ConnTrace

Automatically verifying
thousands of connections between PCBs and FPGAs

When developing large electronic systems consisting of multiple Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), making sure that each signal is connected to the correct pin of a connector is a cumbersome task. Until now there has not been a way to verify these connections automatically and designers were forced to manually check each connector pin by inspecting a netlist or schematic pages.
Using ConnTrace you can process a number of netlists (which may be in different formats) and FPGA pin files, define the connections and trace the signals from board or FPGA to another board.

Intelligent Verification

Quite often the signal names are different on the connected boards, but are correctly connected. ConnTrace uses rules (based on regular expressions) to match the signal names between PCBs. It allows the tool to validate groups of matches although individual signals can still differ. The rules can be generated automatically and be fine-tuned by the designer. The automated approach will often match 80% to 90% of all connector pins.

The flexibility of ConnTrace allows it to be used in any design flow and does not require any design methodology. The rule generator in combination with the sorted problem view allows engineers to validate large systems in a few hours.

Once the project and its rules are defined it is a simple task to re-verify the connectivity when changes were made to the PCBs or FPGAs. All out-of-date files can be processed in one action.

Backplane

FPGAs

Any FPGA present on a board can be visualized as (virtual) board based on information extracted from the pin report file (generated by the FPGA development tool). This allows you to easily see how the FPGA IO signals connect to the other boards and FPGAs in your system.

Features & Benefits

  • Compare PCB signal/pin names using regular expressions
  • Automatic rule generation
  • User directed acceptance of verified differences
  • One click verification and consistency
  • Reports incremental changes in pin- and net list
  • Concentrate on a dozen differences instead of a thousand lines
  • Fits in any design flow
  • HTML report
ConnTrace Main Window

Explore ConnTrace features:

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More information

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