Cadence PCB success stories

Polycom and Cadence

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The Customer Founded in 1990 and headquartered in San Jose, California, Polycom helps organizations unleash the power of human collaboration. More than 400,000 companies and institu- tions worldwide defy distance with secure video, voice, and content solutions from Polycom to increase productivity, speed time to market, provide better customer service, expand education, and save lives. Greg Rousch, one of the company's engineering managers, heads a team that develops the hardware for video confer- encing and conference room phones. Key Challenges For years, Rousch's team had been manually routing the PCB boards that go into Polycom's conferencing phones. The team also lacked an effective design constraint capture capability. Explained Rousch, "Our circuit designer would write down a list of layout instructions containing loose guidance of what the layout guy was supposed to do, without rigorous design constraints. We develop complex boards, with as many as 18 layers and thousands of nets. These boards took quite a while to route by hand. Frequently, we would get to the last five percent of nets and have problems closing the routing." Along with this process came doubts around the signal integrity of the designs. Signoff on a layout was a very manual process, with the engineers wading through thousands of nets to make sure they were following certain design rules. "We were always worried we'd miss things," said Rousch. To keep up with product refresh cycles as well as quality expectations, the team decided it was time to move to auto- routing of their PCB boards. The Solution and Results Polycom is a long-time Cadence ® customer, using tools including OrCAD ® Capture CIS for schematic design entry and synchronization/validation of parts data and Allegro ® PCB Designer for constraint-driven design. In their search for an auto-routing tool, Rousch and his team simply asked their Cadence representative, who turned the team on to DFM, a Cadence PCB design services bureau. The DFM consultant helped the team improve its design constraint process and skills and also suggested Allegro PCB Router for auto-routing. "With auto-routing, we certainly got through routing quicker, and spent more time upfront entering design constraints and doing the process of correct-by-construction," said Rousch. "Allegro PCB Router helped us shave off a few weeks of Shaving Weeks Off PCB Design Cycle Via Auto-Routing Polycom and Cadence Challenges • Automate PCB design routing for faster time to market • Continually enhance quality of PCB designs • Identify more detailed design constraints Cadence Solution • Allegro PCB Router • Allegro PCB Designer • OrCAD Capture CIS Lessons Learned • Spend more upfront time capturing design intent • Have design constraints in place before placing the board Results • 10% faster time to market for boards, with 25% faster PCB design cycle • $50K saved annually through greater layout design efficiencies, which eliminates need to hire outside layout staff during busy cycles • Ability to perform "what if" analysis, resulting in better quality boards • Achieving higher quality avoids the tens of thousands of dollars that could be spent in the event of a respin • Better alignment between industrial and mechanical design phases contributes to better product quality

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