Speed up your PCB design process with our powerful, cost-based, multipass, auto-routing environment
What is an Auto-Router?
The routing of your PCB design is perhaps the most time-consuming part of the overall process. This will often dictate the number of layers required for your PCB or even alter the overall placement of components on the board. It is therefore important that you have access to a comprehensive set of tools that optimize this process.
The eCADSTAR Intelligent Autorouting environment gives you easy access to all the routing tools built into the eCADSTAR PCB editor. It allows you to work seamlessly with automatic and interactive routing tools. Interactive or manual routing operations can be interleaved with automatic tasks allowing you to optimize your PCB design process.
At your fingertips, you have access to built-in expertise in the Routing Consultant that will analyze the specified routing area and suggest improvements to your design to aid completion. This will also result in an initial routing strategy.
All of this is fully integrated into the PCB editor in the same easy to learn environment.
Make Sure Your Design is Optimized for Autorouting
The first question to answer when starting the routing process of your PCB design is ‘Have I set up the design so that it is possible to achieve routing completion?’
This is simple to check using the built-in ‘expert’ Routing Consultant that is an integral part of the eCADSTAR Intelligent Autorouting environment.
The Routing Consultant performs 3 levels of ‘expert’ checks on your design that will identify potential issues that may be an obstacle to successful interactive or automatic routing operations:
- High – This level of checks will identify set-up problems with your design that may require modifications to design rules or even physical layout.
- Medium – This level of checks will identify problems that may be solved by either altering the design set-up or by the consultant automatically modifying your routing step
- Low – This level of checks will identify problems that can be solved by altering the steps used to complete the auto-routing or manual routing process
The consultant will produce a detailed report with suggestions on how to solve issues that have been identified.
You can iteratively fix and rerun the Routing Consultant to clear these obstacles.
Using the information gained during the analysis the Routing Consultant can automatically generate a step-by-step routing strategy for your design.
Automatically Define and Refine a Strategy for Easy Autorouting Completion
Completing the routing of your PCB Design is a complex process. As a designer, you will probably go through a series of pre-defined steps to complete this process. Using the information gathered during the analysis of your design the Routing Consultant can automatically generate a suggested stepwise strategy for routing completion. You can choose to use this strategy or as an expert in layout design you can modify this strategy to maximize efficiency during the routing process.
Strategies consist of a sequence of steps to complete the routing process. For example, with a high-speed design, your first few steps in routing may be to route the critical nets on the design. The first few steps of this could consist of the following:
- Fan-out generation for differential pair nets
- Automatic routing of differential pairs
- Lengthen differential pairs to meet length and skew constraints
For each of these steps, you can define targets that must be met for a step to be completed. If a step has not met targets you have a number of options:
- Allow the intelligence in the automatic tools to adaptively tune the router settings and repeat the step
- Manually interact, using interactive routing to fine-tune the results to meet your requirement
This allows you to combine your expertise with the powerful tools provided in eCADSTAR.
The flexibility of the Routing Strategy Environment allows you to pause, step back to any stage and even perform manual or auto-interactive routing operations on the design, and resume your strategy.
eCADSTAR Autorouting Results
The eCADSTAR Intelligent Autorouting Environment provides access to the comprehensive tools built into eCADSTAR. This includes native 45-degree results for both single trace and differential pair nets. It obeys high-speed constraints that have been specified in the constraint browser and manufacturing design rules such as pin exit directions and layer bias, from the Rule Editor. Freedom may be given to the auto-router for it to achieve your completion targets, by tuning routing settings.
Auto-Router Key Features
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Gold Autodesk Software Reseller for the mechanical and construction industries, sole UK reseller of Zuken’s PCB design software, eCADSTAR and Experienced PCB Design Bureau Specialists. We pride ourselves on our consultative approach to working with customers as their technology partner.