Minimize Iterations for Rigid-Flex Designs

Rigid-flex PCBs comprised of rigid and flexible substrates laminated together are inside a variety of small electronic products. Flexible PCBs (flex/rigid-flex) make it possible to create a variety of products that require small form factors and light weight, such as wearable, mobile, military, and medical devices. The Cadence® OrCAD® 17.2-2016 release enables several new capabilities for flex and rigid-flex design to minimize design iterations and lower overall cost for flex and rigid-flex designs commonly used in automotive, consumer electronics, computing, communications, mobile and wearable applications.

Key Flex and Rigid-Flex Features:

Stack-Up by Zone for Flex and Rigid-Flex Designs

Multiple zones can be created using the new Cross Section Editor to represent rigid-flex-rigid PCBs. A physical zone is used to map an area of the design to one of the stack-ups created in the Cross Section Editor. Zones automatically include associated keepouts and optional constraint regions and rooms. In-design rules coupled with this enhanced definition ensure that the design is correct by construction. An accurate definition of rigid-flex-rigid design can also be passed on to MCAD systems using IDX data exchange, eliminating unnecessary MCAD-ECAD iterations.

Interlayer Checks for Rigid-Flex Designs

The number of conductive and non-conductive layers on flex and rigid-flex designs are increasing as the fabrication industry innovates to meet customer needs. This explosion of different types of materials and associated rules that are imposed on designers is increasing the amount of work PCB designers have to do to leverage the advances in rigid-flex technology.

The OrCAD PCB Designer 17.2-2016 release introduces new in-design inter-layer checks that provide the ability to check geometries between two different layers. In typical PCB designs, various masks and surface finishes require verification of proper clearances and coverage. Rigid-flex designs not only have the same mask and surface finish requirements, but also the addition of bend areas, stiffeners, and so on, which require special clearances or overlaps of materials, spacing, and design features. These objects that are represented on different subclasses require verification between these layers, and this capability is now supported using the inter-layer checks capabilities.

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