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Five EDA tools for common hardware PCB design

Five EDA tools for common hardware PCB design

EDA tools emerge in an endless stream. At present, EDA software that has entered China and has a wide influence include EWB, PSpice, OrCAD, PCAD, PROTEL, viewlogic, mentor, graphics, Synopsys, lsilogic, cadence, Microsim, etc. These tools have strong functions and can be used in several aspects. For example, many software can be used for circuit design and simulation. At the same time, it can carry out automatic PCB layout and routing, and can output a variety of netlist files to interface with third-party software.

1) Pads series is an upgrade product after the acquisition of the original powerpcb. Among them, the schematic tool is pads logic, the PCB tool is pad layout, the automatic routing tool is pad router, and the package library making tool is LP wizard.PADS The features of the series of tools are simple and easy to use, fast to use, flexible design and high degree of freedom for users. In the domestic low-end customers have a high market share. The most intimate thing is that the new version of pads series tools has launched the official Chinese version, which is rare in EDA tools, which fully shows the importance attached to the Chinese market. Among them, we should emphasize separately the package library making tool LP wizard. As long as it is a standard package, it can be used to automatically generate the package library. It supports not only mentor's own tools, but also other tools. It is highly recommended to reduce the risk of errors in database construction.
 
2) HyperLynx series is a well-known simulation tool series of mentor company. HyperLynx itself contains many parts, which can complete different simulation requirements such as signal integrity, power integrity, DRC check, thermal simulation, and simulation. Although there is still a gap compared with professional simulation tools, but the running speed is fast, the use is simple, the results are acceptable, and it is still good under the general use conditions.
 
3) Expedition enterprise series is the star product of mentor company, referred to as EE. It mainly faces the needs of medium and high-end customers. In the multi-layer board, push, automatic wiring and other aspects have the industry-leading technical level. Among them, dxdesigner is the main schematic tool, and expedition PCB is the PCB tool (many people like to call it WG and workgroup). Mentor also has a board station (EN) series of tools, and now many functions are integrated into expedition. I feel that the Board Station (EN) series will gradually withdraw from the stage of history and be completely replaced by EE series. In addition, the number of people using it in China is very limited, and reference materials and software are quite difficult to find.

Allegro, the layout tool of cadence, is well-known in the industry. It is said that 60% of computer motherboards and 40% of mobile phone motherboards in the world are completed by allegro. From one side, we can see that Allegro has a high share in high-speed PCB design. Originally, cadence's schematic design tool, design entry HDL, has been widely criticized. However, since the acquisition of OrCAD, its weaknesses in schematic design have been well compensated. At present, cadence's main design process is OrCAD for schematic design and Allegro (PCB editor) for PCB layout. Since both tools are one, seamless connection can be realized between the two tools, which is very convenient to use. Cadence's automatic routing tool PCB router is also very powerful. With perfect rules, the pass rate of layout is very high. Once I saw a complex PCB board composed of four high-end FPGA chips of Xilinx company. I used cadence's own automatic routing tool to complete the layout and pass, with only a few modifications, which was deeply shocked. According to different customers, cadence company divides the software into different versions, such as l, XL, GXL and so on, including different advanced functions. To use the advanced functions of the software, you must have the authorization of GXL version. Allegro has been gaining momentum in recent years. Many large companies have turned to Allegro for PCB design. To some extent, Allegro has become the de facto industry standard. In addition to PCB design tools, cadence also has powerful simulation tools, which can realize the synchronization of design and simulation.
 
The predecessor of Altium company is Protel, which is well-known in China. Many students in schools still have the basic course Protel 99SE. Protel's greatest feature is its flexibility, which gives users the maximum freedom to do whatever they want. Many of the older engineers who have been using the DOS version of Protel have a passion for Protel. Some old engineers use Protel to lay out PCB directly, because the schematic diagram is already familiar. This kind of design method which does not pay attention to the design process is flexible, but it will bring difficulties to the follow-up work handover and design communication. Since Protel 99SE, Altium company has made many large-scale software upgrades and improvements. The latest version should be Altium designer 14 (AD 14). The biggest characteristic of ad software is integration. It integrates all the functions into one tool. With the software updating, the function is more and more powerful, and the volume of the software is becoming more and more difficult to accept. However, some functions are very intimate, considering the convenience of users. For example, real-time display of network name on the network, this function has reference in the new version software of other tools. It can be said that ad is still an easy to use PCB design tool.
 
Zuken and Cadsoft's products have a small share in the domestic market. Here is a brief introduction. Zuken is a product of Japanese companies, so it is welcomed by many Japanese enterprises or companies with business relations with Japan. Zuken's high-end design tools are cr8000 and cr5000 CADSTAR.CadSoft The company's design tool is eagle. It entered the domestic market late and has a certain market in Europe and America. Although rare, Eagle has its own characteristics. Focus on PCB design, no fancy function. The standard version supports 6-layer PCB design, while the professional version only supports 16 layer PCB design. The tool itself is small, fast and cheap. For small businesses in Europe and the United States, it is a very affordable choice.

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