EDA New Product Press Release, for Immediate Release May 1999

OLE-Enabled DataSheet Pro Simplifies Timing Diagram Management


DataSheet Pro targets Documentation Professionals

SynaptiCAD's new DataSheet Pro promises to provide documentation professionals with a more efficient environment for the management of documents containing multiple timing diagrams. The product uses Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) to provide immediate in-place editing of timing diagrams. Other features include style sheets, view support, direct web file generation, project management, and support for the industry-standard Timing Diagram Markup Language (TDML) format. Documentation professionals will be able to receive timing diagrams produced by design engineers using any TDML-compatible product, such as WaveFormer Pro or Timing Diagrammer Pro, and embed them directly into documentation programs like FrameMaker and Word.

"At TI we generate data sheets for thousands of IC's. Currently, TI engineers give us WaveFormer timing diagrams, which we import directly into our desktop publishing tool, reducing cycle time and cost. No redraw is required by our Illustrators, thus reducing review cycles for the engineering teams. DataSheet Pro promises to be a customized tool for this purpose. We're so excited about the OLE and document management features that we anticipate initial savings of approximately $250,000 for documentation development," said Terry Hayes, ASP Product Documentation Team Leader at Texas Instruments.


OLE Embeds Timing Diagrams Directly into Data Sheets

SynaptiCAD's DataSheet Pro puts documentation professionals on the cutting edge by allowing timing diagrams in TDML format to be included directly into data sheets. OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) provides a quick way to manage image files and the corresponding timing diagram files inside word processing documents. With OLE, word processing programs can embed timing diagram images which remember the timing diagram file and program which created them. If you double click on the embedded image, DataSheet Pro will automatically launch and load the corresponding timing diagram file. Any changes to the timing diagram file will automatically update the embedded image. This makes it very easy to manage a large number of timing diagrams because two separate files need not be maintained for each diagram. OLE is supported by many of the most popular documentation programs like MS Word and FrameMaker.


Diagram Editing and Management

In addition to OLE, DataSheet Pro provides view support and project management features that give the user a method of controlling, manipulating, and updating the diagrams for a given project. Views enable the user to store the settings for multiple pictures taken from a single timing diagram. These pictures are snapshots of specific segments of the diagram. The project management features provide a project window where related timing diagram files can be listed. Double clicking a timing diagram opens it for viewing and editing, giving easy access to a set of related timing diagrams.

DataSheet Pro also provides customization of the appearance of a set of diagrams using style sheets. Style sheets make it easy to ensure that a set of timing diagrams conform to a departmental standard without enforcing the style on the diagram creators.


Publishing Features

The direct web publishing features allow timing diagrams to be easily converted into JPG and PNG formats that can be published on the web. The new PNG (Portable Network Graphics) file format uses a lossless compression technique for high quality images that load fast over the web. In addition to the web formats already mentioned, DataSheet Pro supports six other ways to convert timing diagrams into vector and bitmap image files. Vector formats included among these are: EPS with preview, MIF (FrameMaker format), WMF metafile, CGM metafile, and enhanced Windows metafiles. Vector files can be sized and scaled without affecting the appearance of the lines in the timing diagram.


What does TDML and DataSheet Pro mean to Design Engineers?

SynaptiCAD provides a free TDML viewer for analyzing data sheets created by Data Sheet Pro, so design engineers can quickly evaluate potential components for critical timing constraints and clock speed compatibility. The timing diagram editing environment of the free viewer lets an engineer perform what-if analysis and enter or merge his design constraints with a component's timing diagram. With a professional version of WaveFormer Pro, he can also export his timing diagrams directly as stimulus vectors and HDL models and use them with HDL and gate-level simulators.

IP vendors are also gearing up to release transaction protocols as TDML timing diagrams. For designers, one of the major challenges to using IP is to determine a method for communicating with the IP block. Timing diagrams provide a concise visual description of cause-effect relationships between transaction events and have long been used to describe the rules that must be followed for successful communication with an IP block. TDML provides an open format for distribution of protocol specifications, enabling IP vendors to release complete interface information without locking their customer base down to a specific EDA tool suite.

Contact Information

DataSheet Pro with OLE support v6.0 will be demonstrated at the 1999 Design Automation Conference in New Orleans. DataSheet Pro will be available on Windows 95/98/NT ($3250) and Solaris (non-OLE version). For more information contact SynaptiCAD at phone (540)953-3390, fax(540)953-3078, email: Sales Office, web site: Note: Please contact Donna Mitchell at (540) 953-3390 for questions concerning this press release.