PCB Design Evolution

The World Has Changed in 15 Years: PCB Design Software Needs to Keep up (Part 2)

Last time, I talked about some of the technology advances achieved in the last 15 years. I pointed out that it’s time for a new PCB design system.


More has changed than just hardware technology and the software architecture that we run our design systems on. Just as important are changes in the way we work.

Fifteen years ago…

  • it was OK to design single boards and manually manage issues across designs.
  • multinational companies designing and working globally was the exception.
  • walls between electrical, mechanical, layout and manufacturing rarely had a window in them.
  • high-speed design began around 50 MHz.
  • surface mount technology was pushing the envelope.
  • data management was for mechanical CAD.
  • 3D was only for mechanical design and 1950s movies.


Modern computers have changed in the last 15 years – so too have your design requirements.

  • engineers design complex systems, they need a system view.
  • design-anywhere-manufacture-anywhere is mandatory.
  • cross-discipline collaboration is required.
  • designs commonly run at 400 Mhz, the bleeding edge is in multi-Ghz.
  • embedded die in dielectric, PoP, SiP, PiP is pushing the envelope.
  • data management is needed by everyone.
  • 3D is everywhere from movies and video games to television and software.

PCB design solutions have done their best to keep up and have addressed these issues with workarounds and enhancements to software programs developed long ago. But for world-leading companies, keeping up is not good enough. It’s time to get ahead, to plan for the future, and to adopt tools that will enable the technology of tomorrow.

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Have a peek at the next generation  and watch for the announcement of our solution to these issues on October 25, 2011.

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