Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Specific NoERC markers - soon to be in Beta

The ‘Specific NoERC markers’ feature was developed over the past couple of months, and it is now about to enter the Beta stage. The feedback provided as comments to the initial blog has been crucial in shaping this new tool into one that hopefully will provide you with more flexibility, accuracy and productivity.

I would like to share with you the near-final shape of this enhancement, so as to gather last minute feedback and ideas, before ‘it goes to press’, so to speak.

In schematic, the specific NoERC markers can now suppress specific error kinds and connection conditions on the net they are  placed on. 

The NoERC marker dialog box now has two pages where such specific errors and conditions can be explicitly ignored, as shown below. These pages are displayed when the ‘Suppress specific violations’ check box is checked

This first screen shot is the page where ERC violations can be chosen to be suppressed.

This is the page where specific connection error conditions can be chosen to be suppressed

The NoERC manager provides a project level view of suppressed errors. It describes the NoERC situation for each net and bus and allows to edit individual NoERC markers from this global viewpoint.

The schematic inspector and list provide a simple way to globally edit sets of NoERC markers in the design. In the first version, we have chosen not to give detailed access of the violation kinds to be ignored from this perspective. This will be the subject of a future improvement.

On screen, the NoERC markers can now be displayed in a variety of shapes, whether they are specific or not.

Combined with colors, this should provide you with a flexible way to give visible meaning to them. At this stage the available shapes are Triangle, Thick cross, Thin Cross, Small cross and Checkbox.

There are several ways a specific NoERC marker can be placed in a design.

A generic NoERC marker can be placed, and then changed to a specific NoERC marker (using the dialog, inspector or the list).

A new placement tool, ‘Place Specific NoERC’ provides you with a way to identify at a glance the nets violating some rules, and to individually place specific NoERC markers for each of the violations..

After compiling, specific NoERC markers can also be placed from the messages panel, by right clicking on a reported violation.

The same can be achieved by right clicking on a schematic object involved in a violation.

The suppressed errors can still be reported by the compiler, if a project option (report suppressed errors) is turned on. In this case they are reported as shown below.

Suppressed errors can also be reported in the ERC output, defined in an output job document (this setting is local to the outputjob document and independant from the project setting). They appear then in the generated report.

Finally, NoERC markers can be excluded from printouts, by shape

This constitutes the extent of the improvements that are about to be released to beta.

As always, your thoughts and feedback are very much welcome, and I will be very interested to read them in the comments section below.

But as this particular project draws to a close, I would like to highlight the importance of your involvement in its definition and completion.

A significant number of elements of this enhancement have been directly influenced by the feedback you have provided.

On a personal level, this provides me with a great deal of satisfaction. Working directly with the people who will ultimately use this feature makes the process a real pleasure. But most importantly, I hope this will constitute a fundamental part of the success of the feature, and really help you to perform your daily work better.


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