Mike,
        Thanks for the answer. This is also to Ivan who asked me a question
about how large my design is. The answer to that question is that it is a
small physical design but TOO DENSE FOR PROTEL'S ROUTER.(1000 traces, 1500
vias) It is a PCI card with a couple of DSP's and 12 layers and a lot of 16
and 32 bit data busses. It really is not a large part count, but has a lot
of surface mounts. We are experimenting with some new CADENCE STYLE
footprints on surface mounts that may help out the auto-router by having
adjacent thru-hole pads next to each surface mounted fill area(pad). We did
this on BGA's and it really helped Protel's router out.
        The Protel auto-router just gives up completely part way through the
final routing stages, maybe 95% done. One of my big beefs with Protel's
router is that most of the rules are not actually followed when established,
but only flagged for DRC review. At this point, everything is usually so
screwed up that you can't manually find a solution either.
        Mike, how did you buy SPECTRA without getting the full dog and pony
show that they try to jam in your ear?? They want $50k per year just to get
started. Is there a back door way to get SPECTRA  at a more reasonable
price??
        Mike, I agree about a good engineer. Unfortunately, I am both the
engineer and the designer and have to live with my own messes. We are an R&D
shop and our company makes me wear a dozen hats or so. I even have to figure
out the device driver software ("C") and HDL glue to boot!(usually Verilog)

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Reagan [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2001 8:22 PM
To: Protel EDA Forum
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Spectra INterface to 99SE


Gordon,
I have to respond to this one.  We are designing high speed  panels for the
Telecom industry. Some of our boards are as large as 20 inch square, several
thousand components, multiple processors, FPGAs both sides, BGAs etc, I/O
count for connectors as much several thousand........all done on Protel
less the routing.   We have invested  in Spectra for routing.  but I am
confident that you probably have not exceeded Protel's limitations but the
limitation of Protel's router,   It does not work period.  ( I know some of
you guys are going to blast me for this but until you walked both sides with
Spectra and Protel, Please do not respond)    I take exception to your
comment about buying a real product like Cadence, which will not give you
any more capabiltity than you can buy in a package costing 1/5 less.   I
will also add that to make Protel a real product for serious design,
(unless you plan to spend the rest of your life manually routing) you must
purchase an full license of Spectra until Protel releases their long awaited
autorouter.  If you purchase Cadence you will spend this on the router in
any case because the basic "upgradeable or scalable" packages from Cadence
are nothing than more than novelty and introductory programs to get you by
more until you have a real package.
Your second question ...What is the best package for high speed.   The best
package is a good engineer working with a good designer.  Most of the
designers I work with couldn't tell a C from L or an R let alone from  a Z.
If you  know what I mean.  So it wouldn't matter if they were working with
Mentor or laying boards out using Autocad.

I have exported some rather large designs to spectra,   One limitation was
actually in Spectra,  Our largest designs are on E Size title blocks.
Spectra chokes at anything larger than 43 inches in size.  When we blow the
title block away, spectra worked.   So check that you have nothing outside a
40 inch area.   Also I have had problems that were previous routed then
resent to spectra. Some of the pcb files were 25 meg - 100 meg.  I never
figured the problem yet but the export function chokes when multiple planes
are assigned to the same net.  I have sent files to Protel for evaluation to
see if there is in fact a dsn write limitation.   Again this might be a
Spectra quirk, but I have not confirmed it either way.   Use plenty of RAM
512 meg min, and a good video card in your pc and Protel will  run
everything including  music in the back ground while you have Protel running
and Spectra routiing   Spectra is really happy with these superfast machines
because the engine is old Dos code made to look like windows so it doesn't
eat any resources at all.

If you need any help feel free to contact me direct

Mike Reagan
EDSI
Frederick MD
[EMAIL PROTECTED]



----- Original Message -----
From: Gordon Price <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2001 5:36 PM
Subject: [PEDA] Spectra INterface to 99SE


> Gents,
> Has anyone had good experience with exporting designs from 99SE sp6
> to SPECTRA?? If so, which SPECTRA did you use etc. Obviously I have hit
the
> wall with a large design that 99SE can't auto route. We are going to buy
> some real products that work from somebody, we just don't know if Cadence
is
> the best there is or not??
> What design package is the best for high speed, rules driven
> auto-routing??? Mentor ?? Cadence??  XXXX ??
>
>
> Thanks,
> R. Gordon Price
> Director of Research Engineering
> Loronix Information Systems, Inc.
> Del Mar CA
> (858) 523-9424
>

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