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'[EE]whats the best PCB design software around'
2006\10\05@164103 by genome

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Whats the the best PCB design software around, Library. of components, ease
of use, output capability, autorouting etc.. considered...



2006\10\05@165536 by Xiaofan Chen

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On 10/5/06, genome <spam_OUTjtroxasTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Whats the the best PCB design software around, Library. of components, ease
> of use, output capability, autorouting etc.. considered...
>

It all depends on your budget.

If price is not an issue, go for Mentor Graphics (Board Station/Exepition/PADS)
or Cadence.

2006\10\05@165859 by stef mientki

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face
genome wrote:
> Whats the the best PCB design software around, Library. of components, ease
> of use, output capability, autorouting etc.. considered...
>
>
>
>  
depends on ... and .. and ..
Stef

2006\10\05@171352 by w d myrick

picon face
Look at  http://www.mentala.com/ I have
used Their SuperPCB and SuperCAD for
several years and I am very satisfied
with it.

Derward Myrick


----- Original Message -----
From: "genome" <.....jtroxasKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com>
To: <piclistspamKILLspammit.edu>
Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 3:31 PM
Subject: [EE]whats the best PCB design
software around


> Whats the the best PCB design software
around, Library. of components, ease
> of use, output capability, autorouting
etc.. considered...
>
>
>
> --

2006\10\05@172703 by Shawn Wilton

picon face
I would completely disagree.  We have Cadence, we have Mentor, and most of
our engineers hate Mentor.  Few people like Cadence, everyone loves Altium.


On 10/5/06, Xiaofan Chen <.....xiaofancKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\10\06@001104 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 10/5/06, Shawn Wilton <black9spamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
> I would completely disagree.  We have Cadence, we have Mentor, and most of
> our engineers hate Mentor.  Few people like Cadence, everyone loves Altium.
>

You may be right that Altium Designer and even Altium PCAD are easier to use.
But I believe they are not in the same league as Mentor tools. So it all depends
on the design. It is also said that Altium tools tend to be very buggy. At least
Protel 99 and 99SE gave me this impression. It is said that DXP
is even worse. PCAD is better in terms of stability but it is less powerful. The
analog simulation tools integrated with Altium is also said to be very lousy...

initial play with Expedition tells me it is not that easy to be used
but at least it
is much more stable and I think I can get used to it later.

2006\10\06@001921 by Herbert Graf

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face
On Fri, 2006-10-06 at 04:31 +0800, genome wrote:
> Whats the the best PCB design software around, Library. of components, ease
> of use, output capability, autorouting etc.. considered...

Well, that all depends on your budget and your requirements. It's like
asking what's the best car.

For my hobby work I've used the GEDA suite. It's free, open source, and,
well, cranky. But once you get around the quirks it's pretty decent
software.

For my professional work I've used Orcad and Allegro. They have WAY more
quirks, are VERY expensive, but both are VERY good tools that can handle
about as big a board you want.

TTYL

2006\10\06@022959 by Shawn Wilton

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Ironic, because I work with a bunch of ex-HP guys and they all HATE Mentor
tools.  They've been using them for 10+ years too...

There are some very large companies (including ours) that use Altium tools
and I have yet to hear any complaints.  The simulation is actually quite
good.  Don't know what you mean by "very buggy", would be nice if you could
follow up with some examples.  Mentor and Cadence have more bugs than any
piece of s/w I have ever seen.

If you're making your judgements against Altium based on their software from
some 6 years ago, that's hardly a fair comparison.

On 10/5/06, Xiaofan Chen <@spam@xiaofancKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\10\06@040030 by genome

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Price is not an issue... whats the best out there...

