Which PCB tool to choose?

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miho

Junior Member level 3
dxdesigner sucks

I know, this topic has been beaten to death, but anyway... Maybe I can get some serious hints when specifying some constraints...

I am looking for a PCB tool which suits the following:

boards up to 14 layers with high speeds
fine pitch BGA components (e.g. FPGAs)
signal integrity simulation might become an issue soon

We are a small start-up, but not a board design company, just developing our own hard- and software. Cost is an issue. $5-7k would be ok. We had boards made by suppliers who used Protel and hand-routing, would Specctra save us time with good auto-routing results? Considering Protel's price tag and the fact that OrCad is about the same, we are wondering id Orcad would be the better choice. What about Mentor's Pads? Any thoughts are appreciated miho Cluricaun Advanced Member level 2 cadpack pcb Hi There are some discussions about different PCB software at this forum, search there and you might get some hints. Besides the normal routing softwares I think you could try Electra, and Proteus is also quite good, I do not know for 14 Layers though. The electra is similar to Specctra, except the price. 123.labcenter.co.uk 123.connecteda.com/ 123.pulsonix.com/ 123=www Cluricaun mrcube_ns Advanced Member level 1 multiple vias cadstar In firm where I was working last year I used Pcad2001 with Specctra autorouter. This combination works very nice. Mr.Cube binu G Advanced Member level 2 interface cadstar specttra mrcube_ns said: In firm where I was working last year I used Pcad2001 with Specctra autorouter. This combination works very nice. Mr.Cube ya thats the best option to get the job complet faster and effective. but one should know how to define the rules in specctra. binu g C8H10N4O2 Newbie level 6 signal integrity freeware spectraquest Protel and OrCad are both integrated solutions. You can easily go between PCB and schematic. PADS and PCAD are more geared toward board design. Thus, for pure board design, PADS and PCAD are likely to be slightly better and for system level design, Protel and OrCad might offer better integration. AN Member level 2 specctra for pulsonix please don't say that Orcad is good for beginner!!!! Layout is a worst tool which I use!!! AN rauol Full Member level 6 cadstar multiple vias 8) try Pulsonix, easy interface,quick learning curve. i have used its evaluation version. www.pulsonix.com AltEdward Newbie level 1 dxdesigner .ini files strongly recommend use Cadence/Allergo.. tlp71@hotmail.com Full Member level 4 invoking boardstation re is very slow allegro is a good tool. You can use many feature to accelerate your work. ynhe Full Member level 3 visula layout PADS2004 is good. It include schematic capture,analog and mixture signal spice simulation(intusoft icap8.1.x),Hyperlynx simulation and so on. ynhe skywalker Advanced Member level 4 purchasing eda software Hi miho, for cost at$5-7k i think PADS are best choice, no problem for 14 layers,
no problem for working with h--speed rules and simulation !

Pcb, schematic, Hyp*er*Linx, are very affirmed tools ! Like no others remeber, at same (low<->medium) cost off-course ! But they work really well !

Best of PADS, but not same costs, 1st Exp*edi*tion 2nd All*egro tools.

let me know, Skywalker.

prokopec

Junior Member level 3
reannotation diptrace

Daniel

SphinX

Hi,

I will use PCAD 2002 in conjuction with Capture.

SphinX

bigrice911

Member level 3

maybe Cadence Allegro is your best choice, but Mentor WG will be a good option too.

miho

Junior Member level 3

seems like there are still plenty of choices and no real winner since everybody has his/her personal preference...

cadence allegro seems a bit too big for us, we will not make use of the ic-pcb codesign feature, i think. i am wondering a bit why cadence has two tools in the market, are they gonna merge them at some time since they bought orcad a while ago?

sudeepb

Junior Member level 1

I am using Orcad Capture for Circuit design and Cadstar for PCB layout which really comes good.
Orcad with Spectra is also good one.

Jaannee

Junior Member level 3
dxdesigner stinks

Hi!
I have worked with both Pads and Cadstar and must say that Pads stinks in comparison. (And Cadstar has the most beautiful support for hand-routing)

I have also worked some with Orcad and I agree with earlier post that it may not be the best choice for the not so experienced.

It´s like allways, taste differs...

/Janne

sinatra

Full Member level 4

Hello all.
How about the free tools? There are not very many arround but there are some.
Has anyone tryed PCB (an old tool from unix that is now available also in windows under cygwin emulation)? PCB seems to be a quite good pcb tool.
For the schematics there are gnuEDA and Xcircuit.
There's also a free circuit simulator that is part of gnuEDA.
All those tools are completely free, no license etc...
Can they already compete with the commercial ones?????
S.

eternal_nan

Full Member level 3
visula

I find OrCAD to be a satisfactory tool for the most part. The schematic capture is nicer than Protel's, the layout is more or less the same quality (unless you get allegro, in which case it is better). Protel has built in signal integrity simulation, but it is not "industrial grade". Protel's autorouter generally does a better job than orcad's and is overall quite good for boards >6 layers, after that it is not that good and Specctra becomes worth it.

Maybe Protel+Specctra is the best way to go, given your potential signal integrity simulation needs.

miho

Junior Member level 3
pcb 123 libraries for linx

@ eternal_nan: You are saying that the simulation is not industrial grade. well, so far we got our boards running without simulation but will this simulation help at all in the future? ok, if the simulation indicates a problem, there probably really is a big one, but if it indicates no problem, there still might be one, right?

I am wondering if that non-industrial-grade simulation is worth anything at all... Any experiences with that, anyone?

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