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PCB Layout / Autorouter software

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by kmillar, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. kmillar

    kmillar Guest

    Hi,

    I'm looking for some PCB Layout / Autorouter software for PC and/or
    Mac.
    I've got the 'not for profit' version of Eagle, but in order to 'go
    professional' is very expensive, so before committing to that I'd like
    to evaluate some alternatives.

    What do you suggest?

    The basic requirements are:
    1. Schematic
    2. Board Layout
    3. Auto router

    I could possibly live without the auto-router if the board designer
    was easy enough to use.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Leon

    Leon Guest

    EasyPC (http://www.numberone.com) is very good, I used it for 20
    years. It's about the same price as Eagle and is much easier to use. I
    now use Pulsonix (http.www.pulsonix.com), it's a fully-featured
    professional package competing with Alltium, OrCAD and PADS, but is a
    lot cheaper.

    Leon
     
  3. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Two that come to mind in the FOSS realm, Kicad and gEDA. Kicad has
    native Windows, Mac, and Linux versions; gEDA has Mac and Linux.

    http://kicad.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
    http://www.geda.seul.org/
     
  4. oopere

    oopere Guest

    I hope you can indeed live without the auto-router. From my experience,
    there is no real auto-router out there. I route my boards manually using
    Protel-DXP.

    Pere
     
  5. Leon

    Leon Guest

    The Electra autorouter option available with Pulsonix and some other
    packages does a pretty good job. I don't use it much, though.

    Leon
     
  6. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

    gEDA runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Unix.
     
  7. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Roger that. I was fooled by the statement: "gEDA is a set of GNU/Linux
    or Unix-native programs. There is no supported Windows version."
     
  8. I agree, Electra was not bad (I say "was" since I am no longer able to
    use the activation code due to finally dumping my windows
    installation).

    I use manual routing generally, but is was nice to use when I had to
    route a board with SDRAM+flash+32 bit CPU. I was able to try out
    variations on part positions without creating a days work each time I
    moved something!
     
  9. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    Stuart (and others) have done a good job
    of cleaning up the Wikipedia entry for gEDA:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEDA#Platforms

    The *Windoze* part clears things up nicely
    and the OS X part is quite pithy.
     
  10. Bob

    Bob Guest

    I agree. I will take a preliminary placement layout and throw the
    autorouter at it. It can quickly show where bottlenecks and
    chokepoints are that i might not have noticed. Then I push things
    around, rotate parts or change pin assignments and route it myself
    manually/interactively.

    Bob
     
  11. Bob

    Bob Guest


    I think so too. A lot of people don't like it, but I find it relaxing.
    I'll put on some instrumental music in my headphones and wander around
    the board allowing my left and right brain to play together nicely for
    a change.

    Bob
     
  12. James Arthur

    James Arthur Guest

    I've really enjoyed pin-to-pin one-wire interactive
    autorouters, where you tell the computer "run a wire
    from here <click> to here <click>."

    Since you've placed the parts already--and maybe even boxed
    in the path with other traces--they get it pretty close to
    right. Then you can tweak it. A big timesaver.

    Cheers,
    James Arthur
     
  13. BW

    BW Guest

    Interactive routers with a dynamic plow functionality are invaluable.
    You get the best of both worlds. You just push the trace as you go
    along with the mouse and it will reroute all traces within a pretty
    large
    vicinity to allow you to come through with your new trace. This allows
    you to use your brain to figure out the best topology, while letting
    the
    computer go brute-force to find a way. If the board is choked, you
    will
    see this easily as the plower will fail.

    Routing complex memories and 32-bit CPU busses from BGA's is
    something you do in 1-2 hours with such a router. You don't need any
    autorouter and you definitely will lose time anyway on it since you
    have
    to set up the rules very well (this is the hardest part with
    autorouting).

    /Bjorn
     
  14. Alvin Tsang

    Alvin Tsang

    1
    0
    Jul 15, 2009
    PCB supply from China

     
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