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PCB design system software upgrade

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article image Features include 19,000 new library components.

ALTIUM Limited has released Service Pack 3 (SP3) for P-CAD 2004, the PCB design system for layout professionals.

Available as a free download to existing licensed P-CAD 2004 customers, SP3 is a substantial upgrade, with over 160 new features and enhancements that offer greater ease-of-use and flexibility in the PCB design process.

The development of new features and enhancements available within SP3 reinforces Altium’s commitment to ongoing support and development of P-CAD, with the focus for this Service Pack on strengthening the performance of the system and increasing value to customers. This is reflected in productivity enhancements in many areas including variants, layer stack up and configuration of options.

A significant upgrade was made to the P-CAD TIES Viewlogic/ePD interface, which now supports eProduct Designer (ePD) 2004 SP1. The TIES utility allows the transfer of electrical design information between the Viewlogic/ePD CAE design tools and P-CAD’s tools and offers cross-probing plus forward/backward annotation.

The PADS to P-CAD translator has also been updated to handle non-English characters, enabling support for foreign languages, as well as supporting newer versions of PADS (up to and including version 2005.1).

The number of component libraries included in P-CAD 2004 has been significantly increased with SP3 - the 19,000 new components brings the total components available to almost 80,000.

These components, developed according to the ISO9001:2000 standard, significantly reduce the need to create a component from scratch, thus saving time and effort.

P-CAD 2004 SP3 also includes an increased number of CAM file export options. P-CAD users can now output an IPC-D-356A formatted net list. This popular format includes netlist connectivity data, blind and buried via information and also differentiates between through-hole vias and free pads.

P-CAD 2004 SP3 makes it easier and faster to setup new designs. Default settings for such items as apertures, design rules, grid settings and pad styles can now be stored and applied automatically to new designs.

The Library Executive has also been enhanced. A new ‘Save to File’ option has been added that allows incomplete data to be saved to a separate file and reloaded to continue work at another time.

P-CAD 2004 SP3 features include:

* 19,000 new library components

* Improved Viewlogic/ePD support

* Improved PADS to P-CAD translation

* Support for the IPC-D-356A standard

* New Automated Design Default Settings automatically applies default settings to new designs

* Incomplete component data can now be saved

* Advanced Route Tool is improved to include a Violation Halo indicator in hugging mode when the path to the cursor location cannot be found

* Printing of variants in schematic is more flexible. Parts excluded from the variant can be cross-hatched, excluded from the print, or excluded along with their attached wires.

Enhancements have been made to P-CAD to strengthen the use of the Bonus Technologies, which include Altium Designer’s Situs Topological Autorouter, CAMtastic and Mixed-Signal Circuit Simulation. These include performance improvements in the output of large designs from P-CAD and usability of the Situs router.

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