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Take Notes During Your Packaging Design Workflow with the Database Diary

By Jeffrey Gallagher

In this blog, we take a look, not at a new command, but instead at a classic command that many of you may not even realize is in the tool today: the database diary.

The database diary tool (Tools -> Database Diary…) is available in all APD and SiP Layout tools. With it, you are able to take notes about key design decisions you have made, items that need to be done, or problems you might be having. You can even use it to record the steps of your design flow and settings that were used to get some specific routing results in the event that you want to reproduce that routing in another, similar design.

Want to know more about the database diary and how to incorporate it into your daily design activities? Read on!

Adding an Entry to the Database Diary

The database diary can be run at any time in your design flow, whether you are just starting your design and want to record the template database and netlist source or are nearing the end of routing and wish to document reasons for waiving certain DRC violations.

Running this command brings up the UI shown below, all ready to record your notes. Don’t worry about entering your user name or the current date and time; they’ll be filled in automatically for you. Instead, simply type whatever you want recorded and press the “Add Entry” button to add the new text to the diary in chronological order.

Should you have additional information you want to record, you can continue to add more entries. Use the Close button to return to your design tasks when you’re finished taking notes.

Removing Data from the Diary

What happens if you need to send your design to another designer or company, but there is sensitive IP in the diary? Or, what if you have left yourself some to-do notes and have completed those tasks? You’ll want to clean up pieces of—or even the entire contents of—the diary.

Never fear! When you open the diary, you have options to delete the entire history or just selected lines. Use these to quickly and easily remove the text that you no longer want in the diary and it will be completely and permanently removed from the diary. Note, however, that once you save the design after cleaning up your diary, you will not be able to access those notes again. Take care!

Have an Idea for Improving the Database Diary?

Do you have a great idea for making the database diary tool even more useful? Maybe you want to be able to set your user name to include your company and phone number (if you’re collaborating on the design with another company) or include the diary contents when generating a PDF file for documentation. It may be that you want the tool to automatically generate entries for specific major events or to have categories for notes (so you can filter and see just notes about DRCs, logic changes, or routing trade-offs). Whatever the idea may be, be sure to tell your Cadence customer support representative; your idea could be in the next version of the tool!

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