PADS Desktop PCB Design

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

2 April, 2014

TechValidate, an independent third-party survey company, recently surveyed over 15000 verified PADS users with real-world questions about their PADS experiences. This survey includes responses to questions that all EDA vendors should be asking their users.

Questions like:

Why do you choose PADS over competitive products?

Would you recommend PADS to a friend?

What PADS features save you the most time in PCB design?

TechValidate also collected dozens of use cases that provided detailed results of how named PADS accounts were able to conquer design challenges with PADS. The survey also includes a collection of customer testimonials and users quotes.

Here are a few quotes:

“The benefits of PADS include ease of software use with great depth of functionality. Vast market place usage and customer base. Many well trained users.”   Mike Creeden, Owner/President, SAN DIEGO PCB INC TVID: 759-61F-D78

“My current company uses Altium, and it’s not nearly the package for layout that PADS is. It tries to be everything to everybody, and the layout functions suffer. Only the 3D features save it. PADS is much better at PCB layout. I trust PADS; I always worry about Altium.”   Tom Miller, PCB Designer, Miller PCB Services TVID: 02A-B92-ED6

To review all the PADS survey results go to the Tech Validate Research on PADS web page. All of the survey data is ready for you review, share, or download as you desire.

Feel free to submit questions or comments !

John     Twitter: @JohnMc_Mentor

28 March, 2014

Successful PCB designs start with your library. You can’t afford to spend hours in library development and management!  With the VX release, you’ll start your design faster and have better quality at completion. Let us show you how.

How PADS Advanced Library Capabilities Accelerate the PCB Design Cycle

Join PADS Product Marketing Manager Jim Martens as he presents this Webinar on How PADS Advanced Library Capabilities Accelerate the PCB Design Cycle. In this webinar we’ll explain PADS library methodology.

New and included with the VX release are an IPC-standard starter library, a land pattern creator, a central library, and library management utilities.

What You Will Learn

  • How to eliminate library part creation using new PADS starter libraries
  • How to manage library data quickly and easily
  • How to create new parts in one-fifth of the time

Register For This Web Seminar Now !

Lib. Mgmt. Webinar

Online – Apr 8, 2014
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Europe/London
Online – Apr 8, 2014
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM US/Eastern

21 March, 2014

We are very excited to announce the launch of our new website. This new site is focused on making it faster and easier for everyone–from existing PADS users to interested explorers–to gain access to everything PADS!  We’re sure you’ll want to bookmark it as one of your favorites!

Find out what’s new, such as up to date information about our latest PADS VX release launch and live Smart Starter worldwide seminar events.

From the homepage, you can instantly navigate to design tool details, feature videos, data sheets and whitepapers. You can also view video snippets or launch complete focused webinars about design challenges and PADS features.


If you want to test drive PADS, sign up for FREE PADS Virtual Labs that run directly from your web browser or request a full PADS 30-day free evaluation. Access to PADS resources has never been easier, from how-to videos to our latest PADS blogs.

So, if you want to learn about PADS worldwide events, training classes or connect with the PADS online user community, social media sites or Mentor’s award-winning 5-Star global customer support, it all starts here, at


17 March, 2014

PADS VX Release Worldwide Seminar Tour | March 19 – April 11

Register Now to join one of our free half day worldwide seminars today! See how PADS can help you overcome design challenges and get your completed designs to fabrication and assembly on time and on budget.

register button

Mentor Graphics, the world leader in PCB design, introduces VX, the latest release of PADS. In these half-day seminar presentations we’ll discuss the effects of industry trends on individual PCB design professionals and introduce new PADS capabilities that can be used to overcome the design challenges of today and tomorrow.

We’ll demonstrate how PADS VX helps you achieve first-time success in electronic product design. It all begins with the library. Enter design information once and you’ll see it propagated, synchronized, and verified throughout the design flow, helping you meet increasingly tight design schedules. Through presentations and live demonstrations, we’ll show you how the new capabilities in PADS will help increase productivity and decrease costs.

Mentor Graphics and the PADS engineering team are focused on delivering technology that will make you successful. We’ll also show advancements in the PCB design process that are gaining a foothold, and technology that is currently in development. Included in the presentation will be our plans for 3D PCB design.

PADS VX Release World Tour

Follow me on Twitter for information on upcoming seminars, events, industry news and other EDA related tweets!

John  @JohnMc_Mentor twitter

5 March, 2014

PADS’ next release is almost here, and it’s much more than just new features and functionality!

I’ll be hosting a webinar on March 11 to show you how PADS VX release will increase your productivity with the VX platform, and a correct-by-design methodology that will help you get it your product to market quicker.  To attend, register HERE

See you there!


27 February, 2014

Are you using a Best-In-Class design flow? An Aberdeen study entitled” Why Printed Circuit Board Design Matters to the Executive: How PCBs Are a Strategic Asset for Cost Reduction and Faster Time-to-Market (2/2010)  included an item that really struck me: how best-in-class design processes impact the products bottom-line particularly with regards to PCB design prototypes.