"genome" <RemoveMEjtroxasTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote in message
news:eg3q3p$77o$spamBeGone1spamBeGonespamsea.gmane.org...
> Whats the the best PCB design software around, Library. of components,
> ease of use, output capability, autorouting etc.. considered...
>
>
> --

2006\10\06@053205 by Vasile Surducan

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On 10/6/06, Xiaofan Chen <TakeThisOuTxiaofancEraseMEspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
> On 10/5/06, Shawn Wilton <RemoveMEblack9spamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
> > I would completely disagree.  We have Cadence, we have Mentor, and most of
> > our engineers hate Mentor.  Few people like Cadence, everyone loves Altium.
> >

Between hating Eagle or hating Pads it's not such a big difference,
maybe that hating an autorouter being able to route on 14 layers or
more is better than one which is dying on two... Altium is not on my
hating list, but I must add it.

> You may be right that Altium Designer and even Altium PCAD are easier to use.
> But I believe they are not in the same league as Mentor tools. So it all depends
> on the design. It is also said that Altium tools tend to be very buggy. At least
> Protel 99 and 99SE gave me this impression.

Yes, but Protel have a gerber wiever and a 3D designer for the PCB,
which others does not have it... And Mentor's libraries must be
bought...

It is said that DXP
> is even worse. PCAD is better in terms of stability but it is less powerful. The
> analog simulation tools integrated with Altium is also said to be very lousy...

If you need analogic simulation than maybe not on a PCB package ?


greetings,
Vasile

2006\10\06@055341 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Yes, but Protel have a gerber wiever and a 3D designer for
>the PCB, which others does not have it...

Orcad has a Gerber viewer, and a 3D viewer (used to called Intellicad, but
believe it has changed its product name). I believe they are both
unsupported products, and the 3D viewer requires export to a different file
format (one of the AutoCAD ones IIRC) and requires one to be using the
Capture CIS version so you have component height information in the
database.

2006\10\06@085529 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 10/6/06, Vasile Surducan <piclist9EraseMEspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
>
> If you need analogic simulation than maybe not on a PCB package ?
>

Oh yes you are right. I have used PSpice and Saber in school and used
PSpice extensively in the last job. Currently I am using Saber.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\10\06@090104 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 10/6/06, Vasile Surducan <EraseMEpiclist9spamgmail.com> wrote:
> And Mentor's libraries must be bought...
>

It seems that medium/big companies are making their own libraries
anyway to suit their process capability. The process to build a PCB
pattern is similar in my previous company and the current company.
Both are not using the vendor-provided libraries.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\10\06@100423 by alan smith

picon face
Mentor has its issues (having spent the last few years using Expedition)
 
 Every package has quirks.  Just like microcontrollers, just need to pick something and hopefully you made the right decision...over time you will figure it out if you did.
 
 For my consulting work I moved from an old DOS version of OrCAD to Eagle. Sure there was a learning curve, but its not a bad price.  I don;t have the autorouter module, but I do have the pro version

Xiaofan Chen <RemoveMExiaofancEraseMEspamEraseMEgmail.com> wrote:
 On 10/5/06, genome wrote:
> Whats the the best PCB design software around, Library. of components, ease
> of use, output capability, autorouting etc.. considered...
>

It all depends on your budget.

If price is not an issue, go for Mentor Graphics (Board Station/Exepition/PADS)
or Cadence.

2006\10\06@155048 by Steve Baldwin

flavicon
face
> It all depends on your budget.
> If price is not an issue, go for Mentor Graphics (Board
> Station/Exepition/PADS) or Cadence.

I don't agree with this approach. You need to decide what it is that you want
to do and choose the appropriate tool. High end tools are capable of
excellent results if you become expert in their use.
If you are going to be cranking out dense, high speed boards, then tools like
Board Station, Specctra, etc make good sense. If your mainstay is going to
be 2 layer boards and you write the firmware, do the accounts and make the
tea, then perhaps Eagle is indeed "the best" for your needs.
For those high end boards, get the business card of a PCB designer with
high-end tools.

Steve.


==========================================
Steve Baldwin                          Electronic Product Design
TLA Microsystems Ltd             Microcontroller Specialists
PO Box 15-680, New Lynn                http://www.tla.co.nz
Auckland, New Zealand                     ph  +64 9 820-2221
email: RemoveMEstevespam_OUTspamKILLspamtla.co.nz                      fax +64 9 820-1929
=========================================


2006\10\06@162852 by Shawn Wilton

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Agreed, sometimes the best thing to do is do the schematic yourself and then
have someone else do the layout.  We have VERY dense board layout outsourced
for $100/hr.  Saves us quite a bit of money.


