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Here at Nine Dot Connects, we believe that having the right tools brings efficiency to the entire design process. Though EDA tools tend to be the centerpiece of the process, there are useful products beyond EDA tools' capabilities. We sell and support our own product, L9, and we have partnered with the following companies:




For several years, we have seen our fair share of unusable library workflows. L9 Manager was created to address the flow that all designers use when creating new components. It was designed to allow for easy access to the database without complex licensing or installation requirements. It was designed to minimize the typing and entry steps that make databases so arduous and error-prone. It was designed to allow designers to continue their work while enjoying the benefits of a well-organized and structured library. In short, it was designed to provide component management without the need for database management for the entire engineering organization regardless of where they are physically located.



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SolidWorks is well known for its 3D CAD tool SOLIDWORKS. Now they introduced their own ECAD products called SOLIDWORKS PCB and SOLIDWORKS PCB Connector. They are designed to work seamlessly with the 3D CAD so that ECAD and MCAD worlds to pass information back and forth in real-time.

The need for tight integration between ECAD and MCAD has increased dramatically. Because consumers expect their electronics to be within challenging physical dimensions, no design or mechanical space can be wasted. Companies that produce these goods demand electrical and mechanical assemblies at the lowest possible total cost.



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In-Circuit Design: Stackup Planner - Every EDA tool has the ability to declare a layer stack up, and most do a decent job in providing the stack up in some form of documentation. The iCD stack up tool, which contains a 3D field solver, allows the user the ability to determine the impedances of traces based upon the dielectric being used, the use of copper planes, the layer heights, the solder mask thickness, and the width and clearance spacing of the traces. The accuracy of the iCD tool rivals that of many higher-priced 3D field solvers! Also, the tool is capable of assisting in calculating flight times and matched delays.

iCD also provides the PDN Planner, a Power Distribution Network tool that allows the user to evaluate the board's potential for AC power noise. Using the capacitor library provided in the tool, the frequencies that may likely cause these AC impedance noises can be suppressed.



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Zuken E3 - All too often, engineers use drawing tools that are not suited for system and cabling design work. Using tools like PowerPoint or Visio may provide a visual representation; however, the design components have no intelligent data assigned to them. EDA schematic editing tools are also used because, in many ways, one can use such tools in an off-label fashion to pull something together. However, EDA tools are geared for components associated with a PCB and inter-connectivity associated with copper. Drawing cables with any intelligent data can be tricky, at best.

Zuken E3 tool suite was specifically designed for system-level engineering. In addition to making cables and harnesses, E3 is suitable for any project beyond the PCB. From household appliances to automobiles and aircraft, the E3 tool is for projects with a lot to be brought together.



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Desktop EDA - In the past 10 years, one of the biggest innovations in PCB design is EDA tools' ability to interact with MCAD tools through the STEP format. This interaction not only allows for 3D component and PCB representations to be passed between the mechanical and electrical tools, but it also allows both of these fundamentally different worlds the ability to communicate and work out the optimal board shape and component real estate. STEP has its limitations. It is a very inefficient format, and most MCAD tools convert STEP into their proprietary format. Due to its size, features such as silkscreen and traces are not generated with the STEP.

Desktop EDA brings several innovations to the table. First, it provides a real-time bridge that allows both the electrical and mechanical teams to pass the design back and forth in real-time. Second, Desktop EDA allows for the exportation of silks and copper traces.



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