Zuken has released a new version of its CADSTAR Redlining markup tool with improved support for communication between multidisciplinary design teams.

According to Zuken, the latest CADSTAR desktop PCB design software features developments in the Activ-45 router, improving routing experience and giving users more control over their designs.

Redlining for communication

The new CADSTAR Redlining tool improves communication between multidisciplinary teams. Users can quickly mark-up designs during review and easily communicate design issues. During production, electrical engineers and PCB designers can feed back changes, such as component swaps. Redlining also offers a permanent and accurate record of change activity: who carried out changes, when they happened, what was changed and why.

20170626_Zuken_CADSTAR_01 Figure 1: Users are able to mark-up designs during review.

High speed design

As more applications become high-speed, requiring support for DDR3 and DDR4, it is increasingly important that via length is taken into account. To address this, the calculated minimum and maximum lengths of nets and pin pairs can now include via lengths derived directly from the layer stack. With the via length taken into account change information is communicated as early as possible to engineers managing signal integrity, so implications on impedance are considered. Improved management of net lengths means more control and accuracy is possible over signal speed for high-speed nets.

20170626_Zuken_CADSTAR_02 Figure 2: The via_length attribute can be set at the board, net class and net levels.

Support for high-speed design is achieved through improved accuracy in capacitance calculations for SI Verify. In turn, simulating vias more accurately ensures that board behaviour more closely meets design expectations, improving design quality.

Routing enhancements

Zuken said that its Activ-45 router offers faster and more intuitive routing, with fewer mouse clicks:

  • Flags indicate which pins are swappable, which allows easy intervention during single trace manual routing.
  • Layer change/via insertion includes via spiral insertion, for increased routing speed.
  • Fan-out now adds teardrops during spiral via insertion, which increases the quality of the board during PCB manufacturing (also available in non Activ-45 mode).

20170626_Zuken_CADSTAR_03 Figure 3: Users see flags showing which pins are swappable, allowing easy intervention during manual routing.

To help CADSTAR 18 users test out the new version, Zuken is offering free access to CADSTAR Redlining until November 30.