Mentor Graphics Releases New Acceleration and Vibration Simulation Tool for PCB Design
Erin Winick posted on March 22, 2017 |

Mentor Graphics Corporation has announced its new Xpedition vibration and acceleration simulation product for printed circuit board (PCB) systems reliability and failure prediction. Xpedition will allow users to augment mechanical analysis and physical testing by introducing virtual accelerated life-cycle testing earlier in the design process. This new software is targeted at product testing where harsh environments can compromise product performance and reliability, including the military, aerospace, automotive and industrial markets.

“Tech-Clarity research shows that higher quality and reliability have become the top ways companies are trying to differentiate their products,” Michelle Boucher, vice president of Research for Tech-Clarity, said. “With products becoming increasingly complex, engineers need better ways to efficiently improve product quality, without adding cost. Extending the virtual prototyping capabilities can be an important way to mitigate risk associated with product performance and reliability. Simulation capabilities, such as what is available in Mentor’s Xpedition, can help companies catch problems earlier to improve quality while saving time and cost by reducing physical tests.”

Figure 1. Screenshot of Xpedition vibration and acceleration simulation. (Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics Corporation.)
Figure 1. Screenshot of Xpedition vibration and acceleration simulation. (Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics Corporation.)

The Xpedition component modeling library is comprised of over 4,000 unique 3D solid models that are used to create highly defined parts for simulation. The 3D library allows users to match geometries to their 2D cell database. Designers can assemble the parts models on board and automatically mesh them for performance analysis, including stiffeners and mechanical parts. The system modeling tool can model over 1,000 components per minute.

 Figure 2. Screenshot of Xpedition vibration and acceleration simulation. (Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics Corporation.)
Figure 2. Screenshot of Xpedition vibration and acceleration simulation. (Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics Corporation.)

Some features of the new software include the ability to detect PCB components on the threshold of failure, as well as analyze pin-level Von Mises stress and deformation to determine failure probability and safety factors. Mentor’s new technology provides an automated environment that leverages a finite elements engine developed with speed in mind. The preprocessor and wizard allow for fast virtual prototyping, while the post-processor technology lets designers see high failure probability components and analyze boundary conditions, material properties and environment profiles. 

Figure 3. PCB revisions design cycle. (Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics Corporation.)
Figure 3. PCB revisions design cycle. (Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics Corporation.)

 “As leaders in their respective fields, Mentor customers constantly endeavor to implement strategic initiatives around risk mitigation through design-for-reliability solutions,” AJ Incorvaia, vice president and general manager of Mentor Graphics Board Systems Division, said. “Our new and patented Xpedition technology serves the PCB systems design community with an automated, fast, easy-to-use solution that simulates vibration in accelerated life-cycle conditions. This enables customers to quickly identify performance issues before products are committed to prototype and manufacture, thus saving time and cost while ensuring end product reliability.”

The Xpedition add-on product is available today. Additional product information can be found on the Mentor Graphics website: www.mentor.com.

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