PADS Desktop PCB Design

Discussions on the present, future capabilities and value of the PADS PCB flow.

27 August, 2015

PCB_Tech_TalkIn this episode, I talk about the PCB design profession and, perhaps, bust the myth that PCB designers are quickly becoming a vanishing breed.

  • Where did the PCB designers with 25 plus years of experience come from? 
  • When they retire, who will replace them? 
  • How did they learn what they know about PCB design and how will those skills be passed on to the next generation of PCB designers?

Join me as I discuss these questions and more, looking into who the majority of today’s PCB designers are, who the next generation of PCB designers may be, and also where they may be coming from and how they might get there.

Fresh Faces in the Design Community, PCB&F, 2014 PCB Designer Annual Survey

How did you learn PCB layout?, EDN Network

LinkedIn Group Discussion, Old Timers PCB Designer Group


Listen to the third episode and subscribe to the podcast by clicking on http://pcbtechtalk.libsyn.com/rss from your mobile device or manually adding the podcast within your mobile podcast app using that same link. Or, if you prefer, you may listen through the player below.

Future episodes will be announced here on the blog and will show up in your podcast app of choice if you subscribe.

Previous Episodes:

PCB Tech Talk Episode One

PCB Tech Talk Episode Two

Have questions or topics of interest? Add them in the comments below or send them to pcb_techtalk@mentor.com so that we can feature them in future episodes.

17 August, 2015

Ask any PCB designer what the foundation or building blocks are for printed circuit board designs and you’ll get the same answer – “the component land patterns.”  No matter what you call them – land patterns, footprints, decals, package symbols, etc. – what really matters is that they are accurate.

If land patterns are wrong, your PCB gets fabricated, and then a placement problem is discovered during assembly, you’ve most likely just wasted a lot of time and money.

“The catalyst for some of the best design processes come out of learning from mistakes.” 

So, why does it happen? Are there ever errors in the datasheet? Do people make mistakes?  Yes! And, yes!

Is there a process or procedure missing that could have prevented it?  Let’s talk about it!

In this podcast I discuss some different ways that you can ensure that these foundational building blocks for your PCB designs are strong including:

  • The QA process
  • Tools used specifically for creating quality land patterns
  • Some reliable resources and tools that can ensure designs are correct-by-construction

Let’s ensure that dreaded calls from the PCB assembly house are avoided!

Listen to the second episode and subscribe to the podcast by clicking on http://pcbtechtalk.libsyn.com/rss from your mobile device or manually adding the podcast within your mobile podcast app using that same link. Or, if you prefer, you may listen through the player below.

Future episodes will be announced here on the blog and will show up in your podcast app of choice if you subscribe. If you missed the first episode, check it out here.

Have questions or topics of interest? Add them in the comments below or send them to pcb_techtalk@mentor.com so that we can feature them in future episodes.

For more on this topic, check out these white papers:

11 August, 2015

This is the first in a three-part series examining rule and constraint definition and management that supports a correct-by-design methodology.

Constrain, restrict, limit…we have so many different design requirements that we impose on our PCB tools; it surprises me that we are ever able to actually finish a design at all.

And, these terms all imply severity when, in fact, we are just attempting to achieve compliance (conform to all of our system specifications and rules for high speed performance, manufacturing, power distribution, heat dissipation, etc.).

We need to be able to define, modify, edit, manage and validate our constraints, so we use constraint management and editing tools. That said, why don’t we have a compliance or conformity editor instead? I suppose conformity manager simply does not quite roll off the tongue as well.

The Importance of Rule Definition and Management

As we strive to meet all of these diverse rules while designs continue to increase in complexity and time-to-market remains critical, it is imperative to have a single rule entry system that is central and integral to your design flow. From pre-schematic through PCB layout and routing to manufacturing, that system should be:

  • Easy to use – even for casual users
  • Consistent so you can enter or modify rules in the same editing environment at an point in the design cycle, anywhere on the design
  • Efficient to maximize productivity so that you spend more time designing
  • Accurate so you can validate actual design data against required rules
Easy to use, single editing environment for design rule and constraint editing throughout the entire design process

Easy-to-use, single editing environment for design rule and constraint editing throughout the entire design process

Constraint Definition

All PCB design constraints should be equally accessible from the schematic, layout, and routing environments. There are also several areas of rule and constraint definition and management that should be considered, including the following:

  • Defining net classes and constraint classes that are used across the entire design flow
  • Different specific constraint types such as topology, matched lengths, differential pairs and clearance rules that adhere to your system specifications
  • Adhering to these rules during placement and routing to minimize post layout editing
  • Post-layout validation and verification to ensure that all of your constraints are met

More on this topic in the next two posts. In the meantime, I have a question for you – what is the most challenging aspect of design rule/constraint entry and management that you face today? Are there new and upcoming technological requirements that are difficult to address?