In this study, PCB prototypes were found to represent 31% of the overall product cost. This may surprise you – but, in a nonintegrated design flow, it was found that an average of 14.1 physical prototypes were required for a moderately complex PCB design, that is compared to a “best-in-class” design flow where only 3.8 prototypes were required per design. That’s a huge reduction, particularly when you consider the cost for each of these prototypes averaged $8929.

In a recent TechValidate survey, 60% of PADS customers reported a reduction in the number of prototypes required using PADS’ fully integrated correct-by-design flow. That’s very significant, given that fewer prototypes mean reduced costs, shorter design cycles, and faster time to market. To learn more about the PADS integrated flow and the capabilities of the upcoming PADS VX release, register for our webinar: Redefining Productivity: Faster, Smarter, PADS!  today.

John  @JohnMc_Mentor

14 February, 2014

I’ve read several articles over the past few years that explore what the fit for social media outlets like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, etc. are within the EDA industry.

According to the user stats collected by for 2013 social media trends, they found there were over 500 million Twitter users, 500 million Google+ users, over 238 million LinkedIn users, and over 1 billion unique monthly visitors to YouTube. Let’s not forget Facebook, the clear leader with 1.5 billion users.

An interesting demographic stat for these social media sites is related to the ages of those who use them. Why is user age of social media use so interesting particularly for EDA you ask?  Well, in April of 2012,  Printed Circuit Design & Fab published an article entitled “PCB Designers, Rev. 2”, this article provided the annual PCB designer survey results that revealed that “the average age of a printed circuit board designer in the US is in the mid-50s”.

As I looked deeper into the use of social media within this age bracket I find that of the folks in their mid-50’s, only 21% of them use LinkedIn only 13% use Twitter. Gender use within this age bracket was evenly divided 50-50 among males and females on LinkedIn, but female users outnumber male users on Twitter 3 to 2.

No matter what your age, following EDA in social mEDiA is easy and growing year after year and providing very real and measurable benefits. It’s no longer a nicety but a necessity for EDA businesses, to invest in social media. Here at Mentor Graphics we aim to provide valued content including such things as product announcements, free webinars, interactive blogs, user events, relevant industry news and much more.  For example, if you were following us on Twitter @MentorPCB you’d be getting sneak peeks of the next PADS release.

Feel free to submit your comments and thoughts on how you interact with EDA in social media below.  And if you’re not already connected, or following, or subscribed to our social media sites I’d encourage you to get connected today!

12 February, 2014

I’m frequently asked what’s happening with PADS? The answer – lots!

At the end of the month we’ll be announcing the next major release of PADS. This is a big one, with some new features that will, without a doubt, make you more productive. At the same time, we’ll be launching a new website exclusively developed for PADS where you can explore, learn about, and try PADS like never before. We’ll also announce a worldwide seminar tour, where you will be able to get your first look at the new PADS functionality!

Stay tuned to this blog for more information on all that’s new in PADS. For the most up-to-date info on release contents, follow us on Twitter


27 January, 2014

Thanks to everyone that responded to our “ECAD or MCAD, one giant “STEP” for Design-Kindpoll last week online and during our “Effective ECAD / MCAD Collaboration in PADS” webinars. Both the European and US sessions were well attended and some great questions were presented and addressed during our live Q&A.

Here are results of the poll question “My 3D STEP models come from …….. ?”

Are you surprised by these results?  Feel free to add your comments below.

During the EDMD Webinars last week there were several questions related to which ECAD and MCAD companies support EDMD Collaboration. I would encourage you visit the ProSTEP iViP ECAD/MCAD Collaboration forum to learn more. You’ll find that most major ECAD and MCAD tool vendors are project partners and have been implementing the ECAD/MCAD data schema which is designed to ensure the interoperability between the different applications.

Another great question was raised related to which group, ECAD or MCAD generates the initial baseline for collaboration. Firstly, it can be either but I typically see that MCAD provides the board baseline based on the PCB’s mating enclosure and mounting requirements. In my webinar demonstration, the cell phone design I used had a very intricate board outline and fixed location requirements for physical interface components like the display, camera, switches, connectors, etc. These component locations are typically non-negotiable by MCAD and ultimately driven by the end user. If you were not able to attend either of the “Effective ECAD / MCAD Collaboration in PADS” webinars, the recorded session can be viewed here.

22 January, 2014

Happy New Year to all!  Have you made any New Year resolutions?  I’m sure you have the same old standard ones – eat better, exercise more, spend more quality time with the family.  But what about work?  What can you do to be more successful and productive at work?

How about looking at your set of design tools?  Do you have what you need to meet the design challenges you will have in 2014?  Start by taking a look at PADS, and “dig deeper” into the breadth and depth of functionality of PADS.  From schematic capture, to best in class simulation and analysis powered by HyperLynx, to PADS Layout, the standard for desktop PCB design.

Start this resolution out by reviewing our “Start Smarter with PADS” on-demand webinar series


PADS® is the most widely used desktop PCB design environment in the world, giving electronic engineers everything they need to get the job done.

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