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Altera kit empowers engineers using Mentor tool

Posted: 27 Sep 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mentor graphics? altera? stratix gx design kit? icx? signal integrity analysis tool?

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced the availability of the Altera Stratix GX design kit for ICX. The new design kit allows engineers using the Mentor Graphics ICX signal integrity (SI) analysis tool to perform full-board analysis on designs featuring the high-speed serial I/O technology of the Altera Stratix GX devices faster than previously possible with SPICE-based simulation techniques.

Touted to be the industry's first SI design kit for high-speed serial interface (HSSI) to incorporate IBIS 4.1 compliant IEEE standard VHDL-AMS behavioral models, the Altera Stratix GX design kit provides the flexibility to model the configurability of the Stratix GX HSSI and simulate with the accuracy of SPICE. According to a press release from Mentor, the design kit utilizes the strength of Mentor's ICX SI analysis solution for high-speed PCB designs, the first of its kind to support SPICE, IBIS and IEEE Standard VHDL-AMS in a single simulation environment.

By utilizing the IBIS 4.1 syntax, the Stratix GX design kit allows the VHDL-AMS (and original SPICE) models to be used with an IBIS 4.1 compliant simulation tool with the same convenience and simplicity SI engineers have come to expect from IBIS models and specialized SI tools.

"This ICX design kit for the Stratix GX family will provide designers with higher performance alternatives to existing SI options," commented John Isaac, director of market development for Mentor's Systems Design Division. "Previously, these options were available only by purchasing a stand-alone SPICE package, learning the complex SPICE language and generating time-consuming simulations. Because of the unique language support offered by ICX, this design kit combines the speed associated with IBIS and the accuracy of SPICE."

The new design kit allows designers to analyze large design spaces in a short period of time. After an initial analysis, a designer can test "what if" scenarios on a variety of permutations of multi-gigabit transceiver configurations. The kit also brings all the benefits of ICX to designers, including floor-planning, full-board analysis and electrical constraint driven routing, allowing the user to examine different placement and routing strategies for the high speed channel.

Mentor added that the Stratix GX design kit contains all the building blocks required to model a designer's own system by allowing incremental verification of the real design as it progresses through placement, routing and final verification.

The Altera Stratix GX design kit for ICX is available immediately, free of charge to Mentor's customers and can be accessed through the High-Speed Resource Center on the company's website. In addition to the design kit, Mentor also supplies footprints and sample breakouts for all the Stratix GX packages, as well as a copy of the Stratix GX reference design formatted for use with the Mentor's DxDesigner, PADS and Expedition PCB design flows.

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