To learn more about the importance of PCB design constraints, check out this white paper, “Why PCB Design Constraints Should Drive Your Design Flow.”

27 July, 2015

We’ve heard other EDA vendors talk about providing broadly published roadmaps and future direction transparency. When I have seen these, they have appeared to be manifesto statements of everything that everyone could ever want in a tool. Which brings me to question how soon vendors can realistically deliver these solutions.

I’m sure all vendors have similar goals, strategies, and roadmaps. However, achieving them is where the true challenge lies. When you scan the various markets that we, the EDA vendors, need to serve, selecting important features to focus on can become daunting.

EDA Technology Roadmap

It is no secret that the main focus in the market today is IoT. In the marketing world, we always talk about “verticals”, like consumer, automotive, etc. However, IoT is really horizontal. In other words, IoT crosses a wide spectrum of markets and is in pretty much everything being designed and built today. In fact, we see that many of our PADS customers work in a broad and vast set of technologies and industries, from individuals to large teams, and at small to large companies.

So, what features do we work on? To decide, we need to truly understand both the overarching technology trends and, more importantly, the users we serve.

Horizontal technology markets, as stated above, crosses nearly all vertical market segments. This means that end users require capabilities in many disciplines, including RF, analog, mixed signal, and high-speed.

Take high-speed, for example. It used to be that only high-speed systems (computing, networking, mil/aero) required detailed analysis and simulation. Well, the fact is that today, there is high-speed in nearly everything we design. In some cases, the components that are being used can only be acquired with faster operating speeds, even if not required for the system.

This brings the topic, and importance, of high-speed to a far greater audience than ever before. While users may not be high-speed experts nor want to be, they are pushed to either simulate and validate their design or risk having it not work…something that can make or break time-to-market goals.

The PADS Roadmap

How does this all relate to the PADS roadmap? We are analyzing how we can bring robust, highly capable, high-speed tools such as Hyperlynx to a community of designers in a manner that is non-obtrusive, easy to setup, and simple to use. Furthermore, we know these tools must provide accurate results that can be validated in the lab.

This may also sound pie-in-the-sky like every other roadmap, but, Mentor has the ability to deliver such a solution. Hyperlynx is already known in the high-speed world as the simplest, most powerful environment for the design engineer and is already part of PADS (Standard Plus and Professional). Our roadmap takes this same technology and extends capabilities even further to deliver capabilities in power aware SI, IR Drop, and comprehensive SI analysis…all within your PADS environment.

Mentor has the ability to anticipate future needs and deliver powerful technology to meet those needs. Users may not have had to deal with these in the past but should anticipate that, as complexity increases and their needs expand, they will need a tool that can grow with them.

Another example is thermal. In cases such as miniaturization and wearables, thermal has become a larger concern.

PADS solutions contain Hyperlynx Thermal for quick “what-if” trade-offs. However, Mentor also has, as part of its broad technology portfolio, FloTHERM which has set the industry standard for systems level thermal analysis. In the past, this tool was primarily used by thermal experts. Later this year, it will be available in a PADS package! Right from within your PADS cockpit, you will be able to extract a design into FloTHERM, analyze, and quickly get results that will enable real-time design decisions.

Other examples of upcoming technology include FPGA synthesis and optimization, system-level analog and mixed-signal analysis, industry-leading manufacturing analysis through Valor, and even mainstream IC design capabilities with our recently acquired Tanner EDA technology.

Most designers start with the standard capabilities of design entry and PCB layout and we know that PADS must provide the best solution possible for those challenges as well.

