Read Microsoft PowerPoint - Session_5_7 - A New User's Experience.ppt text version

Cadence Allegro Editor A New User's Experience (One year marinated!)

Vincent Di Lello Session Number: 5.7

September 28, 2006


About the speaker:

Vincent Di Lello, CID+ - Presently Sr. PCB Designer @ Kaleidescape, Inc. - Previously Design Director at Coretec Design Group - Co-Founder & Partner of Point To Point Designs Inc. - (23) years as a PCB Designer - (20) years as a PADS user - (1.5) years as an Allegro user

My experience so far with Allegro !!!!!!!

September 28, 2006


My experience so far .....

First .... I have lived to talk about it! Secondly .... Miraculously, there is light on the "dark side" Thirdly .... It didn't cost me an "arm and a leg" ......... ...... it cost the company I work for an "arm and a leg"!

Now for the serious part ...... Allegro.

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My workspace .....

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My keyboard .....

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My extended keyboard ..... 58 programmable keys 114 possible functions 1 key reserved for <Shift>

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Allegro .....

Allegro database structure

Individual "single" items Allows maximum flexibility Creates greatest opportunity for "accidental" problems if you are not careful Verb-Noun commands (other vendors have verb-noun & noun-verb)

Best Features


- Ability to add user defined sub-classes

Constraint Manager Export / Sub-Drawing Difficult to learn = higher $$$$

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How did I adjust .....

So what did I do?

First I familiarized myself with Allegro for about 3-4 months Asked my co-worker a lot of questions Allegro Help / Documentation self help Took the (1) week Allegro Editor hands on course Subscribed to & monitored the list server Engaged the help of a mentor (Thanks to Andrew Noonan ­ Cisco & 2005 PCB West Top Gun winner) Used SourceLink ­ Created Service Requests to see possible answers Automated as much as I could ......

....... including the following

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Allegro Automation .....

- ENV File - Keyboard Shortcuts

Single key or combinations followed by <Enter> Less used functions or windows (C+<Enter> for Color and Visibility Palette popup window)

- Function Keys

Instantaneous commands Typically for most used functions (Toggle, Next, Oops, etc.)

- Scripts

Record a linear series of repetitive routines Play back later Playback using keyboard shortcut or function key

- Menu alterations - Extracta Command - Strokes - SKILL

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Allegro Automation .....

ENV File - Example

User added "###" Denotes user added notes

Location - C:\projects\pcbenv

source $TELENV set MENUPATH = c:\projects\pcbenv $MENUPATH set allegro_long_package_name set dbsave_full_check = 1 ### The above setting does a database check every time a design is saved. 2 would equal a check every second time a job is saved, etc. alias sts replay Sector_Table_Script alias STS replay Sector_Table_Script alias Esc cancel alias F2 oops ### 1-0 functions will change the route width to units specified during an "add connect" routine (Note: I design in microns) funckey 1 options line_width 100 funckey 2 options line_width 125 alias C color alias c Color alias G100 replay Grid_100 alias g100 replay Grid_100 ### User Preferences section

Funckey does not require <Enter> and are typically accessible during the operation of another routine ­ in this example, pressing the 2 on the keyboard during an Add Connect will change the width of the route (trace, etc) to 125 units

Automatically added by system after user has changed settings in Setup/User Preferences

### This section is computer generated. ### Please do not modify to the end of the file. ### Place your hand edits above this section. ### set art_stripdirectoryname set autosave_time = 10

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Alias commands that call & replay a recorded script + <Enter>

Alias commands that require keyboard letter(s) + <Enter> 10

Allegro Automation .....

Keyboard Shortcuts ­ examples

Your keyboard can be re-programmed any way you so choose (with some exceptions) Except F1 ­ reserved for Help Except for any Allegro menu command shortcuts (such as "Z" is reserved for the Z-Copy command) All of the examples on the right are entered in ENV file F1-F12 & Insert to Delete are single key entries, all others require an <Enter> as well All (except F1-F12 & Insert to Delete) are tied to a pre-recorded script (i.e.. G25 +<Enter> will change working grid to 25 units.) Looking at my ENV file the entries are

alias G25 replay Grid_25 alias g25 replay Grid_25


Script file "Grid_25.scr" was pre-recorded and saved set scriptpath = . G:\Kaleidescape\Cadencelib\Master_Library\Scripts\

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Allegro Automation .....

Function Keys Are mainly used to easily and quickly change settings in the Options / Find / Visibility tabs of your workspace during the execution of a command (i.e., in the sample, hitting the "2" keyboard button during an Add Connect routine and the trace width will change to 25 units wide. -"funckey" entries are located in the ENV file - Experiment with different keyboard letters to suit your preference

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Allegro Automation .....


Record any linear event you like Playback later Call a script using a keyboard shortcut or funckey Invoke by menu commands File / Script Enter a name that best describes the script you are about to create in the Name: field Click on Record Perform the steps within Allegro that you wish to record When you are done, click on File/Script again and the above pop-up will come back, click on Stop (Note: this last step will not be part of the saved script) Script will be saved in the "/Physical" directory of your project Move the script to another folder if you wish to save all scripts in one location Make sure that a path for your scripts are in the ENV file set scriptpath = . G:\Kaleidescape\Cadencelib\Master_Library\Scripts\

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Allegro Automation .....

