editor's blog
Subscribe Now

New PCB Design Mix ‘n’ Match

Yesterday Cadence announced a major update to their Allegro PCB design suite. This is the full-featured set of tools targeted at enterprise (= deep pockets) customers. They found that their offering had outgrown the “good/better/best” grading that had been in place for a long time.

What they’ve done instead is to put in place a baseline tool, Allegro PCB Designer, into which various optional modules can be inserted. These modules provide various higher-value functions, and the licenses can be purchased in quantities different from those purchased for the base product. For example, if you do lots of high-speed interface design but only occasional RF design, you can buy more floating licenses for the former and less for the latter. When actually used, the designer would check out a license (assuming one was still available) and release it when no longer needed.

Modules exist for:

  • Team design
  • High-speed design (providing more constraints, automation, and verification options)
  • Miniaturization (HDI board technology, for example; I’ll have more on this at a later date)
  • Analog/RF
  • Design planning (feasibility checking of the “flow” plan, automation of a “topological” plan from the “flow” plan – more or less turning a general routing plan into specific routes, etc.)
  • Enhanced automatic routing

They also updated OrCAD, their PCB design tool for the “mainstream.” In particular, they re-bundled their free “demo” product as a (still free) “Lite” product. Whereas before the  demo product wouldn’t allow you to go to manufacturing, that’s been relaxed. So it consists of a “limited” version of the combined capabilities of their Standard and Professional versions plus some stand-alone PSpice tools. A very small design (up to 50 components) can be created and built using the free tool.

They’ve also added a signal integrity feature and brought the following features from Allegro into their OrCAD Professional version:

  • Diff pair support
  • Placement replication
  • Constraint regions

More detail in their press release

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Nov 16, 2018
If you aren'€™t from the packaging world, then chances are likely you might think '€œpacking'€ refers to objects being placed in to a box instead of packaging integrated circuits (IC'€™s) on a substrate. Packaging has advanced since it began, and as with many areas i...
Nov 14, 2018
  People of a certain age, who mindfully lived through the early microcomputer revolution during the first half of the 1970s, know about Bill Godbout. He was that guy who sent out crudely photocopied parts catalogs for all kinds of electronic components, sold from a Quon...
Nov 13, 2018
Podcast Interview with the authors of The Hitchhikers Guide to PCB Design eBook by Mike Beutow with PCB Chat....