Later this year, we will introduce a leap frog 3D/2D co-design capability along with new capabilities that improve user productivity. Still to come? A steady stream set of enhancements in six month intervals to address all the needs of designers working on rigid-flex, micro-via, mixed signal, and high-speed PCB designs.

Pulling this all back to the topic of roadmaps, we need to take a holistic view of our industry and end users, understand the changing world in which they are designing, and anticipate new challenges that will arise in getting their product successfully designed, simulated, validated, and to manufacturing in the fastest means possible.

When we analyze what that means to PADS, we are confident that we are in a position to deliver the industry best solution. Anyone can tell you what the world needs but who can really deliver? And do it in a way that delivers best-in-class technology that’s highly-integrated and easy to use? Even if they can, the world doesn’t need a solution years from now…we need one today.

14 July, 2015

It’s hard to believe that nearly three decades have past since I designed my first printed circuit boards. I can still recall how impressed I was with the first CAD system I’d operated. It was in a futuristic ambient-lit computer room where six or so minicomputer based Calma Systems were installed.

Each Calma workstation included a digital read-out of x-y coordinates illuminated in red located in the upper right corner of the huge digitizer table. Each station also included a console complete with mechanical keyboard and green monochrome CRT’s.

This image Calma(courtesy of David Weisberg) gives you an idea of the floor space taken-up by the Calma system.  A separate “computer room” complete with a raised floor hiding all the AC ducts and cabling housed all the data storage systems that served and backed-up the workstations. There was also a huge HP plotter used to print out each layer of digitized routes that would eventually be scaled and photographed on to clear film in the lab located across the hall. Sound familiar?

You don’t have to have been in the PCB industry for decades to see the evolution of EDA tools for PCB design. The industry has come a long, long way from hand-taping designs and digitizing hand-drawn layers as done with the Calma systems that we literally used to build rooms around. We now use powerful desktop tools installed on laptops and carry them around in backpacks that “usually” fit neatly under the seat in front of you on an airplane.

PCB designers’ responsibilities have evolved proportionally over the decades. A design flow where individuals may have been solely responsible for the schematic or just symbol creation or only the layout of the design without any involvement with other individual tasks in the design flow are long gone.

Today, we must consider every aspect of the design throughout the entire flow. That is, interest in every component, every layer, every trace and every via. We consider signal integrity, we simulate and we validate. We know where the PCB is installed and design with EMI and thermal influences in mind. We collaborate directly with mechanical CAD tools and we analyze completed designs utilizing DFMA tools developed to ensure first-pass manufacturing success.

“PCB design, the methodology of the past, has become the entry point to the wonderful new world of System Design Automation (SDA). PCB itself is being teamed-up with MCM design; 2D, 2 & ½D design, and 3D design; MEMS Design and Mechanical Design. This is giving Mentor and Cadence a door to the future.” (Source: 2014 Marketing Trends: Executive Sumary – Gary Smith EDA.  ~ We are left with heavy hearts upon learning that Gary had passed away over the July 4th weekend – he was a true leader and visionary in the EDA industry. We extend our deepest condolences to his family.~)

PCB designers now have the capability and in many cases the responsibility to perform much if not every aspect of the design flow. PADS solutions: Standard, Standard-Plus and Professional are specifically tailored to suit the needs of today’s designers no matter the level of responsibility. Appropriately bundled and proportionally priced to fit your budget.

PADS Standard is geared toward the engineer looking for high value, production proven tools. It provides schematic design and layout capabilities in an intuitive and easy-to-use environment. PADS Standard is ideal for less complex board design where cost is a high priority. Try it now http://www.pads.com/standard/try

PADS Standard Plus is packaged to empower the independent engineer who requires a more complete design flow that includes advanced tool-sets. It has everything that Standard has, plus it is equipped with the enhanced layout and integrated analysis and verification functionality needed to produce quality PCBs, fast. Try it now http://www.pads.com/standard/try

PADS Professional is the most powerful solution, packing all the technology required to accomplish the most demanding and complex designs at an unbelievable price. Professional provides the independent engineer with the technology required to accomplish the most demanding and complex designs.  The full flow of PADS Professional lets you design, validate and manufacture PCB-centric systems including advanced FPGA devices. Try it now http://www.pads.com/professional/try

Click image below to compare to PADS productscompare PADSPADS solutions are appropriately bundled to fit your level of design complexity and your budget to ensure that you maintain your competitive edge.

