order.


When we display the layer with the name top.gbr and selecting the same element as in the previous example so U37 pin 24 will show far less information.


The selected element has the information that it is an oval pad at an XY location.


Furthermore we can notice that the layer buildup is in the filename order and that an engineer has to do some work to cleanup this buildup, to cleanup the ODB job matrix.


Besides the previously explained data formats like EDA and Gerber some other formats can be imported like :

  • DXF
  • DPF
  • IPC-356 Netlist
  • Gencad
  • FABmaster FATF
  • IDF


Next month we will continue with the description of the ODB++