PCB Design Layout Software

CADSTAR PCB Design Editor

Easy to learn and fast to use, CADSTAR brings high performance PCB layout design to your desktop. From single-sided to complex double-sided, multilayer and SMT designs, CADSTAR PCB Layout helps you navigate the design process efficiently, increase productivity and cut errors.

CADSTAR offers design capability throughout the PCB design flow, from initial schematic through layout, routing, signal integrity simulation, power integrity analysis, 3D mechanical integration and outputs to support manufacturing to drive fabrication, assembly and testing of the finished product.

As the core element of the CADSTAR high-speed design toolset, PCB layout provides a fast, error-free design environment that helps you realize your creativity.

CADSTAR PCB Design Editor
Personalized Design Environment

For both the occasional and regular user, CADSTAR offers a powerful and flexible user interface with common functions in familiar locations. Properties and extended functionality are accessed via either a mouse or keyboard assist menus.

With integrated project management features such as Workspaces, you can create a personalized work environment and manage your design data effectively. The CADSTAR design environment also supports customization by allowing you to create macros to automate repetitive tasks. The support for object linking and embedding (OLE) allows you to integrate external applications to help reduce product development time.

Design Configuration

Layer Stack and Assignment editors allow PCB design configuration to meet electrical and manufacturing requirements.

You can create schematic and PCB layout templates for commonly used design configurations. These include: documentation detail, such as sheet borders and manufacturing notes; design fields for automatic realization of system, user and document information; and imported logos and text. Critical components can also be pre-placed in a template to minimize design time and ensure the PCB layout aligns with the enclosure.

Variant designs, including not-fitted or alternate parts, can be imported from schematic capture or configured in PCB layout to update the parts list and display of component outlines for Silkscreen and assembly outputs.

PCB Design Configuration
Placement and Routing

Pattern replication and design block reuse enable efficient reuse of existing placement patterns or entire design blocks. Adding pre-defined circuit blocks in the schematic greatly speeds up the design process, while using matching blocks in PCB layout (including parts, routes, copper and text on multiple layers) reduces layout time and minimizes risk during EMC verification by reusing previously tested ‘known good’ layout blocks.

At the heart of CADSTAR’s PCB layout technology is the powerful Place & Route Editor (P.R.Editor), Zuken’s powerful place and route design environment. With its grid-free, spatial data structure and rules-driven architecture, P.R.Editor offers complete control over routing for the most complex designs in the shortest time possible. Placement aids include component push aside and spring back, optimum and target position indicators.

Advanced Layout

With advanced copper handling and the ability to create split, partial, embedded and full copper planes, CADSTAR enables precise control for analog design, including curved and mitered cutouts, hatching with flexible angles and variable spacing. Teardrops can be placed on tracks, vias and pads, updating dynamically to maintain smooth transitions between copper shapes. Curved tracks and automatic track fattening, plus the ability to maximize a copper area, extend the capability of CADSTAR to meet both analog and high-speed digital layout requirements for matched impedance and delay-based routing.

Board profile, keepout areas and critical placement data can be imported via DXF, IDF or STEP/IGES format, and a 3D representation of the finished design exported to 3D mechanical CAD via IDF or generated in Board Modeler Lite. Powerful drafting tools with auto snap and associative dimensioning let you quickly document the board profile and critical placement for production and assembly.

CADSTAR includes an extensive range of design rules for both spacing and manufacture, ensuring the design conforms to your company standards and minimizing the risk of board manufacturing errors. Drill patterns and drill table reports are updated dynamically so any changes to the design are reflected automatically in the manufacturing data.

CADSTAR generates the full range of manufacturing output formats including Gerber, NC drill, DXF, PDF, placement files, IPC-D-356, ODB++ and parts list (bill of materials) reports. Preparing for manufacturing is simplified with the Batch Processor feature that allows you to build your own selection of outputs and create a full set of manufacturing data in one operation.

Either use the range of pre-defined reports, or use Report Generator to create configurable reports such as placement machine drivers and detail lists.

Design Reuse

Design reuse integrates tightly with CADSTAR Schematics and PCB design, allowing designers to:

  • Increased reliability and quality
  • Reduced process risk
  • Fewer errors
  • Effective use of specialists
  • Accelerated development
  • Increased productivity
  • Improve time to market
  • Reduced costs
Design Reuse
Manufacturing Outputs

CADSTAR includes an extensive range of design rules for both spacing and manufacture, ensuring the design conforms to your company standards and minimizing the risk of board manufacturing errors. Drill patterns and drill table reports are updated dynamically so any changes to the design are reflected automatically in the manufacturing data.

The batch post process option available as standard in CADSTAR allows users to process manufacturing data quickly and accurately.