Thanks for reading,  John

29 June, 2015

Is it true that the bigger the company you work for – the less aspects of the PCB design flow you’re involved with? Maybe….

I’ve had the privileged in my career to design PCB’s for a couple of cutting edge networking start-up companies and some well known public companies that includes the (as defined by wiki) worldwide leader in networking equipment for the internet. I’ve also been “that designer” that does it all including the ECAD and MCAD physical design. I’ve also been the guy on the other side of the wall responsible for PCB layout only.

BIG companies with large PCB design teams depend on an enterprise tool solutions that takes every design discipline into account to ensure quality and resource efficiency.  Today, more than ever, there are more and more individuals, small start-up companies, design bureaus, even Makers and DIY’ers that are developing complex designs that require PCB design tools with the power of an enterprise solution at a proper scale and an affordable price to complete their designs.

ManyHats

The Many Hats of Today’s PCB Designer

A one-size PCB design tool solution does not fit all. It is important to have the right PCB design tool at the right time and at the right price. No one wants to pay extra for advanced features that they don’t require – BUT,  when the “right time” does come and advancements in technology and competition push your design requirements to the next level, you’ll want to ensure you can seamlessly access advanced capabilities from your design tool.

Now, PADS is delivering a range of affordable and proportionally featured products with options that support PCB designs of any complexity. Starting at only $5000USD*  (*including support), PADS Standard provides a complete full-featured PCB design tool for basic PCB design and in many cases may provide all the functionality you’ll ever need. That is, schematic, component management, layout, routing, and manufacturing prep.

But what if you are that small start-up company, Maker, or DIY’er that is developing a new high-tech product, perhaps you’re Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign funded over 100% overnight! And the next generation of your product will require advanced functionality from your PCB design tool including features like integrated constraint management, signal integrity analysis and thermal and analog simulation. Simple, get or upgrade to PADS Standard Plus!

In the black? Earlier I mentioned being part of a couple of start-up companies one of which was a cutting edge networking company and I was “that designer” in the illustration above that wore “most” of those hats. We were lean, efficient and worked hard to achieve our goals to become profitable and eventually either launch an IPO or accept an acquisition offer that we couldn’t refuse. I needed all the technology and horsepower of an enterprise solution that could handle the demanding and complex designs for just myself without the infrastructure and at a scale and price that a start-up company like ours could justify. PADS Professional would have been the perfect fit!

padsstory

Steve Hughes and I discuss the evolving needs of “generalist” engineers.

PADS Professional, starting at only $18,000USD is that high-end enterprise solution for the independent, multi-discipline hardware engineer that can handle the design complexity without the unnecessary overhead and the associated challenges of usability and COO (cost of ownership). Built on the same Xpedition technology used to design the world’s most complex PCBs. Hardware engineers who do it all — operating independently or in small workgroups — will find PADS Professional to be the perfect solution that can do it all!

To learn more about or try any of these PADS solutions visit www.pads.com today!

Thanks for reading,  John

19 June, 2015

No matter if you are part of a small team focusing on just one aspect of the PCB design flow or you are “THAT designer” who can do it all – PADS has the right solution at the right price for you!

At $5000USD Including Support: PADS Standard delivers a full-flow solution for PCB development, including schematic, component management, layout, routing, and manufacturing prep. Easy-to-use schematic and layout translators help import libraries and designs from your current toolset, whether it’s Allegro®, Altium® Designer, CADSTAR®, OrCAD®, P-CAD®, or Protel®.

But if you are “THAT designer” who requires a design flow with integrated advanced board-level analog simulation analysis and verification capabilities, PADS Standard Plus is equipped with all the analysis and verification functionality you need to produce quality PCBs faster.

PADS 3

PADS Standard Plus includes all the features of PADS Standard plus signal integrity analysis powered by HyperLynx® technology enabling you to determine routing constraints and verify your routed PCB as well as identify and address potential “hot spots” through thermal analysis that takes into account conduction, convection, and radiation cooling effects.

What? – You’re “THAT designer” that does even EVEN MORE?

Then PADS Standard Plus can deliver EVEN MORE capabilities by offering tools for DFT, DFMA, MCAD Collaboration and even Advanced Packaging if desired.

