What are the commonly used software for PCB design ?

The design of the printed circuit board(PCB) is based on the circuit schematic diagram to achieve the functions required by the circuit designer. The design of PCB mainly refers to layout design, which needs to consider the layout of external connections, the optimal layout of internal electronic components, the optimized layout of metal wiring and through hole, electromagnetic protection and heat dissipation. Excellent layout design can save production costs and achieve good circuit performance and heat dissipation. Simple layouts can be implemented manually, and complex layouts need to be implemented with specialized PCB design software. The following will introduce several commonly used and more powerful PCB design software.

1, Protel, Altium Designer

Protel should be the first eda software to be introduced. Protel software courses are available in most universities, but it must be admitted that protel is one of the lowest-end software in the eda software family, it can be used to make single-sided or double-sided PCB, but for the 4 layers PCB began to feel bad, if it is a high-frequency or high-speed multi-layer PCB, people who can use protel to make high-quality design is quite good.

It is still uncertain whether protel will be eliminated in the future, but there are still many people using protel. It can be said that learning Protel is the basis for learning high-end PCB design software.

Today's Protel has evolved into the Altium Designer series, a large EDA software that includes schematic drawing, analog signal and digital circuit mixed-signal simulation, multi-layer PCB design (including PCB auto-wiring), programmable Logic device design, chart generation, spreadsheet generation, macro operation support, etc., and it has a Client/Server architecture, and it is also compatible with some other design software file formats such as ORCAD, PSPICE, EXCEL. The biggest advantage is that the automatic wiring function can achieve 100% of the high-density layout for multi-layer PCB.

2, Mentor PADS

That is powerpcb, which is the best one I think of in all low-end pcb software, because it is easy to use, the quality of the PCB designed with this software will not be inferior to wg, allegro and so on. It is also the most widely used eda software on the market today, suitable for most small and medium-sized companies.

PADS Layout (PowerPCB) provides interfaces to other PCB design software, CAM processing software, and mechanical design software to facilitate data conversion and transfer in different design environments.


Cadence Design Systems, Inc. is a software company specializing in Electronic Design Automation (EDA). It was formed in 1988 by SDA Systems and ECAD. It is the world's largest electronic design technologies, solution service and design service provider. The solution is designed to enhance and monitor the design of semiconductors, computer systems, network engineering and telecommunications equipment, consumer electronics, and other types of electronics. Products cover the entire process of electronic design, including system-level design, functional verification, IC synthesis, mixed-signal and RF IC design, full custom integrated circuit design, IC physical verification, PCB design and hardware simulation modeling, etc. . Headquartered in San Jose, California, USA, it has sales offices, design and R&D centers all over the world.