August 2018, HDL Works announces the release and immediate availability of ConnTrace 1.4,
the PCB Interconnect verification tool.

About ConnTrace

ConnTrace is a new and easy to use tool, to verify that multiple PCBs in a system are connected correctly. It can handle (rotated) connectors as well as shrouds on (through) a backplane. The PCB connection view shows traces for all signals that can be reached through the connectors. Filters and sorting allow you to concentrate on the potential problems.

What is new in ConnTrace 1.4

Connector transformations

A new mechanism named ‘Transformations’ has been added to support defining connectivity for OPENVPX connectors. Transformations need to used when pins of a connector do not have equal names. The specific required mapping is defined in a configuration file and can be extended by the user. The transformations can be applied in the Connections dialog.

Transformation applied     No transformation applied


Power / ground verification

Added specific verification for power and ground signals. When enabled, the nets that are recognized as a power or ground net need only to match in functionality (and not in exact name). This matching option can be disabled in rules dialog and in the project properties. How power/ground nets are recognized is controlled by the power_rules.xml configuration file. You can add your own power/ground rules using corporate settings.

Resistor look ahead

A number of IO standards require the use of a series resistor in the network. Sometime only the net connected to the driver has a user assigned name and the net opposite to the series resistor is unnamed (it gets a software assigned name). ConnTrace can now look over this resistor and use the user assigned name in matching. A look-ahead name is shown in the views using a symbol between parenthesis (like “(→ d_clk_p)” in the example below). To use this functionality you need to define how to recognize the software assigned name in the project properties on the page PCB netlist patterns (Internal net name).

Resistor lookover

Range alignment

Support for offset matching in the regular expressions to define rules to match signals which have different names and ranges on PCB’s. This means you can validate a nets which named address[1:8] on one board and address[0:7] on another board.

Recognition of pull-down and pull-up resistors

ConnTrace can now recognize a number of circuit types and display this information in new column before the net name of a board (an extra column for each board) The recognized circuits are:

IconCircuit type
PullupPull-up (voltage is shown as (↑ 3.3V))
Voltage dividerVoltage divider


ConnTrace 1.4 is available now and can be downloaded and evaluated from the company website.

About HDL Works

HDL Works develops and markets high-performance, intuitive tools for complex HDL design across a wide spectrum of applications. Its software products are available on Windows and Linux operating systems. HDL Works currently holds ConnTrace, EASE, HDL Companion and IO Checker in its product portfolio. Headquartered in Ede, The Netherlands, HDL Works is privately held.

HDL Works BV
Maxwellstraat 17
6716 BX Ede
The Netherlands

ConnTrace, EASE, HDL Companion, IO Checker and Scriptum are trademarks of HDL Works.

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