But lets say you’re “THE designer” –  The one that HAS TO DO IT ALL? – And on the most complex PCB Designs.

If you need a tool with all the horsepower and features of an Enterprise solution that fits all your design needs and your budget – look no further than PADS Professional! PADS Professional utilizes Xpedition® technology that handles the most demanding and complex designs, where other solutions fail. Get all the features and functionality of PADS Standard Plus including high-speed routing and access to the most advanced features like advanced FPGA synthesis, FPGA I/O optimization, unified constraint management, electrical sign-off based on full board DRC screening and signal/power integrity analysis, just for starters. Add to that a best-in-class layout PCB environment featuring concurrent 2D and 3D physical design and a correct-by-construction approach to placement, plane design and routing.

PADS Professional also delivers the industry’s most powerful interactive routing environment for large busses, single ended and differential pair nets AND includes our new ground-breaking sketch routing technology! Whats that?, you need even more advanced fabrication design features including HDI, RF, flex circuitry and embedded components? Done!  Check out PADS Professional today!

See how PADS has set the standard in PCB design solutions for yourself!  Click here and compare these 3 PADS solutions today!

compareTry PADS Standard today for FREE !

Try a FREE PADS Standard Plus or PADS Professional Virtual Lab. in the cloud!

Thanks for reading!   John

15 June, 2015

Today I’m excited to announce a new podcast – PCB Tech Talk! In the first episode I talk about a paradigm shift in routing.

Listen to the first episode and subscribe to the podcast by clicking on http://pcbtechtalk.libsyn.com/rss from your mobile device or manually adding the podcast within your mobile podcast app using that same link. Or, if you prefer, you may listen through the player below. Future episodes will be announced here on the blog and will show up in your podcast app of choice if you subscribe.

PCB_Tech_Talk

Have questions or topics of interest? Add them in the comments below or send them to pcb_techtalk@mentor.com so that we can feature them in future episodes. 

PCB Tech Talk: Episode 1 – The New Path to PCB Routing Success

Ask any PCB designer you know about autorouters and you’ll likely get the same response, “they just don’t get the job done.” You’ll often hear that autorouter results “aren’t good enough or even close” to being comparable to what PCB designers know they can accomplished with hand routing.

Packing 10lbs in a 5lb Bag

Fact is, when we break up todays PCB design cycle into individual tasks – like library development, schematic, component placement, pre-routes, etc., one of the biggest, if not the biggest chunks of time we spend on the design is with design connectivity. That is, turning all those rats, thousands even tens of thousands in many cases into traces.

Oh, and if things weren’t already tough enough how about adding rules and constraints to 90 percent of those nets!

Rules on EVERY net?  So what!

With designs becoming more complex, rules on nearly every net, and PCBs becoming smaller and denser every year, autorouting designs is not getting any easier.

But, imagine this — a new technology, one that combines automatic routing power with user-controlled interactive routing. That is, a technology capable of producing the same high-quality results that are achieved with hand routing.

Seeing is believing!

Sound interesting? Listen to my podcast and you’ll learn about a new technology called Sketch Routing. If this short demo video just looks too good to be true, then test drive it yourself in the cloud with this free virtual lab.

6 June, 2015

If you’re a PCB Librarian, PCB Designer, ECAD Engineer, NPIE, new to PCB design, involved in PCB manufacturing or anywhere in-between you’ll want to keep these four white papers on file for future reference and guidance. Each paper provides PCB design industry guidance, design best practices and the educational information you need for the surface mount component families that you use the most.

Each paper discusses everything from the land sizes for each of the applicable lead type to the placement courtyard and routing schemes to consider for the different technology and density levels.

Part 1 is dedicated to the creation of Molded Body components. Click here to download.

WP Front page

xDX Molded


Part 2 covers the  Small Outline Transistor (SOT). Click here to download.

SOT 1thru4WP page sample


Part 3 covers BGAs. Click here to download.

WP pageBGA


Part 4 includes both QFN and PQFNs with pullback leads. Click here to download

blog image 1

blog image 2


If you want to build IPC-7351B compliant land patterns 90% faster ?  Check out the Land Pattern Creator Click here!

To learn more about PADS Library Management, Click here!

