EAGLE PCB Design Software is the tool of choice for thousands of engineers worldwide. With 3 modules and a common interface, EAGLE offers a variety of product combinations and allows every user to choose the configuration that meets their individual requirements.
EAGLE provides a schematic editor, for designing circuit diagrams and a tightly integrated PCB layout editor, which automatically starts off with all of the components required by the schematic. Components are manually arranged on the board, with the help of coloured lines showing the eventual connections between pins that are required by the schematic, to aid in finding a placement that will allow the most efficient track layout.
It also provides a good autorouter, which once the components have been placed will attempt to automatically find an optimal track layout to make the electrical connections. It does not always manage to find a way of routing all the signals, although it permits manual routing of critical paths such as power and high frequency lines before letting the autorouter handle the other connections.
EAGLE is very popular with hobbyists because the free demo is able to create usable PCBs. (Free ECADs from some companies are crippled so that they won't save or won't print.) The only limitations of boards made with the EAGLE demo are: 2 copper layers; a maximum size of 80mm x 100mm (½ Eurocard)(~3in x ~4in). The demo version of the schematic editor module can only create single-sheet schematics.
The licensing structure for the commercial version is very flexible. In order to use the demo version to make commercial products, it must be licensed for $49 USD. If more is needed, it is also possible to license the required extra modules (schematic capture, layout, autorouter) separately and simply purchase more if needs change.
The existing autorouter is based on a rip-up retry algorithm in which it takes into consideration that parameters defined in Design Rule Checker & NetClass. This is a single thread process by which the end user needs to run the autorouter multiple to test different configuration.
The new autorouter for v7 augments the existing algorithm. One of the most noticeable effects of the new autorouter is that it is Multi-Threaded and therefore can take advantage of Multicore processors.
This means that the autorouter can run multiple configurations simultaneously. The user will be able to select the best outcome that accommodates his design.
On computers with multiple core processors each thread can own its own processor core. This optimizes EAGLE’s use of the available hardware.
The new autorouter includes the option to use our TopRouter. This intricate process will result in boards with significantly less points of transition compared to our previous algorithm. This will result in very cost effective optimal boards that will need less manual interaction by the end user.
This feature stems from multiple surveys hosted by CadSoft and requests monitored by our support and development team. Hierarchal design helps designers to organize large schematic designs into small functional blocks which can then be assigned to various members of a team. It helps collaborative design teams to work on specific areas of a large complex design, which can then be easily integrated.
Export of IDF files
CadSoft Computer has created and included in EAGLE v7 an intricate ULP that will allow users to export an IDF file of the circuit board. This file is compatible with most mechanical programs.
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