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Cadence and Keysight are collaborating with each other since 2000’s which brings one of unprecedented feature to reality, an ability to export your design from allegro to ADS seamlessly. In this tutorial I will demonstrate how to configure Allegro Design Flow Integration (ADFI)  for Allgero 17.2 and ADS 2017 Update 1. I am aware that for ADSs prior to the 2016 version, there exists some compatibility issues with exporting from 17.2 version which is caused by some updates in Allegro SKILL engine, thus it is recommended to use the 2016 version or later.

Configuring Allegro

To configure ADFI in Allegro you have two options, one, If you had installed Allegro alongside ADS on the same machine then you are already good to go, but if you have each software on a separate workstation you need to install Python 2 before going any further. I’m using 2.7 version and it works with Allegro 17.2 flawlessly. Follow these steps to configure ADFI:

  1. Open Allegro, from menu select File > Script
  2. In the opened dialog click on Browse button, check the Change Directory  checkbox and open
    <ADS_FOLDER>\ial\scripts\eemLocalConfig.scr
  3. Click Replay button to run the script
  4. Select “Integrate with ADS” if you have ADS installed and “Standalone” if not. In case of “Standalone” browse to the path of python.
  5. Click on setup and Restart the Allegro

If you did the steps correctly a item named Export To ADS/EMPro will show up in menu bar.

Generate ADFI File From The Board

To export you need to select the nets of interest prior to export. To do that

  1. From Export To ADS/EMPro select Select Traces item.
  2. Select the nets, layers and then go to Cookie Cutter tab. In this tab you will create a board cutout geometry.
  3. The process is nearly straightforward. the cutout can be generated exactly around your selected signals in the Trace Select tab or be loosely wrap selected trace. This will be determined by the Initial shape slider. hull means exact shape and bounding box will be a loose surround.
  4. Set the Expansion distance (I used 20 mils). This option expand the generated box with specified value.
  5. Click Build for Signal Net to generate the cookie cutter.
  6. Go to Component/Pin Select tab and select the components of interest. select pins you wish to add ports in Selected Pins section.
  7. Select Ports tab and click on AutoPlace. Press OK button and exit the Select Geometry dialog.
  8. From Export To ADS/EMPro select Export > Selected To ADS item.
  9. Select a path and click Save button.

Configuring ADS

Before being able to import ADFI file to ADS you need to do these simple steps to get ADS ADFI import tool enable

  1. In ADS main window, from menu bar select Tools > App Manager
  2. In the opened dialog check ADFI Import Tools
  3. Restart the ADS

Import to ADS

  1. Create a workspace or open an existed one.
  2. In the main window from menu bar select File > Import > Design
  3. In the File Type section select ADFI File Format from the list.
  4. Select your ADFI file and click on the OK button.

Extra Notes

1. Selecting the interested nets and creating ports in Allegro surly takes some time but the effort will payback in the simulation process (creating port in Allegro is much easier than in the ADS specially if you are dealing with a complex board)

2. After selection process saving the file WILL NOT save the selected nets. So if it take you too long to setup the board, don’t forget to save your work by using State > Save State in Export To ADS/EMPro menu bar


َََUseful Links

1. YouTube – ADS Data Link Basics (Part 1 of 3)

2. Keysight – EEsof EDA Blog

3. Dr. Muehlhaus -Momentum port: global ground or differential?

4. Virginia Tech – ADS Momentum Tutorial

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