• July 31, 2021

PCB design software makes news in 2017

PCB design is the most crucial stage in the development of a circuit board. It is the design that decides how the final product will look and work. A successful PCB design is one that supports the operation of the device within which it is housed. Not all devices are priced the same, so the design of the printed circuit board can vary based on several factors. The nature of the users and their access to resources also influence the PCB style. In the age of automation, design has also gone digital. The software is available both online and offline; These can be both free and paid.

Listed below are some of the PCB prototyping or design software that made headlines in 2017.

1. Eagle – Known for its easy-to-use interface and exceptionally schematic diagram functionality, this software stands out for its quality and utility. Its notable features are positive and negative annotation function, interactive tracking platform, batch command execution script file, and copper cladding; to name the few important ones. It belongs to the category of professional software and is priced; however, it is affordable and one of the most widely used software among midsize businesses today. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux.

2. ORCAD: only compatible with Windows. Although in business since 1980, this software hasn’t had many updates since its inception. Its operational function is simple. Its simulation function is very popular and offers more customization possibilities. Its user-friendly interface and the prevalence of Windows in most industrial systems make this PCB design software a tried and tested tool. It is a good paid software for professional use.

3. Altium Designer: If you need software support to design single or double layer PCB, this software is a very good choice. The birth of this software dates back to the 1980s and has somehow achieved its reputation ever since. Many of the circuit companies prefer to use this software due to its ease of use and better utility. This software is also part of the course design, as all universities use this tool as a means of teaching the art of PCB fabrication and assembly. Therefore, it is also easy to use and quite comprehensive in nature. In addition, it is usable for all types of projects; the most common are flex board and FPGA. It is a paid software.

4. Easy EDA: this software is used for both private and professional use. It is used both as an online and offline application. Easy EDA is a free program and is very accessible online. It is equipped with a number of cool features such as mixed mode circuit simulation, powerful zero installation time schematic function, and PCB layout useful for cross-platform browser environments.

5. DesignSpark PCB – This software is quite useful for IoT projects and is designed with the requirements of these projects in mind. It is free software that is useful in mechanical, electronic, and software design.

6. Fritzing: This is open source EDA software of a multifunctional nature. It certainly makes bread making easier. The important tools provided in this software are: a PCB layout tool useful for PCB creation, a board view support, a schematic capture tool that is designed to facilitate the import of various third-party boards to prepare the outline in an elegant way. This software runs on a variety of operating systems like MacOS, Linux, and Windows.

7. gEDA: It is a cross-platform PCB design software that is compatible with a variety of operating systems such as BSD, Linux, Windows, and MacOS. This software supports basic design exceptionally well with the help of its schematic capture function. You can take better advantage of the best qualities of gEDA by learning about them in detail. The only flaw is that it is not suitable for the workflow involved in developing large designs.

8. CircuitMaker – Although discontinued for professional use a long time ago, this software is reintroduced and has found its clientele in the form of students and hobbyists. This software is very useful for RF PCB design and for PCBs that deliver mixed signals. In these designs, the length and width of the track is important and achieving this becomes easier with this software.


2017 has seen exceptional growth in the PCB design software market. With manufacturers placing special emphasis on PCB prototyping, advancements made in the field of PCB design software are primarily devoted to bringing more sophistication and precision to the final product. There is PCB design software available for a variety of purposes and whether you are a professional PCB designer or a beginner, there is software available for you. Comparing the available software also reveals that you can also find the right software for your budget size. So, choose what perfectly suits your requirements and gain the ease of mastering PCB layouts.

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