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  1. Technology
April 4, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

The UK arm of the US electronic design automation specialist, Mentor Graphics Ltd in Bracknell, Berkshire, has announced a veritable sackful of new design tools. First, airflow modelling has been added to its existing thermal analysis software AutoTherm. It can now predict the velocity distribution and temperature of airflow within an electronic package via a range of temperature maps. Then comes ProtoTherm, a thermal analysis tool for electronic engineers designing printed circuit boards, enabling evaluation of the thermal performance of designs early in the development process. ProtoTherm is compatible with AutoTherm, costs UKP14,000 and is available now. Mentor’s electronic packaging and analysis system – Package System – has been enhanced with the addition of an AutoSurface feature. This automatically creates shaded images and models with hidden lines removed from wireframe models, making it easier to visualise on screen designs. It generates models that can be viewed from different perspectives and with different light sources. AutoSurface is now included in Package Station and can be added to 3D Design for UKP5,200. Also unveiled was Analogue Station, a new member if Mentor’s IDEA Series of engineering workstations, combining Apollo Computer kit with new a proprietary analogue simulator and library – AccuSim and AccuLib. Schematic capture and documentation tools, and the Monte Carlo statistical package are also bundled in with Analogue Station, which is shipping from the third quarter of this year. Adding AccuSim to an existing IDEA Series workstation is UKP15,000. AccuLib costs UKP4,200 with quarterly updates, and a Monte Carlo upgrade is UKP5,200. AccuSim, AccuLib and Monte Carlo are available from this month. If all this was not enough Mentor has also introduced QuickGrade, a statistical fault grading tool for the evaluation of simulation and test stimulus. It is intended to complement QuickFault, Mentor’s deterministic fault simulator. Allowing designers to quickly develop and analyse test vectors as part of the design process, QuickGrade supports multi level modelling methodologies and provides a list of undetected faults and an estimate of overall fault coverage. Finally, System-1076, claimed to be the first implementation of the IEEE-Std 1076, or Very High Speed Integrated Circuit hardware description language, integrated within a complete electronic design automaton environment was announced. System-1076 integrates a VHDL analyser and interactive source code debugger with the same graphical interface and database as Mentor’s existing design and analysis tools. The environment also includes a graphical editor for architectural design, and enables designers to move from one level of design to another. Prices for System-1076 start at UKP17,200. The first release begins shipping in the third quarter, a second version incorporating the architectural editor will be available early next year. The ability to run a compiled VHDL model is to be a free enhancement for any of Mentor’s IdeaStations.

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