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PCB 'synthesis' product automates component placement

Posted: 02 Feb 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:carnegie mellon university? cmu? circuitspace? pcb synthesis tool? pcb?

A startup launched by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) researchers is preparing CircuitSpace, a PCB "synthesis" tool that claims to be the first to bring user-assisted automated component placement to PCB designers. By so doing, DesignAdvance Systems Inc. claims it can reduce PCB design time by up to 50 percent.

DesignAdvance announced early this week that it has formed an alpha test program with four partners, and will launch CircuitSpace at the PCB Design Conference West March 7, 2005. The partners are Compunetix Inc., EMA Design Automation, Laurel Networks and Marconi Corp.

CircuitSpace lets designers specify constraints, design rule checks (DRCs), and electrical rule checks (ERCs). It provides automatic and interactive constraint-driven component placement, automatic bypass capacitor assignment, channel or port duplication, automatic clustering of critical components and support circuitry, and design reuse with a module library.

Optimization algorithms can consider multiple constraints, including signal propagation delays, fixed component relationships, component orientation, component symmetry, component height, thermal restrictions, manufacturability and electrical requirements.

To create CircuitSpace, DesignAdvance licensed two patented platform technologies, including five patents, developed at CMU. The company has received $2.4 million in research funding from the National Science Foundation and commercial companies including United Technologies, General Motors, Ford and Daimler Chrysler.

Randy Eager, DesignAdvance CEO and co-founder, was a licensing officer in the technology transfer office at CMU. He previously worked at BASF and electronic packaging startup TriTech Group, and spent five years as a management consultant.

Inventors of the DesignAdvance technology include co-founders and lead scientists Jay McCormack and Chandan Aladahalli, both recent CMU PhDs. Co-founder and chief technologist Jonathan Cagan is a professor of mechanical engineering at CMU.

- Richard Goering

EE Times

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