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Engineering/Technical Placement Specialists


there is (was?) a special offer in connection with an OrCAD PCB license.
Buy OrCAD, though you don't need it, and get it in a package with SPECCTRA
for about $15K (without FST option, though). As far as I know, FST option
for this package is another $20K. There is no limitation of SPECCTRA, i.e.
you can strip off the OrCAD part (actually I didn't install it at all) and
still have a fully functional SPECCTRA.
This was a special offer for American customers, but we achieved in
negotiations with Cadence that their German distributor was able to sell
the package at a comparable price.


Gisbert Auge

                    Price"               An:     "'Protel EDA Forum'" 
                    <GordonP@Loro        Kopie:                                        
                    nix.com>             Thema:  Re: [PEDA] Spectra Interface to 99SE  
                    antworten an                                                       
                    "Protel EDA                                                        

     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
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
     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
shop and our company makes me wear a dozen hats or so. I even have to
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

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,
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
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
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
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
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
and Spectra routiing   Spectra is really happy with these superfast
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
Frederick MD

----- Original Message -----
From: Gordon Price <[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
> 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
> 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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