Thanks for reading!  John

3 June, 2015

The PADS brand has a long, rich history and many users have been loyal customers for nearly 20 years. There have been rumors that PADS is on its way out and that is far from the truth. The PADS brand products directly address the everyday challenges and needs of thousands of independent engineers.

Before I continue, I’d like to introduce myself. I am Paul Musto and I recently joined Mentor as the PADS product line director. With over 25 years of experience in PCB systems design, I am excited to move forward with you as the industry continues to evolve. I have worked in both R&D and marketing and applications engineering roles for PCB and IC packaging tools. In each role, I emphasized time interacting with customers to ensure that our products and solutions were well aligned with customer and industry requirements.

I look forward to learning more about and from the PADS community so you’ll be seeing more of me here on the PADS blog.

New PADS PCB Design Solutions

As you may have heard, PADS Standard, Standard Plus, and PADS Professional were announced in April. Each delivers compelling offerings at a competitive price.

PADS Logo

These new product offerings were designed to align with a certain type of user. They all include both front-end (and, yes, logic is still a supported schematic capture tool!) and PCB design capabilities. But, as you go up, you gain more high-speed, thermal, and layout capabilities.

Based on these platforms, we will begin to provide a continuous flow of new functionality and capabilities targeted for that end user. Our recent release includes support for Windows 8.1 and significant improvements in our translators. We also have a release scheduled at the end of this year that will add some very big new functionality.

The best is yet to come for all our loyal users and new users, alike. To our existing users – thank you for being a part of our community. For all that are considering PADS, we look forward to the opportunity to provide you with a tool that will grow with you as your needs continue to evolve.

What do you like most about the new PADS offerings and what do you most hope to see in future releases? If you haven’t tried the new product offerings yet, I encourage you to do so today. Try PADS Standard Plus here and try PADS Professional here.

Try PADS Free

Check out PADS Professional, the PCB design flow for the multi-discipline engineer who does it all, in this cloud-based trial.

Try PADS Professional

Want to try PADS Standard Plus yourself? Two great options—try PADS in the cloud, or download time-limited software for use on your desktop.

Try PADS Standard Plus

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  • PCB Tech Talk Podcast: Are PCB designers becoming an endangered species?
    In this episode, I talk about the PCB design profession and, perhaps, bust the myth that PCB designers are quickly becoming a vanishing breed. Where did the PCB designers with 25 plus years of experience come from?  When they retire, who will replace them?  How did they learn what they know about PCB design and […]
  • PCB Tech Talk Podcast: The Foundation for Every PCB
    Ask any PCB designer what the foundation or building blocks are for printed circuit board designs and you’ll get the same answer – “the component land patterns.”  No matter what you call them – land patterns, footprints, decals, package symbols, etc. – what really matters is that they are accurate. If land patterns are wrong, […]
  • Why impose PCB design constraints?
    This is the first in a three-part series examining rule and constraint definition and management that supports a correct-by-design methodology. Constrain, restrict, limit…we have so many different design requirements that we impose on our PCB tools; it surprises me that we are ever able to actually finish a design at all. And, these terms all […]
  • The EDA Technology Roadmap
    We’ve heard other EDA vendors talk about providing broadly published roadmaps and future direction transparency. When I have seen these, they have appeared to be manifesto statements of everything that everyone could ever want in a tool. Which brings me to question how soon vendors can realistically deliver these solutions. I’m sure all vendors have […]
  • PCB Design Then and Now
    It’s hard to believe that nearly three decades have past since I designed my first printed circuit boards. I can still recall how impressed I was with the first CAD system I’d operated. It was in a futuristic ambient-lit computer room where six or so minicomputer based Calma Systems were installed. Each Calma workstation included […]

