Mentor Graphics' New Topology Router Technology Revolutionizes the Layout Process for Manually Designed PCBs

—(BUSINESS WIRE)—— Mentor Graphics® Corporation, (NASDAQ: MENT), the market and technology leader in printed circuit board (PCB) design solutions, today announced the availability of a revolutionary new routing technology that combines the knowledge of an engineer, skill of a board designer and power of an autorouter. This topology router is an industry first because of its ability to follow an engineer's guidelines for bus topology routing and then automatically mimic a CAD designer's manual edits to form clean and structured bus structures.

"Since the first appearance of autorouting technology 30 years ago, it has been an industry goal to mimic the talents and routing results of an experienced board designer as they follow the guidance of an engineer," said Henry Potts, vice president and general manager of Mentor Graphics' Systems Design Division. "By working closely with key customers, we have been able to achieve this goal and supply our users with a tool that improves not only their productivity, but the quality, performance and manufacturability of the PCB. While this initial release focuses primarily on bus routing, our intent is to extend these capabilities to additional interconnect structures."

Topology Planning and Routing

The topology router technology from Mentor Graphics consists of two applications. First is a topology planner, used by the engineer to plan and optimize the bus systems and sub-system interconnects on the PCB. It complements component placement by allowing the engineer to plan logic pathways optimizing performance and layout. Traditionally, the engineer would sketch these placements and bus paths out on paper to provide the board designer the necessary guidance to route the board.

The second application, the topology router, automatically routes the bus interconnects, accurately following the pathways defined by the engineer. The resulting routing has the structure and quality usually provided only by experienced designers performing hand routing. The result is a significant decrease in design cycle time, increased designer productivity and quality of the board, as well as optimized performance. And since the bus paths are permanently stored with the design database, the PCB can be incrementally modified or reused in future products without re-entry or re-routing of the buses.


The topology router technology is currently released to select customers and will be generally available as an option in subsequent release cycles of both the Expedition™ Enterprise and Board Station® flows. For more information:

About Mentor Graphics

Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world's most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of over $725 million and employs approximately 4,050 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777. World Wide Web site: .

Mentor Graphics and Board Station are registered trademarks and Expedition is a trademark of Mentor Graphics Corporation. All other company or product names are the registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.


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Review Article
  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Kyle Miller'
    It isn't true that Mentor have produced the first topology planner.
    Zuken introduced topology planning in Lightning version 5.0 in the summer of 2005.
    Please have a look at
    Trunking: The Trunking routing solution is based on intelligent trunk objects, which allow easy high level design planning, avoiding unnecessary loops. It addresses issues associated with handling different routes, busses, or differential pairs collectively as one entity, enabling users to quickly sketch routes facilitating fast up-front planning and manipulation of a collection of signals as a group. All interconnects can be concurrently considered when routing at the ends of a trunk using the trunk end router function, combating design complexity as the board density increases. It also enables painless non-destructive design modifications and obeys constraints like Length, Skew and Delay. During routing it allows users to change signal order within the trunk to ensure successful connectivity at any stage.

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