Using Gerber for Electrical Modeling in Ansoft

For Immediate Release

April 30, 2003

Santa Cruz, CA - Artwork Conversion has released NETEX-G, a software program that reads the Gerber data for an IC package or a PCB, builds up the connectivity in 3D and outputs an Ansoft Neutral File

3D view of package nets

This image was created by taking NETEX-G's ASCII output, bringing it into AutoCAD as 3D elements using the NETEX-IN module and rendering it in AutoCAD. The heights of the vias were exaggerated to make the 3D image easier to visualize.

As circuits get faster, the need to do careful detailed electrical simulation using the exact layout increases. Several PCB layout tools have direct interfaces to Ansoft but there are many more that do not have such interfaces. Getting the data into the Ansoft family of signal integrity tools (SI) can be very difficult and labor intensive.

NETEX-G steps into this gap by using Gerber data - every PCB layout tool outputs Gerber data since this is the basic data needed to produce the circuit board. Using the Gerber data and the drill files (to build up the via interconnections) NETEX-G builds up the connectivity between pads, traces, areas and vias to produce a 3D model of the circuit board. This information is then formatted into Ansoft's Neutral File format which can be read into various signal integrity tools including SpiceLink, SiWave and HFSS.

Gerber inputs are converted to Ansoft's ANF file format

NETEX-G also addresses the problem of too much data. Field simulators are not intended to simultaneously analyze hundreds of nets over an entire board -- generally this would require hours and hours of simulation time. Instead, a designer picks several critical nets to simulate. NETEX-G enables a designer to specify one or more nets and will extract only those nets along with nearby conductors that "influence" the selected nets.

NETEX-G runs on Windows NT/2000/XP and is available for immediate shipment. NETEX-G is priced at $4995 for a node locked license; floating licenses cost an additional 15%.

For more Information


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Steve DiBartolomeo
Applications Manager
(831) 426-6163

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