Allegro to ExpeditionPCB
SKILL Script and Output Generation Users Guide
Copyright© Mentor Graphics Corporation 2004
All Rights Reserved
Before an Allegro design can be translated to Expedition, the first requirement is to create the proper output files from the Allegro design database. We have documented these steps below to assist the Allegro customer in creating these critical output files. After the files are created the customer must deliver these to Mentor Graphics so that the Expedition design translation process can continue. The generation of these output files will be the responsibility of the customer to generate and provide to Mentor Graphics.
The SKILL scripts provided are common to both the Allegro to Expedition translation process and the standard DFL-mode that exists in the Expedition application. Running the SKILL scripts is a very important part of the translation process and is used to generate files from the Allegro design containing critical component and constraint data used to construct an intelligent Expedition design database.
This document also includes instructions for generating additional files that are used for “production-quality” PCB design translation and for ConceptHDL schematic translations. Those sections of the document may be ignored if these additional capabilities are not required.
This document was created and modeled for the Windows XP Operating System. If the native Allegro design exists on a UNIX platform, the SKILL scripts provided should be executed as documented below, but the interface look and feel may change.
2 Installing and Executing the Allegro SKILL Scripts
2.1 Installing the SKILL Scripts
1) Double-click on the self-extracting executable Cadence_Tools.exe. Select Unzip. This will load the following files into C:\Cadence_Side_Files.
o allegro_skill_scripts.zip – WinZip file containing Allegro SKILL scripts
o Allegro to Expedition Translator SKILL Script User Guide Rev 3_Customer – Word document containing instructions to create output files
o Extract.txt – Parameter file for “extracta” command
o cdnbom.bom – Format file for Bill of Materials generation
2) Unzip the SKILL scripts in C:\Cadence_Side_Files\allegro_skill_scripts.zip to one of the following locations:
The normal SKILL script repository location,
The users “$HOME\pcbenv\” container, or
2.2 Running SKILL Scripts to Extract Design Data
1) Typically the Allegro design file exists in a design tree location on your system. In this location multiple files will exist that are used by Allegro. Many of these files are very large and are not required by the translator. Before starting the generation process of the Allegro translation files, copy ONLY the Allegro design file (i.e., the .brd file) to the directory C:\Cadence_Side_Files. This will assure that when the output files are zipped and delivered back to Mentor Graphics that ONLY the files needed for the translation are delivered.
2) Open the Allegro design file (i.e., the .brd file) that you copied in the step above. In the Allegro command prompt window type the following command lines:
Command> skill load “dfl_main.il” (include quotes)
Command> main out
The “main out” command will initialize the DC Output Choice pop-up dialog (see figure below).
3) When the DC Output Choice dialog appears, select the One Way button (see figure above).
4) Once the “One Way” button is selected the translation files generation process will begin. This program will take several minutes to complete depending on the size of the design and will output process information to the Allegro command prompt window. When the program is complete the DC Output Choice dialog will disappear and you should see the command prompt (i.e., Command>) return to the Allegro command prompt window.
NOTE: Users will notice that running the SKILL script in the “One Way” mode typically takes longer to execute. The reason for this prolong process time is that it is important that the “cell” information is created with all cells generated at a “0” degree rotation. Because of this (and only occurring in the “One Way” SKILL script mode) the program checks to ensure that all the required cells are created at “0” degrees, and if they aren’t, the script automatically places a temporary cell in the Allegro design at a “0” degree rotation for extraction. This capability does not exist in DFL-mode.
5) Once the SKILL script has completed successfully, using a Windows Explorer window, you will find that it has created several sub-folders named “…\<DesignFileName>_MGC” and “…\devices” in design’s root directory. For example, if your Allegro design file is named “demo_1.brd” then the sub-folder created would be named “\demo_1_MGC”. Under no circumstances should the sub-folder “\devices” be moved or deleted. The “\devices” sub-folder contains all the electrical packaging data that is needed to create the Expedition Parts Database (PDB) and will be used during the translation process.
NOTE: Each Allegro design file that requires the SKILL scripts to be run should be located in a DIFFERENT working directory during execution of the SKILL scripts to ensure that only those devices for that specific Allegro design are in that design’s “\devices”sub- folder. Generating the SKILL output files for two or more designs from the same root directory will cause part package information to be merged for these designs and is not recommended
2.3 Extracting the Constraint Files (rules_tmp.dcf & ecsetaudit.rpt)
1) Major changes have been programmed into both the DFL-mode and the translator for the translation of High-Speed rules. Cadence has adopted the Electrical Constraints Spreadsheet as their de-facto standard for entering these types of rules. Because this data is more complete and understandable we now have the ability in the translator to read the extracted (exported) Electrical Constraints Spreadsheet data files.
2) To generate this file perform the following command from the pull-down menu in Allegro:
Setup -> Electrical Constraints Spreadsheet
3) When the Constraint Manager dialog appears perform the following command from that dialog’s pull-down menu:
File -> Export -> Constraints
4) Using the browse feature on the Export Constraints dialog locate the “\Work” sub-folder just created by the initial SKILL script. The “\Work” folder should exist under the “…\<DesignFileName>_MGC\” sub-folder created in the Allegro design’s root container. The constraint output file MUST be named rules_tmp.dcf. Click the Save button to complete the file creation process (see figure above).
NOTE: If you do not have the SigNoise (PE2400) application loaded they may experience errors creating the “rules_tmp.dcf” file (see figure below). This should not effect the creation of this output file.