RSS Subscribe to this blog

  • PCB Tech Talk Podcast: Are PCB designers becoming an endangered species?
    In this episode, I talk about the PCB design profession and, perhaps, bust the myth that PCB designers are quickly becoming a vanishing breed. Where did the PCB designers with 25 plus years of experience come from?  When they retire, who will replace them?  How did they learn what they know about PCB design and […]
  • PCB Tech Talk Podcast: The Foundation for Every PCB
    Ask any PCB designer what the foundation or building blocks are for printed circuit board designs and you’ll get the same answer – “the component land patterns.”  No matter what you call them – land patterns, footprints, decals, package symbols, etc. – what really matters is that they are accurate. If land patterns are wrong, […]
  • Why impose PCB design constraints?
    This is the first in a three-part series examining rule and constraint definition and management that supports a correct-by-design methodology. Constrain, restrict, limit…we have so many different design requirements that we impose on our PCB tools; it surprises me that we are ever able to actually finish a design at all. And, these terms all […]
  • The EDA Technology Roadmap
    We’ve heard other EDA vendors talk about providing broadly published roadmaps and future direction transparency. When I have seen these, they have appeared to be manifesto statements of everything that everyone could ever want in a tool. Which brings me to question how soon vendors can realistically deliver these solutions. I’m sure all vendors have […]
  • PCB Design Then and Now
    It’s hard to believe that nearly three decades have past since I designed my first printed circuit boards. I can still recall how impressed I was with the first CAD system I’d operated. It was in a futuristic ambient-lit computer room where six or so minicomputer based Calma Systems were installed. Each Calma workstation included […]
  • Exercising Your Options
    Is it true that the bigger the company you work for – the less aspects of the PCB design flow you’re involved with? Maybe…. I’ve had the privileged in my career to design PCB’s for a couple of cutting edge networking start-up companies and some well known public companies that includes the (as defined by […]
  • Setting the Standard for PCB Design Tool Solutions
    No matter if you are part of a small team focusing on just one aspect of the PCB design flow or you are “THAT designer” who can do it all – PADS has the right solution at the right price for you! At $5000USD Including Support: PADS Standard delivers a full-flow solution for PCB development, […]
  • Announcing the PCB Tech Talk Podcast!
    Today I’m excited to announce a new podcast – PCB Tech Talk! In the first episode I talk about a paradigm shift in routing. Listen to the first episode and subscribe to the podcast by clicking on http://pcbtechtalk.libsyn.com/rss from your mobile device or manually adding the podcast within your mobile podcast app using that same link. Or, if […]
  • 4 Component Library White Papers that You’ll Keep on File!
    If you’re a PCB Librarian, PCB Designer, ECAD Engineer, NPIE, new to PCB design, involved in PCB manufacturing or anywhere in-between you’ll want to keep these four white papers on file for future reference and guidance. Each paper provides PCB design industry guidance, design best practices and the educational information you need for the surface […]
  • The Future of PADS
    The PADS brand has a long, rich history and many users have been loyal customers for nearly 20 years. There have been rumors that PADS is on its way out and that is far from the truth. The PADS brand products directly address the everyday challenges and needs of thousands of independent engineers. Before I […]

RSS Subscribe to the PADS Blog

  • PCB Tech Talk Podcast: Are PCB designers becoming an endangered species?
    In this episode, I talk about the PCB design profession and, perhaps, bust the myth that PCB designers are quickly becoming a vanishing breed. Where did the PCB designers with 25 plus years of experience come from?  When they retire, who will replace them?  How did they learn what they know about PCB design and […]
  • PCB Tech Talk Podcast: The Foundation for Every PCB
    Ask any PCB designer what the foundation or building blocks are for printed circuit board designs and you’ll get the same answer – “the component land patterns.”  No matter what you call them – land patterns, footprints, decals, package symbols, etc. – what really matters is that they are accurate. If land patterns are wrong, […]
  • Why impose PCB design constraints?
    This is the first in a three-part series examining rule and constraint definition and management that supports a correct-by-design methodology. Constrain, restrict, limit…we have so many different design requirements that we impose on our PCB tools; it surprises me that we are ever able to actually finish a design at all. And, these terms all […]
  • The EDA Technology Roadmap
    We’ve heard other EDA vendors talk about providing broadly published roadmaps and future direction transparency. When I have seen these, they have appeared to be manifesto statements of everything that everyone could ever want in a tool. Which brings me to question how soon vendors can realistically deliver these solutions. I’m sure all vendors have […]
  • PCB Design Then and Now
    It’s hard to believe that nearly three decades have past since I designed my first printed circuit boards. I can still recall how impressed I was with the first CAD system I’d operated. It was in a futuristic ambient-lit computer room where six or so minicomputer based Calma Systems were installed. Each Calma workstation included […]
  • Exercising Your Options
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