Place and Route Editor

P.R.Editor CADSTARWith its mix of manual, auto-interactive and automatic tools for PCB placement and routing, the CADSTAR Place and Route Editor has been optimized for performance, quality and manufacturability to meet today’s advanced technology design challenges such as DDR2, DDR3 and PCI Express.

An extensive suite of design rules lets you configure the system to meet your specific requirements, while area rules and high-speed constraints easily accommodate the complex matrix of timing rules found in today’s high performance CADSTARdesigns.

CADSTAR Place & Route Editor offers full control of the manual placement and routing process with a choice of DRC modes and direct access to a range of tools via shortcuts or mouse menus. Visual indicators guide you towards optimum placement that meets your constraints, with dynamic push-aside and alignment to optimize board real estate and maximize the number of routing channels.


Advanced routing options

Prior to routing, power pins can be intelligently connected to full or partial planes, and the fanout router used to create intelligent breakout patterns for high pin-count SMT devices, using geometric or spiral via patterns to simplify routing on inner layers.

The advanced Activ-45 router provides the ultimate in speed and precision for manual routing, offering single-click ‘follow me’ routing with automatic completion, CADSTARusing push-aside, springback and segment break options to tackle even the most complex layout challenges.

Activ-45 is a true 45-degree routing algorithm that routes effortlessly through even the densest areas of a design. Taking advantage of enhanced pusher technology, the route path will follow the cursor with minimum disruption of existing routing patterns.

The Activ-45 router makes space for itself by pushing existing routes and vias aside, while always obeying design rules. Where necessary, it will flip existing routes over pins and pads to create even more space, such as when creating a BGA fan-out. At any point before completing the route, if the cursor is moved back towards the starting point, the routes will spring-back to their original position.

High-speed design

CADSTAR Place & Route Editor 5000HS (High-speed) obeys a wide range of fast circuit rules including min/max length, skew, delay and crosstalk limits to meet tight timing and noise margins. Manual and automatic editing tools enable nets to be tuned precisely for track length or flight-time to achieve optimum timing characteristics.

The integrated Constraint Manager provides a fast and effective way to create and view even the most complex net constraints, using a familiar spreadsheet style interface, which lets you ` by grouping critical nets into logical groups, constrain them by assigning differential pairs, skew groups or 'family' skew values to quickly build a constraint hierarchy in just a few clicks of the mouse. Constraint information is stored in a database that is shared with PCB layout, routing, verification and analysis, providing a smooth exchange of data and a consistent user interface across all applications in the design flow.

To achieve the desired timing requirements for high-speed nets, engineers must consider the proper connectivity and pin order for routing. Topology Editor provides engineers with a schematic view of the complete signal with tools to assign predefined topologies such as daisy chain, H-tree or star, or create custom templates to apply to a range of high-speed nets.

CADSTAR Constraint Browser, with enhanced Topology support, provides a fast and effective way for design engineers to add rules and net constraints to the Schematic at the initial design phase. Sharing the same database and user interface as Constraint Manager enables a consistent approach to rules management to be applied throughout the design flow.

Manufacturing considerations

Optimization of the layout to minimize overall track length, reduce the number of vias and improve manufacturability can all be run on demand, with options for track optimization, addition of teardrops and acid trap removal. Testpoints for clamshell fixtures or flying-probe testers can be allocated to existing design features if allowed or inserted as user-defined testpoint elements.

Intelligent autorouting – Dragon

The Dragon Routing Platform moves away from traditional settings-based autorouting to an alternative methodology that combines artificial intelligence with a strategy-driven approach to solve your routing requirements. The Routing Consultant performs an initial set of high level ‘expert’ checks on your design to identify potential blocks for routing so that you can iteratively fix and rerun the analysis in order to clear the obstructions. Using the information gained during the analysis the Routing Consultant can then automatically generate a routing strategy for your design and auto-route to completion.