Let’s take a quick look around the User Interface. Zuken has simplified your EDA experience with eCADSTAR. Obviously not in terms of functionality but in presentation and accessibility of that functionality. The menus are divided into nice clean uncomplicated sections. Functions are not hidden in a labyrinth of sub-menus.
We have 3 core tools in eCADSTAR. Library manager. Schematic Capture and Pcb Designer.
So first up in each of the three applications we have a Dashboard. What isn’t immediately obvious is that this is actually an embedded web browser. And this dashboard provides you with access to your Global Zuken Support account. You can log new calls form here as well as interact with any existing calls.
When we utilise our chosen ECIP, electronic component Information Partner search. The glorified name for our internet part resource then the web pages opens up within your eCADSTAR tool. This is applicable to all three applications Sch, PCB and Lib.
From the Dashboard, we also have links to the help documentation, which is a live online resource that is constantly being expanded and updated. The Dashboard also we have links to DIY training material and tutorials with embedded instructional videos.
At the root of each tool, you will see links to Application settings and Product settings. Most things are configured in here and you can see they are uncomplicated. Additional configurations exist for specific commands like routing, configuring constraints and general design rules. All of which you can configure on the fly utilising a touch screen interface if you have one.
Users will also have the option to participate in a User Experience Program that, with full GDRP compliance, anonymously stores which SW features are being used and which help material is being accessed most frequently. This is hugely valuable information to the development team who can then focus their efforts in a particular area. Whether it be clearer help files or genuine product enhancement, I must stress two things here.
Firstly, No physical design data is harvested. Only commands used and help topics searched. Secondly, the feature is ‘optional’ and is not assumed at install. You tick a yes / no box to participate and you can opt-in or out of this whenever you like via the Product settings.
But I would urge you to consider taking part. The more information we as users can collectively contribute then the more focused the development will be.
Back to the Gui, I’ll just navigate around some of the menus to give you an insight and open up the other two applications. You’ll notice identical dashboards from each of the three tools. The working canvas and element colours can be configured to each users preference and the dockable windows you see here are exactly that. Dockable windows. They can be cascaded or even dragged to a second monitor.
All commands can be added to your QAT – or Quick access toolbar, as well as fully customised menus, feature just the commands you use frequently. Keystroke macros can also be recorded to ‘sequence’ some commands and both can be assigned to hotkeys. Mouse strokes are another way to quickly navigate around your designs. The feature windows we see here on the Left can be floating or docked in any other position. They can be cascaded or stacked. They can also be dragged off onto a second monitor.
In the case of the library searcher, dragging this to an additional monitor will reveal larger preview images and improved visibility of all the device attributes.
Behind the GUI we have a native 64-bit application that supports multi-core processing and is capable of utilising the latest 3D graphics engines so even with a heavily loaded PCB design you will not see any lag or performance issues. Zuken has targeted simplicity in presentation and they have achieved it. Infrequent users will find it easy to pick up the applications after prolonged periods of absence and intuitively find what they are looking for.