Keysight Introduces signal integrity simulation software for quick diagnosis

Hardware engineers can use the EP-Scan digital simulation tool which provides electrical performance to perform quick diagnostics and remove the verification bottleneck, said Keysight Technologies.

The high speed digital simulation tool supports rapid signal integrity (SI) analysis. After completing a PCB design, hardware engineers hand the design over to SI specialists to validate its performance before going to prototype. SI specialists perform simulations on a large number of nets, which can take days to weeks to complete. This means hardware engineers have difficulty predicting how much analysis time it will take to find errors or performance issues in the design and this uncertainty about the length of the SI analysis phase creates a bottleneck in the design cycle and delays time-to-market, explained Keysight.

EP-Scan addresses SI analysis bottlenecks by giving hardware designers diagnostic tools to correct designs earlier and meet development schedules. As a standalone software product, EP-Scan performs electromagnetic simulation on signal nets and reports SI metrics such as channel return and insertion loss. It also automates performance comparisons between different versions of a design and generates simulation reports that expedite verification prior to building expensive physical prototypes.

“Our goal with EP-Scan is to ‘shift left’ the PCB design verification process by using early simulation to detect and correct errors, giving hardware designers the confidence to move forward and obtain first pass success,” said Tim Wang-Lee, PhD, product marketing manager at Keysight. “EP-Scan empowers hardware engineers by maximising their productivity,” he added.

EP-Scan requires only the layout geometry and substrate stack-up information for the PCB design as inputs. After engineers specify the desired nets for investigation, EP-Scan reports simulation results including the characteristic impedance and delay of traces, return loss, insertion loss and impedance time-domain reflectometry (TDR). By analysing common fabrication formats such as ODB++, EP-Scan shows engineers the performance of the design as it would be when fabricated.

Keysight delivers design and validation to help accelerate innovation. Its dedication to speed and precision extends to software-driven insights and analytics that bring tomorrow’s technology products to market faster across the development lifecycle, in design simulation, prototype validation, automated software testing, manufacturing analysis, and network performance optimisation and visibility in enterprise, service provider and cloud environments. 

The company’s customers span the worldwide communications and industrial ecosystems, aerospace and defence, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics markets.

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