What’s new in CADSTAR 17.0

The latest version of CADSTAR contains across-the-board performance enhancements and design efficiency features. These include industry-leading routing enhancements through new Perfect Springback technology whilst moving tracks in Activ-45, Trunk end router differential pair improvements, and Etch Factor support.

Ease-of-use enhancements include the option to specify an origin used as a reference for operations such as movement and rotation, and the ability to add dimensions directly into PCB component footprints.

CADSTAR 17 challenges the view that PCB Desktop software has to be complicated. This philosophy helps maintain CADSTAR's position as the industry’s most-used desktop PCB software.

For the full details of what's new in CADSTAR 17, please refer to What’s New documentation included with the software.

Place & Route Editor Enhancements

Perfect Springback whilst moving tracks (From version

When dragging tracks in Activ-45 mode with pushing enabled, the smooth and fast rubber band-like operation restores the previous pattern and position exactly using new Perfect Springback technology. Lengthening can also be updated seamlessly according to constraints when dragging tracks.

This function will be introduced from patch 1. This significantly reduces the number of clicks needed to place and route, compared with traditional manual routing and alternative software.

CADSTAR 17 Activ45

Perfect Springback whilst moving tracks restores the previous pattern exactly. Click + to view movie.

 CADSTAR 17 Activ45

Track lengthening is updated seamlessly when dragging tracks. Click + to view movie.

Trunk end router differential pair improvements

CADSTAR 17 Activ45 Trunk

Trunk End Router enhancements offer improved routing patterns for differential pairs

Updates have been made to the Trunk End Router so that improved routing patterns are generated for differential pairs. Coupling is maintained and skew is improved.

Now previously manual tasks are carried out automatically – but are closer to the routing pattern a user would choose manually. This increases productivity and reduces mouse clicks when working with the lengthening tool.

For high speed designs better signal integrity is achieved, as well as more exact impedance calculations.

Layer stack editor improvements

CADSTAR 17 etch

Etch factor values can be applied both at the design level and for each specific layer.

Support for the Etch Factor has now been added to the Layer Stack Editor. This adds to existing support in the SI tool, and enables more accurate impedance calculations. The Etch factor (E.F.) is given as a ratio of h/e and it can be toggled on/off from the status bar.

The trapezoidal cross-section of track caused by etching during manufacturing can now be considered when field solutions are generated. Etch factor values can be applied both at the design level. Layer Thickness and Relative Permittivity are now displayed in the picture on the Layer Stack Editor.

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Signal Integrity

Etch Factor Support

Support for Etch Factor definition is available in the Configuration Editor and Constraint Manager. This is compatible with former trapezoidal conductor support, and etching for half-planes is available.

The feature offers more accurate what-if studies, considering the manufacturing process. There is also Impedance Parameter Sweep functionality for conductors and dielectrics for single conductors, differential pair configurations and it allows a quick overview of the material or geometrical variations.

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Ease-of-use enhancements

User-defined origin

When interacting with a selection it is now possible to specify an origin used as a reference for operations such as movement and rotation. This applies to free selections, groups and reuse blocks and to all kinds of movement operations (drag move, move mode etc). The operation has a similar feel to existing functionality in the Place & Route Editor. 

CADSTAR 17 user-defined origin 

Specify an origin used as a reference for operations such as movement and rotation

Dimensions stored in footprints

CADSTAR 17 footprints
Add dimensions directly into PCB component footprints

It is now possible to add dimensions directly into PCB component footprints. PCB component footprint dimensions have their own color settings separate to the dimensions added in a PCB design. There are also improved checks against the parts database when a footprint is created.




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