Hyperlynx  sells a signal integrity/emi tool that is supposed to be great.
I Use it before layout only, to set trace widths and look at signals vs
diferent termination schemes.

I have yet to successfully use the signal integrity tools in Protel.  They
don't seem, to be its shining star.  The basic layout, and auto-router are
OK, but certainly not up to Specctra standards.

In summary,  I think that the schamtic entry and board layout functionality
of Protel is as good as anything I have seen, and by reading the
correspondence on this list would say that the more expensive packages are
not better in this respect.   On the other hand, the addition of Specctra is
wise for auto-routing.  Do any other basic layout packages do a better
auto-routing job?

Just as a place to say this, I wish that there was a way that good FPGA
tools were integrated w/ the schematic capture, package (w/ good footprints
avail for layout).  I spend most of my time enterering 200+ pin symbols into
the schematic library, just to have to change them manually when I rev the


-----Original Message-----
From: Darryl Newberry [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2001 12:49 PM
To: 'Protel EDA Forum'
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Signal Integrity dialog locks up.

OK, thanks everybody for your input on this issue. The list is a really
great resource.

The reality is I have about 6 board designs that have to go out for fast
turn proto this week and hopefully go into a commercial UL/FCC/CE/USB ready
product by September. I don't know what all YOU people do all day long, but
my boss doesn't want me to sit on my fat hairy ass for hours waiting for
$8000 bloatware to complete basic signal analysis. (No offense to those
whose bosses do--and please tell me where to send my resume! ;-) )

In summary, after using Protel for about 4 weeks to TRY to get a lot of real
work done, I have formed the opinion that it just basically sucks--lots of
cutesy trees, tabs, windows, icons and menus, lots of feature-itis, but not
much real engineering guts or ease of use. THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES!!! And
yes I CAN talk because I've spent the last 10 years designing various
commercial products with P-Cad, PADS, Accel/Tango EDA, and now Protel. About
the only positive thing I can say about Protel right now is that I am glad
that I wasn't the engineer who recommended purchasing two seats.
Unfortunately I am more or less forced to use it. OK, it _is_ better than
Xacto knife, Bishop Graphics, and a light table. ;-)

My apologies to those who have an irrational emotional attachment to Protel.
When I commit $$$$, I want results. I know it's not an apples-apples
comparison, but Specctra V10 routed the entire board 100%, in 5 passes over
2 layers, with more or less fab-ready results, in about 20 seconds, using
the default configuration. This gave me a warm fuzzy feeling, even when
considering we blew almost $11K on it with all the bells and whistles.

Now for another couple of questions:
1) Can anybody recommend a professional level SI/EMI simulator add-in/on
that integrates with either Protel or Specctra--one that actually works?

2) Since I have to keep on using Protel, should I get a dual CPU
workstation? What specs for W2K?

Darryl Newberry
Hardware Engineer
Freedom Scientific, Inc
2850 SE Market Pl
Stuart FL 34997
(561) 223-6443

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