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#56DAC Update – What’s New at Concept Engineering

#56DAC Update – What’s New at Concept Engineering
by Daniel Payne on 07-02-2019 at 10:00 am

I first connected with Gerhard Angst of Concept Engineering over 15 years ago, because I was using their SpiceVision PRO tool to visual SPICE netlists received from customer designs to be debugged in a FastSPICE circuit simulator. The ability to visualize a transistor-level netlist was simply essential to quickly understanding what the topology of a totally new netlist was, without having to hand-draw it, which was never a fun or accurate process. At #56DAC I met up with the team to ask them, “What’s New this year?”

Concept Engineering, DAC56

NASA-JPL

I love all things space related, so was interested to hear about NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and how their missions to Mars and Europa, a Jupiter moon are using a couple of tools from Concept Engineering:

  • E-engine (automatic schematic generation engine for aerospace and automotive tools)
  • EEvision (visualization platform for aerospace and automotive)

Engineers at JPL follow a model-based approach that uses requirements to drive all aspects of a new design. Using E-engine and EEvision the development team members will have system and harness visualization abilities, and because the data is in the cloud they can see what they need quickly and it’s always up to date. Engineers won’t have to manually draw schematic diagrams in order to communicate with each other, because the new visualization tools will automatically generate just the portions they need to collaborate with.

NASA JPL, Europa

The specific JPL projects using these new tools include:

  • Mars Sample Return – robots collect and return samples to Earth
  • Psyche Mission – journey to a metal asteroid between Mars and Jupiter
  • Europa Clipper – does Jupiter’s moon Europa have conditions suited for life

New VISION Features

Customers are constantly asking for new features in order to save time in their engineering tasks, so with version 6.11 of the Vision products they are getting several new abilities.

  • Speed and capacity for the largest SoC designs
  • Split-screen mode for easier debug and cross-probing
  • Selected objects have more extensive reporting
  • Easier visualization of parasitic extracted netlists
  • Better drag-and-drop between apps
  • Improved parsing of Verilog and VHDL designs
  • Parsing of SPICE netlists with macro models
  • Exporting Verilog netlists better supports simulation flows
  • SPICE netlists have automatic logic recognition
StarVision
StarVision, auto-generated schematic

There are four types of Vision products, it all depends on the level of engineering abstraction that you’re working on:

Summary

The team at Concept Engineering has been busy over the past year and continue to expand the product features of their VISION tools, and the aerospace engineers at NASA-JPL are more effective in their tasks by using more automation instead of manual methods. Visualizing your designs can be quickly done at various levels of abstraction: transistor, gate, RTL. Documentation for service personnel is made easier by always being up to date, instead of behind several versions, because the auto-generated schematics are created directly from the CAD design data.

Service Application
Schematic created directly from CAD design data

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