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Old 09-17-2005, 03:39 PM
Telenochek
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Default Software tools for architectural diagrams and for timing diagram entry?

Hi!
I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for software that is
designed for drawing architectural level diagrams or block diagrams for
hardware design.
(lets say a microprogrammed pipelined processor).
Currently I am using Microsoft Visio 2003, and its okay, but it never
hurts to try and find something better (if you know what I mean)

Also does anyone know what software tools are used to draw the timing
diagrams in various datasheets?

Any help will be highly appreciated!
Thank you!

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Old 09-17-2005, 05:05 PM
JJ
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Default Re: Software tools for architectural diagrams and for timing diagram entry?


Telenochek wrote:
> Hi!
> I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for software that is
> designed for drawing architectural level diagrams or block diagrams for
> hardware design.
> (lets say a microprogrammed pipelined processor).
> Currently I am using Microsoft Visio 2003, and its okay, but it never
> hurts to try and find something better (if you know what I mean)
>
> Also does anyone know what software tools are used to draw the timing
> diagrams in various datasheets?
>
> Any help will be highly appreciated!
> Thank you!


Yes

I spent several months preparing a paper (on a pipelined processor) and
docs trying to use relatively free software Windows like Open Office
but the graphics really just were awefull.


I remembered how much fun I had on the old Mac 20yrs ago with MacDraw
so I dug up Canvas by deneba who also did a Windows version starting
around early 90s.

Basically its a CAD program as easy to use as the old MacDraw but much
more powerful, it doesn't do the links thing like Visio or OO but after
using OO version of that I got sick of that feature in a hurry.

In canvas when you need to make up arrays it figures how to auto step &
repeat, many Win programs copy right on top of same, what good is that.

It allows hierarchy grouping ungrouping etc.

Its stipple pattern choices are very dated though right out of MacPaint
1 1984.

You can control your grid and resolutions.

Its follows good interface design and installs by just dragging (old
version).

It starts in <<1s while OO,Acrobat_reader starts in 10-20secs.

Overall I found I could do all my schematic and other drawings in a
half hour instead of hitting the wall. Downside of course these
schematics are for artwork only, not machine readable. Works well with
OO etc and the final PDFs looks good.

They are still around but seem to have moved on to high end drawing.
>From the web its looks familiar but the price is much higher (about

same as Visio). It started out life as a $50 desk accessory.

You can probably find quite a few Windows native CAD programs (some
even free) but I always find they get the whole user experience wrong
in some terrible way, I have tried way too many and forget them.

regards

johnjakson at usa dot_com...

PS if you want to see what my graphics look like, drop a note, may take
a week though.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09-17-2005, 07:26 PM
Mike Treseler
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Default Re: Software tools for architectural diagrams and for timing diagramentry?

Telenochek wrote:

> I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for software that is
> designed for drawing architectural level diagrams or block diagrams for
> hardware design.


Unless there is a paying audience for a design review,
I just use a pen and notebook to block things out
then get on with the design and simulation work.

Most synthesis tools can draw block diagrams for
you once the top entities/modules are complete.

> Also does anyone know what software tools are used to draw the timing
> diagrams in various datasheets?


See: http://www.chronology.com/

But consider getting a working simulation before
handing out data sheets.


-- Mike Treseler
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 09-17-2005, 10:01 PM
Telenochek
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Default Re: Software tools for architectural diagrams and for timing diagram entry?

> Unless there is a paying audience for a design review,
> I just use a pen and notebook to block things out
> then get on with the design and simulation work.


Yes I did a lot of that.
I am trying to get away from it as much as possible, paying audience or
not.
If you do the diagram on a computer, its already documented.
Then its easy to change the design, keep track of versions,
copy one block to another design, reuse your blocks.
Major time saver even with a moderately user-friendly program.

> Most synthesis tools can draw block diagrams for
> you once the top entities/modules are complete.


Yes, but the idea is to have a block diagram before touching
VHDL/Verilog.

Thanks for the TimingDesigner link!
(No, I am not actually designing a datasheet, I am designing
multithreaded process)

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