Reference Designs with ECAD Files Mean Faster Circuit Design

November 21, 2019

Joe McClean  By: Joe McClean
 Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Maxim Integrated 
Anders Reisch  and Anders Reisch
 Managing Director, Maxim Integrated 


Circuit design is time-consuming, often reliant on a trial-and-error process. And those iterations can result in delayed product introduction. So, with ever-present time-to-market pressures weighing on your shoulders, any tools or techniques that shorten your design process are welcome.

Reference designs offer a solution—a starting point that lets you avoid time spent reinventing the wheel while also reducing your development risks. Good reference designs have been fully tested and come with documentation such as design notes, schematics, verification test results, bill of materials (BOM), and PCB artwork. Equipped with these resources, you have more time to focus on other important design efforts—and getting to market on schedule.

Even when using a reference design, however, the process of creating your actual design with your CAD tool of choice is also time-consuming and, potentially, fraught with errors. What if you had a way to simply import the reference design right into your CAD tool?

Maxim has unveiled a set of hardware-validated power reference designs that include electronic computer-aided design (ECAD) files as well as simulation files. These reference designs can be downloaded directly into any of seven popular CAD environments:

  • Altium
  • Cadence Allegro Design Entry
  • DesignSpark
  • EAGLE
  • KiCaD
  • Mentor DxDesigner
  • OrCAD

There's no need to redraw the schematic in your design environment. You can simply move on to PCB design based on the included schematic.

MAXREFDES1177 reference design with ECAD filesMAXREFDES1177, a Power over Ethernet-powered device and 12V/600mA no-opto flyback DC-DC converter, is one of several reference designs now available with ECAD files.

The reference designs also include a file format that you can send to a fabricator to make the board. Should you need to adjust the reference design to better align with your requirements, you can use the design documentation that walks you through the equations and tradeoffs to modify the reference design with confidence.

Select power reference designs are also available with SIMPLIS simulation models and ready-to-run schematics for use in the EE-Sim OASIS Simulation Tool. Both the SIMPLIS schematics and the OASIS Simulator are available as free downloads. If you need to make small changes to the schematic, you can do so and still run the simulation to validate your design.

So, why spend time reinventing the wheel when you don't have to? Accelerate your circuit design process by tapping into power reference designs with ECAD files. Download…and go!

P.S. Let us know what you think of these power reference designs with ECAD files. We’re piloting this program and welcome your feedback as we enhance it. Thanks!