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Mentor Graphics Supports Design for Six Sigma Methodologies

July 18, 2008

The company's virtual prototyping tool SystemVision applies Six Sigma principles in model-driven development, delivering improvements in both productivity and quality.


WILSONVILLE, OR /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Mentor Graphics Corp. announced that its virtual prototyping tool SystemVision supports Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) methodologies to achieve cost-effective design innovation by a model-driven development process.

The development process for a product made up of a complex blend of hardware and software, analog and digital signals, sensors and actuators, and a mix of disciplines, such as electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic, is difficult to manage efficiently. At the same time, using physical prototyping to optimize the design for manufacturability becomes prohibitively expensive, cumbersome, and time consuming.

DFSS methodologies combined with model-driven development can result in order-of-magnitude improvements in both productivity and quality when virtual prototyping, automated data collection, and statistical analyses are used to guide the model-driven development process. DFSS is a widely accepted approach to developing products that meet customer needs while minimizing defects. In a DFSS process, Six Sigma principles are applied during the product development process to eliminate potential quality problems before the product goes to volume manufacturing.

The SystemVision tool provides a mixed-signal, multi-discipline modeling/simulation environment that acts as a virtual lab for the design and analysis of distributed mechatronic systems. The SystemVision tool integrates with the Minitab Statistical Software package by Minitab Inc., which provides a framework for designing experiments and modeling quality measures. This enables users to access the SystemVision tool's powerful multi-run simulation and analysis capabilities to automate data collection from mathematical models.

"Model-driven development used in conjunction with Six Sigma enables companies to evaluate new ideas, optimize designs for cost and manufacturability, and quickly put new products into production," said Michelle Paret, Product Marketing Manager, Minitab Inc. "SystemVision and Minitab together enable Six Sigma practitioners and product developers to run powerful, automated simulations, while varying parameter value sets and operating conditions, to determine the best values to use—those that define a robust system capable of delivering the highest quality at the lowest cost."

The SystemVision tool leverages industry-standard modeling languages—VHDL-AMS, SPICE, and C—and includes graphical design entry capabilities, modeling and library tools, leading-edge simulation technology, and powerful waveform viewing and analysis tools.

Model-driven development is an approach to design that uses models to specify requirements, verify designs, and generate implementations. It allows each stakeholder to participate in the process at an appropriate level of abstraction, whether at the functional or specification level, architectural level, or implementation level. It enables options to be explored and tradeoffs to be made at each level and provides a structure for communication between stakeholders, such as system architects, system-level and component-level engineers, and Six Sigma practitioners.

The SystemVision tool provides the framework and tools to support such a model-driven development process. The design is managed through a model hierarchy starting at the functional specification stage, moving down through the architectural design stage, and then to the most detailed, component-level implementation stage of the process.

"Systematic experimentation is crucial to investigating the factors that influence product quality. To compete in today's rapidly changing business world, companies must quickly attain high-yield, cost-contained, robust results. Model-driven development addresses this," said Darrell Teegarden, Director of the System Modeling & Analysis business unit, Mentor Graphics.

The SystemVision tool provides a unique ability to specify statistical distributions for any VHDL/VHDL-AMS generic or SPICE parameter, using the values in monte carlo simulations, and post-process the results (e.g., create histograms of measured results, parametric plots of measured results vs. parametric values, etc.) This provides important capability for up-front development of required design-parameter tolerances specifications, such as in a DFSS development process.

About Mentor
Mentor Graphics Corp. 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, semiconductor, and automotive companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the past 12 months of over $850 million and employs approximately 4200 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Rd., Wilsonville, OR 97070-7777.

Mentor Graphics is a registered trademark and SystemVision is a trademark of Mentor Graphics Corp. All other company or product names are the registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.


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