  • CADSTAR provides manufacturing output formats such as extended Gerber (RS274X), extended NC Drill (Excellon), Bill Of Materials (B.O.M’s), Insertion data, ODB++, IPC356-D and native PDF output for documentation
  • Simple or complex Bill Of Materials can be created in standard text format or through the OLE interface available as standard, output directly within MS Excel
  • CADSTAR also supports the ODB++ container to send bundled fabrication, assembly, placement data and test data to the manufacturers
CADSTAR Manufacturing Outputs

What's Your Favorite CADSTAR PCB Design Tool?

We all approach different tasks in different ways and as PCB designers we all have very different ways of working, even though the task at hand effectively requires the same outcome.

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Datasheet: CADSTAR PCB Layout

Easy to learn and fast to use, CADSTAR delivers high performance PCB layout to your desktop.


    Optional Add-ons

    High-speed Place and Route Editor
    Placement and Router

    Zuken’s highest level router. Including all of the features and functionality found within Place and Route Editor XR2000, Place and Route Editor XR5000 HS (high-speed) offers specific additional functionality targeted for high-speed PCB design, such as DDR2, DDR3, DDR4 and PCI Express. It 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.

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    Autorouter Advisor (DRAGON)
    PCB Design Autorouter

    The DRAGON Routing Platform moves away from traditional settings-based auto-routing to a new approach that combines intelligence and a strategy-driven approach to meet your routing requirements.

    Setting up the router was perceived as a ‘black art’, or near impossible requiring an expert in the autorouting tools in order to get the best out of them.

    Developed initially for the high-end EDA market, the CADSTAR DRAGON Router takes the stress out of routing, by offering an intelligent autorouting solution that puts power into the hands of the designer and the Routing Strategy Environment allows easy set up and management of all routing tasks.

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    Rules by area

    The Rules-by-Area package is a powerful extension to the CADSTAR P.R.Editor XR 2000 tool-set that enhances Zuken’s routing technology by allowing the association of different design rules to different areas of the design.

    With Rules-by-Area, tracks can be reduced in width according to the rules defined by the area they are routed through. It is now possible to execute the routing manually or automatically. Other rules that can be defined for specific areas include via sizes and also the use of blind or buried via technology.

    Spacing rules for any area may be redefined which is especially useful around small complex dense components such as BGAs, Wire Bonded CSPs and SMDs allowing for 100% error free routing.

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    Variant Manager
    Variant Manager

    Allowing you to manage all the variants of a design for multiple product and international requirements, including storing all information in a single Schematic and PCB design file, each with its own Bill of Materials (BOM).

    As PCB designs become more sophisticated and the design cycles ever smaller, it is imperative that the PCB design can satisfy the global market place and the numerous product options.

    No longer is it economical to design one PCB for one product and one market. One PCB must satisfy many markets, with different safety and environment requirements and many different product variations.

    The CADSTAR Variant tool is designed to satisfy this requirement. It allows the designer to change any parts to match all the different product and international requirements, storing all the information in the single CADSTAR PCB or Schematic design file.

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    EMC Adviser
    CADSTAR EMC Adviser

    With the advent of more stringent electro-magnetic compatibility regulations, EMC performance is becoming critical to those companies moving into high-speed board design. CADSTAR EMC Adviser, enables and supports both circuit designers and design engineers need to manage and improve EMC compliance of PCBs.

    Many EMC issues are caused by defects on the board layout that are avoidable if they are detected in time. Identifying potential problems at the earliest stage possible minimizes the effects of design changes, reduces the overall development cost, and speeds up the design cycle.

    The CADSTAR EMC Adviser helps designers – EMC specialists and non-specialists alike – to predict, analyze and control design issues that may cause EMC/EMI problems. It is a very flexible and comprehensive rules-based EMC analysis system. Ultimately it gives PCB designers full and easy control over various types of design constraints that effect overall electromagnetic compliance of boards.

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    ECAD/MCAD Integration (Board Modeler Lite)

    CADSTAR Board Modeler Lite bridges the gap between electronic and mechanical design, enhancing the design flow by reducing the number of design iterations – clearance errors are avoided, accuracy is improved as part locations can be aligned precisely to the mechanical enclosure, and resources are optimized by bringing physical verification tools into the CADSTAR design environment.

    CADSTAR Board Modeler Lite enables bi-directional data translation between CADSTAR and any 3D mechanical design system via the generic STEP or ACIS data format.

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    IDF Interface

    The Native IDF interface is connecting CADSTAR PCB Design to MCAD solutions.

    The Bi-directional IDF interface enables the physical aspects of the design to be viewed, checked and modified within your MCAD System, reducing the number of unecessary iterations between departments.

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    CADSTAR IDF Interface