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Tech Tip: Convert Cadence .BRD File from Binary to ASCII for UniCam & Test Expert

Are you having trouble importing a Cadence .BRD file into UniCam FX or Test Expert? If so, this post is for you.

First, a quick explanation on file types:

ASCII vs. Binary

There are 2 types of file formats: ASCII and Binary. (Read more about the differences here.) UniCam and Test Expert accept the ASCII format, and Cadence .BRD files are Binary files. In short, the two are incompatible. However, we have a solution to convert from binary to ASCII.

Change Binary to ASCII with Siemens Extract Script

Lucky for us, Siemens knows that this is a real headache for our customers, and they have made an Extract Script utility freely available. This utility must be run on a Cadence Workstation against the BRD file in order to create the necessary ASCII file format.

Find the Installer & Send Folder to Your Customer

The installers are located in default locations:

For UniCam: “C:\Users\Public\Documents\UniCam\CFG\fab_ini\Cadence\EXTRACT”

For Test Expert: “C:\Users\Public\Documents\Siemens\UniCam\TestExpert\FAB\INPUT\Cadence\EXTRACT”

Send your customer a Zip file containing the Extract Folder and have them follow the following steps.

Action Steps for Your Customer

  1. Install utility on the Cadence workstation using the “Cdc2Fab Setup.msi” file found in the EXTRACT folder.
    1. For UNIX based Cadence workstations, extract the appropriate zip file for your UNIX version and follow the instructions in the provided “readme” file.
  2. Launch the utility and from the File menu, select Configure.

BRD binary to ASCII 1

3. Set the paths for the 3 fields (see below)

  1. Extraction Tool: points to where the “Extracta.exe” is located on the Cadence workstation
  2. Script Files: should already be set correctly by the installer
  3. Output: points to where you want it to create the ASCII output file. Usually a temporary location like “C:\Temp” where you can grab it and move it from there easily to a permanent location.

BRD binary to ASCII 2

4. From File menu, select Export Board and select the .BRD file you want to export.

We hope you found this helpful. If you need further assistance or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to serving you.

Thanks for reading,