EMA Design Automation has just added five new apps to the Cadence OrCad Capture Marketplace. These apps are small additions that add big features for printed-circuit-board design teams and they help to automate several chores that all such teams must perform. For example, the Test Point Annotator app allows a pcb designer to back-annotate a schematic with test points previously drawn on the pcb layout.
This sort of thing happens all the time. A circuit designer will come in, point to a spot on a pcb layout, and say “I need a test point here.” The pcb layout designer will duly add the test point. There’s no real component there, just a new feature to be etched in the copper of the pcb. Nevertheless, manufacturing and test technicians need to see which nodes on a pcb have test points and they need to see the names of those test points. They also want to see those same names on the schematic. Hence the Test Point annotator app. Here’s a very short video that shows you how this all works:
Another new EMA app, named CircuitFit, automates yet another common task. This app allows the design engineer developing a schematic for a pcb to perform early analysis to ensure that a selected component will actually fit in the space designated on the pcb. Unfortunately, physical interference between on-board components isn’t all that uncommon in pcb design, especially with the explosive proliferation of component package styles. There’s likely not a designer out there that has not encountered this problem at least once. The earlier a designer can discover a physical interference problem, the easier the problem is to fix.
A related EMA app, called CIP in CIS, allows OrCad users to make component sourcing decisions using EMA’s Component Information Portal while staying inside of the OrCad Capture CIS (component information system). Again, this is a time-saving app that allows designers to use OrCad Capture as more of a cockpit for their design decisions.
The OrCad Capture Marketplace was announced back in May. (See “Apps for EDA?”) It includes a store where OrCad users can download free and paid apps to enhance and customize OrCad Capture from within the tool itself. There is now a clickable store tab on the OrCad Capture start page that automatically opens the online store.