Menu Alteration

**** WARNING: Make backup copies **** File "" for Allegro Editor File "" for Symbol Editor Both files are located in folder: C:\Cadence\SPB_15.5.1\share\pcb\text\cuimenus Move altered files to another folder so that it remains constant when new versions are installed Make sure that the proper path (to the new folder) is in the ENV file

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Allegro Automation .....

Menu Alteration - Example

Main Menu header Line separating groups User added section Added items call out a pre-recorded script

"End" statement required

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Allegro Automation .....


Report program in Allegro uses a program called "Extracta" Uses text files called "command files" to extract specific reports from an Allegro ".brd" database file The output is formatted into a readable text report file Extracta program can be run from a shell (DOS) window without starting Allegro (assuming Allegro is installed) To run the program from a shell window:

Extracta <enter> Layout Name (*.brd) <Enter> enter the name of the design Command File (*.txt) <Enter> enter the name of the specific command file to extract data Output File Name (*.txt) <Enter> enter the name of the output file <Enter> invokes program


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Allegro Automation .....

Extracta Example

################# CUT HERE - DO NOT include this line ################# # COMPONENT_PIN # # Extract: refdes(sort), refdes, device_type, value, tolerance, # package, x, y, angle, mirror. # Filter for only assigned comps: REFDES != '' # REFDES_SORT REFDES PIN_NUMBER_SORT PIN_NUMBER COMP_DEVICE_TYPE PIN_TYPE PIN_NAME NET_NAME # # end of cpn_rep_view # ################# CUT HERE - DO NOT include this line #################

Copy the above text (omitting the first and last lines) and save as a text file called "Comp_data.txt" (without the quotations) Move this text file into the same directory as your test design file (.brd file) (assuming the design file is called Test.brd) Open a shell (DOS) window Navigate to the directory that contains both the design file and text file you just created Type the following in the shell window: extracta test.brd comp_data.txt output_name.txt <enter> Or each name can be entered separately followed by an <enter> as outlined in the previous slide This will generate an output text based file called "Output_name.txt" Open the file using a text editor and review

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Allegro Automation .....

Note: I have not investigated the following two automation methods, but will be in the near future.


The use of mouse patterns on the screen to perform menu functions (such as the letter "Z" for "zoom in", or "W" for "window world", etc.) Can customize and create own stroke file


"Z" drawn on screen using mouse

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Result is a Zoom In


Allegro Automation .....

SKILL AXL-SKILL is a language processor in the Allegro PCB Editor AXL-SKILL contains and is an extension of the core Cadence SKILL language You use AXL-SKILL functions to access the Allegro PCB Editor database and its display and user interfaces Once you have accessed the database, you can process the data using the core SKILL functions Similar to VB scripting Very powerful

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Allegro Tidtips .....

User Preference UI Settings Datatips ­ Setup/User Preferences/Z_Early_Adopter Hover over desired feature (pad, route, copper, etc.) with cursor

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Allegro Tidtips .....

User Preference UI Settings Copper Shapes ­ Setup/User Preferences/new_shape_fill_nt Not invoked Invoked

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Allegro Tidtips .....

Z-Copy Create a Route Keepin are derived from the board outline Use Edit / Z-Copy Adjust options setting to class = ROUTE KEEPIN Subclass = ALL Enable Contract Enter a value the Route Keepin will be offset (smaller) from the board outline Select the board outline Possible Z-Copy classes

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Allegro Tidtips .....

Z-Copy ­ Multiple Layers For example you wish to create multiple GND planes but the names of each subclass end in GND_5, GND_8, GND_13, etc. Use Zcopy, then in the options tab select one of the GND layers. Edit the numerical part of the layer then enter the wildcard `*' as shown in the graphic below.

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Allegro Tidtips .....

Quick Coordinate Locator Let us say you wish to quickly go to a specific X,Y location in the workspace (i.e., x = 5000, y = 7000) Set an appropriate zoom level Click on the "P" button in the lower right corner Enter the coordinates Click on "Pick"

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Useful Help Web Sites .....

Cadence Users Web Site

Silicon-Package-Board Forum @ Users Web Site

Allegro Community Movies & Webinars

Allegro Forums @ Cadence Web Site

Cadence Support ­ SourceLink

Updates / Downloads

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Demonstration .....

Funckey Change route widths on the fly Edit "env" file Add funckey items Save "env" file Invoke Allegro Editor Add Connect and test funckey items

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Conclusion .....

Allegro is not as user friendly as it could be Allegro can be difficult to learn But ..... Allegro is very powerful Allegro is very flexible Allegro allows multiple ways to perform tasks Allegro is very automatable Allegro can be very constraint driven Allegro is improving ..... Stay tuned .....

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Questions and answers

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If you would like more information ..... Or you would like a copy of my "env" file .... Please contact me by email.

Vincent Di Lello 519.772.6418 [email protected]

September 28, 2006



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