On 10/6/06, Steve Baldwin <RemoveMEsteveTakeThisOuTspamspamtla.co.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\10\07@191520 by William Chops Westfield

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On Oct 6, 2006, at 12:50 PM, Steve Baldwin wrote:

>> If price is not an issue, go for Mentor Graphics (Board
>> Station/Exepition/PADS) or Cadence.
>
> I don't agree with this approach. You need to decide what it is
> that you want to do and choose the appropriate tool.

That might work if you're already quite knowledgeable about PCB
design/etc.  If you have less experience, you might want to work
backward: "this PRO package has this feature emphasized, Now why
would I want to use it?"  My experience with SW in general is that
high-end tools tend to include a lot of "features" that enable it
to work better in  large, professional environments (version control,
file locking, licensing niceties, direct interfaces to business tools,
simulation, support of particular vendor requirements, support of
documentation requirements, SW administration hooks, etc.)  In
general, a lot of these features do little to make the average engineer
any happier about using the package (and sometimes quite the opposite),
but they are nevertheless "important" to some degree in a professional
environment.

BillW

2006\10\08@090353 by Vasile Surducan

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On 10/6/06, Xiaofan Chen <RemoveMExiaofancKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
> On 10/6/06, Vasile Surducan <piclist9STOPspamspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > If you need analogic simulation than maybe not on a PCB package ?
> >
>
> Oh yes you are right. I have used PSpice and Saber in school and used
> PSpice extensively in the last job. Currently I am using Saber.

With all the shame, I have never simulated an analogic design...
I've tested intensively between 18 and 28 on breadboard and since then
directly on PCB (with some PCB tricks for untested analog design...)
I think there is no accurate analog simulator (even the pspice looks
sometime good, and theoretical good results could give also Electronic
Workbench)

But the real model can only be tested.

greetings,
Vasile

2006\10\08@091355 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 10/8/06, William Chops Westfield <spamBeGonewestfwSTOPspamspamEraseMEmac.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

You know what are saying. Pads will not make you more happy, but
will make from you a proffesional designer which Eagle can't do.
Unless your need is'nt a two layer board with 50 components...
It's very difficult to compare CAD software. Pads logic it's a sh!t
compared with Eagle or Orcad capture. But changing footprints in an
Eagle already made PCB design is definitely a bigger one compared with
Pads. For the sanity of designing easy a PCB you should cry editing
the schematic...

greetings,
Vasile

2006\10\08@105316 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 10/8/06, Vasile Surducan <KILLspampiclist9spamBeGonespamgmail.com> wrote:
>
> With all the shame, I have never simulated an analogic design...
> I've tested intensively between 18 and 28 on breadboard and since then
> directly on PCB (with some PCB tricks for untested analog design...)
> I think there is no accurate analog simulator (even the pspice looks
> sometime good, and theoretical good results could give also Electronic
> Workbench)
>
> But the real model can only be tested.
>

You are right to say that "real model can only be tested". However, we
should still give SPICE simulator (like PSpice) or other analog simulators
(like SABER) due respect. They can be really very useful in many cases.

I've done some pure transistor-based amplifier (transconductance amplifier
for Photodiode) and PSpice simulation result is really very accurate to predict
the passband and the gain.

For SABER you can even do sophisficated system simulation. I was shown
a SABER simulation which simulated a patented inrush current control
circuit. It actually quite accurately predict the junction temperature of the
main MOSFET.

Of course it takes time to get the simulation to work. Sometimes it is
actually faster to get the board done and get the results than getting the
PSpice simulation to converge. That is especially true for Switch-Mode
power supply simulation. Then again there are dedicated SMPS simulation
like PSIM. Vendors like Linear Tech also provide good simulation package
for their own Opamps/PWM controllers.

I am hooked to analog simulation. I've used in almost all my previous
design and I am also doing quite some simulation for the current design.

Regards,
Xiaofan

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