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Several commonly used schematic design software, there is always a suitable for you!


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Schematic design, PCB design is an important part of the work of hardware engineers. Today, we will come to know several common circuit design softwares commonly used by electronic engineers. I believe there must be one you are using.

1、Altium designer

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Altium designer is a very commonly used circuit design software in the industry. Many people are familiar with this software in their student days. At the end of 2005, Altium, the original manufacturer of Protel software, launched Altium Designer 6.0, the latest high-end version of the Protel series. Altium Designer 6.0 is a new version of the fully integrated electronic product development system and the industry's first and only complete board-level design solution. Altium Designer is the industry's first product to combine design flow, integrated PCB design, programmable device (such as FPGA) design, and embedded software development capabilities based on processor-based design. A design solution with all the features needed to take a design from concept to final product.

The version of Altium Designer is updated very quickly. As of 2022-5-19, it has been updated to Altium Designer 22.4.2. For details, see the Altium version release notes:

Altium Designer is indeed a great electronic design software for embedded hardware engineers and electronics design hardware enthusiasts. The latest version of Altium Designer combines several features and functions, including:

Advanced wiring technology

Support cutting-edge rigid-flex board design

Powerful data management tools

Powerful design reuse tool

Real-time cost estimation and tracking

Dynamic Smart Supply Chain

Native 3D visualization and spacing checking

Flexible release management tools

Delivering all of the above and executing the entire design process in a unified design environment - the first of its kind to deliver optimal productivity. Altium Designer's unique uniformity allows design data to move seamlessly between different design disciplines.

For details, please visit the Altium designer official website:


PADS is a software for making PCB boards. PADS includes PADS Logic, PADS Layout and PADS Router.

PADSLayout (PowerPCB) provides interfaces with other PCB design software, CAM processing software, and mechanical design software, which facilitates data conversion and transfer in different design environments.

As a professional software for designing schematic diagrams and PCBs, PADS is very powerful, especially in the design of multi-layer boards. Here we do not compare with other similar software, each software has its own advantages, it all depends on your own hobbies and working environment.

In the specific design process, three components of PADS are mainly used, namely: PADS Logic, PADS Layout, and PADS Router.

PADS Logic: It is used to design the schematic diagram. At the same time, the schematic library and the components in the library also need to be carried out in PADS Logic. The interface is shown in the following figure:

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PADS Layout: It is used to design PCB, mainly to lay out the PCB in the early stage, lay copper on the PCB in the later stage, design verification, etc. At the same time, the packages in the library also need to be created and edited in PADS Layout. Of course, PADS Layout can also perform wiring, but we generally hand over the task of wiring to a more professional PADS Router. The PADS Layout interface is shown in the following figure:

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PADS Router: It is used to route the laid-out PCB. After the wiring is completed, return to the PADS Layout for copper laying and other processing. The interface of the PADS Router is shown in the following figure:

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The above is an introduction to PADS. Just remember that PADS is a software used to design schematics and PCBs, and then know that PADS Logic is responsible for schematic design, PADS Layout is responsible for PCB layout and copper laying, and PADS Router is responsible for PCB wiring task.


Cadence Allegro is an advanced PCB design routing tool from Cadence. Allegro provides a good and interactive working interface and powerful and complete functions, combined with its front-end product Capture, provides the most perfect solution for the current high-speed, high-density, multi-layer complex PCB design and wiring. It can complete almost every aspect of electronic design, including ASIC design, FPGA design and PCB board design. Cadence has absolute advantages in simulation, schematic design, automatic placement and routing, layout design and verification. Cadence contains more tools that cover almost every aspect of EDA design.

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Cadence allegro is not easy to use. Generally, it is only used by large companies, especially companies that make computer motherboards. Because this software has powerful functions, it has advantages for drawing large boards. Such as computer motherboards, large industrial control boards, server motherboards, and other large boards, its efficiency and advantages are very obvious. Therefore, its market is still mainly on computer motherboards, large industrial control boards, server motherboards, and other large boards, as well as some tablet computers and mobile phone boards now used by a small number of companies.

4. Eagle

Eagle was released by CadSoft in Germany in 1988 (34 years of history), and once belonged to element14 for a period of time. In 2016, it was incorporated by the famous AutoDesk and became an important member of its CAD tools.

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Several of its features:

Lightweight, it is small in size, powerful, flexible, and supports multiple operating systems (Windows/Linux/Mac).

The library is rich in resources and is used by well-known open source hardware providers such as Sparkfun, Adafruit, Arduino, etc. The boards and modules of these manufacturers have Eagle's libraries, schematics, and PCB layouts, and are integrated into Eagle's tools, which greatly facilitates the use of users.

However, as free software, also need with some other software to complete some additional functions. For example, when you want to output PCB, you need to install GhostView and GhostScript so that Windows can browse PostScript files. To output the 3D simulation effect of PCB, you need to install Eagle 3D first, and then install POV-Ray to render 3D files. But these software are free, and not big.

Use can refer to:

The above are several circuit design softwares that we commonly use when drawing schematic diagrams and PCB boards. Do you use any of them?

Hot Tags: PCB fabrication manufacturer, PCB Fab manufacturing services, pcb board design manufacturing, circuit board design suppliers, Customized pcb circuit board design, flex pcb design, circuit board designer, Altium designer, PADS Layout, factory, quotation, cheap

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