AP210 Tutorial

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AP 210 provides a standard framework consisting of over 1300 pre-defined terms and over 3000 assertions relating the terms.

Figure 1.2-1 basic STEP data exchange

This AP makes use of fundamental concepts that relate to the design, development, and manufacture of products that contain some electronic or electrical content. AP 210 must be thought of as configuration controlled electronics assembly, interconnect, and packaging design. Product structure plays an important part in defining an AP 210 representation. Typically, the products are electro-mechanical in nature since semiconductor devices are fragile and must be protected with packaging in virtually all applications. The packaging technology also provides mechanisms to enable the semiconductor device to communicate with its environment that means that interfaces are required in all applications, and those interfaces are also electro-mechanical in nature. Customers or system engineering provide requirements, manufacturing facilities provide technology capabilities and producibility feedback, component vendors provide engineering data defining functional and physical performance characteristics and the environmental constraints within which the performance characteristics are valid. An organization may provide simulation models that can be used in experiments to evaluate product functionality and performance. Product models are created for many purposes during design. Legacy design systems and processes for a PCA generate many files containing hundreds of megabytes of data during the design and development process. At design release, that data is archived under limited semantics; a typical scenario may include identifying the tool that created the file, and associating the design department that created the file with the product. If the purpose of the data is not to exchange design intent, then maintenance and update costs are difficult to justify. When a design revision is necessary, design engineering is left to decide which files need to be updated on an ad-hoc basis. PDM systems are implemented to solve some of these problems, but legacy PDM models are generally created on an enterprise specific basis. When it comes time to team with other enterprises, extensive mapping software development tasks are needed to effectively coordinate data exchange between the differing enterprise PDM systems.

This AP provides a facility to allow the collaborating design organizations to understand what the reason is for each of the design data items, who approved it, what system created it and what version of the product it is for. The AP 210 facility for doing this is a framework based on STEP that allows a design organization to classify product data as being requirements, constraints, behavioral models, experimental results, changes, or design definitions. Since it is a standard model, PDM systems that implement the model will not need extensive mapping software to exchange data with other PDM systems that implement the model.

This document provides a potential user (e.g., systems integrator, applications developer, or end-user) with an overall concept of how AP 210 can operate in a target environment to standardize the exchange or sharing of computer-interpretable product model data in electronics industries.

AP 210 is a standard, or neutral, data model defining all product data needed to implement applications within its scope. It is not a software application system. AP 210, as with all APs, provides a method for representing the data from one application so that it is computer interpretable by another application(s). It permits the exchange and sharing of computer-interpretable product requirements data and product definition data with customers, suppliers, business partners, or others in a mutually understood way.

AP 210 does not contain all the information necessary for its implementation. It refers to and depends on information in other parts of the STEP standard. This document is a usage guide to those references, and explains how the different pieces fit together to enable the sharing of product data.

As the technology of electronics is very dynamic, AP 210 does not contain all the definitions of parameters necessary to evaluate the usefulness of a product model. An auxiliary parametric data dictionary standard (e.g., one in conformance to IEC 61360-2) could be agreed to as a parameter definition repository standard by exchange partners. AP 210 supports the exchange of externally defined data element type values.

Similarly, AP 210 does not contain all the definitions of simulation modeling language constructs necessary to evaluate the usefulness of a product model. A mathematical expression modeling language (e.g., MathML) could be used to represent needed parametric expressions. AP 210 provides extensive support for user organizations to formally exchange identification information sufficient to accurately identify sources in a receiving application. A receiver of a model (e.g., SPICE or VHDL) encapsulated in an AP 210 exchange will be able to unambiguously identify the language reference manual (e.g., SPICE 3fe, VHDL –1076-2008, respectively), extract the model source file (for reconstitution purposes in the receiving system), verify pin mapping, and perform type checking on parameter values.

Research is ongoing to determine methods to use AP 210 as a data dictionary in order to support other industry standardization efforts. For example, an industry group creating an Interface Control Definition standard could specify the sections from AP 210 needed to unambiguously define an interface to a black box. The automotive industry may not have exactly the same requirements as the avionics industry but they may be similar enough so that in the majority of cases, both standards would normatively reference the same AP 210 model. By doing so, standards groups could more quickly get to a situation where the industry-specific product data standards are implemented in computer application software.

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