Luminex Corporation gets it right the first time

With PADS and HyperLynx, the Luminex team can complete first-run board fabrications without problems, allowing them to deliver designs on-time.

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HyperLynx in our PADS flow allows us a first-pass win on our designs.”

Frederick Savage, Senior Electrical Engineer, Luminex Corporation

Some pretty sophisticated technology has helped bring innovation to life sciences and diagnostic healthcare over the last 50 years. Luminex Corporation has been a part of that innovation with their biological assays and instrumentation. An assay targets a specific chemical in a sample and runs various tests on it. Luminex enables diagnosticians and researchers to understand humam impacts and create cures from biochemistry analyses suing their devices.

Background

Fred Savage is a Senior Electrical Engineer at Luminex. He designs CCD imaging cameras and hardware systems for their assay technology. “If it goes on a circuit board, it eventually comes across my desk,” says Fred. “We use some pretty sophisticated high-speed electronics in our equipment.” Fred does board layout with PADS and simulation with HyperLynx®. “We simulate all our clock distributions and terminations with HyperLynx and for high-speed DDR3 and DDR2 checks." Fred says HyperLynx was instrumental in saving a recent design.

Experience

We created an embedded processor board with an ARM® Cortex™-A8 CPU and FPGA,” says Fred. “The FPGA grabs imaging data and passes it to the CPU to process and send upstream.” The ARM CPU had 1 GB of DDR3 memory, and the FPGA had DDR2. It was a large board with lots of routing and clock distribution that Fred’s team needed to be sure would work. Fred says there was no wiggle room left in the schedule, so the first board spin had to be right. “We didn’t realize there was a critical layout problem until we ran the simulations.”

Fred’s design team pulled in all the IBIS models and started the simulation to run overnight. When they came in the next day, HyperLynx found problems with the signal paths. “During the layout phase some grouping happened that ended up in a mismatch in one of the lanes. HyperLynx discovered it in simulation. It would have caused all kinds of timing problems for us.” Had they gone to fabri– cation, the board would not have worked, according to Fred. A prob– lem like that could have resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in development costs for the project, and significant schedule delays.

Fred says that’s exactly why they run HyperLynx simulations on their designs. “It allows us to have a really high confidence going into fabrication that a design is going to work.” After fixing the layout problem, the simulations came out clean. “With the first pass on fabrication, everything worked right out of the box."

Results

With PADS and HyperLynx, Fred’s team can complete first-run board fabrications without problems, allowing them to deliver designs on-time.

Luminex Corporation

Luminex designs and manufactures biological testing equipment and assays for diagnostic healthcare and life sciences. Find more about Luminex Corp. at: www.luminexcorp.com.