When designing next-generation products, the common theme is "faster, smaller, cheaper". When that is combined with longer battery life and lower power consumption requirements, the design challenges can be daunting. And one thing you know for sure, the project schedule is not going to be extended to allow you to overcome all these challenges.
It certainly makes sense that every electronic product designer has a tool that enables analysis of the power delivery network. While components can tolerate certain fluctuations in power and ground rails, there are limits to that tolerance. Having planes that are so heavily perforated that they look like Swiss cheese and scraping away at fill areas to make room for signal routing are only going to exasperate the voltage fluctuations. But when you're under the pressures of "faster, smaller, cheaper", these are the compromises that need to be evaluated.
DC power analysis, also known as IR drop analysis, is commonly the first tool electronic product designers will turn to when facing these challenges. However, one common complaint has been that the analysis is done at a static temperature. With the current returning through perforated planes and choke areas (neck down areas) in the plane, the current density and, therefore, temperature, are going to be higher than in other portions of the PCB where these conditions do not exist. So, analyzing IR drop at a static ambient temperature can lead to inaccurate IR drop predictions. Fortunately, there is a new trend, led by Cadence Sigrity PowerDC, where IR drop analysis is done concurrently with thermal analysis. This allows the tool to predict the correct DC voltage drop based on the operating temperature of that region of the electronic product's PCB. In addition to electrical-thermal co-simulation, Sigrity PowerDC is now capable of analyzing multi-board configurations. So products that have memory cards attached can have the full system power delivery network analyzed.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in learning more about, please watch the 11-minute demonstration video here.
We hope you found the demonstration informative. Sigrity PowerDC has been addressing complex power integrity problems for years, and continues to advance as a member of the Cadence Allegro Sigrity Integration (ASI) 16.6.1 product release.
Please do tell us about your experiences with PowerDC.