CADSTAR Past Versions

CADSTAR Latest VersionCADSTAR 17 contains across-the-board performance enhancements and design efficiency features. These include industry-leading routing enhancements through new Perfect Springback technology while 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.

Trunk End Router Differential Pair Improvements

CADSTAR Trunk End Router

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 Etch factor

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.

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.

User-defined Origin

CADSTAR User-Defined Origin

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

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.

Dimensions Stored in Footprints

CADSTAR Dimensions 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.

Pan Easily using the Hand Tool

A Hand Tool is allows the display to be panned by dragging with the mouse. Simply press the middle mouse button and drag the mouse in the required direction, similar to Acrobat Reader and many other graphical tools. This function is supported in Design Editor, Embedded Router and Library Editor. The Hand tool can be used to pan the display during execution of commands (e.g. when moving a component, etc.)

Find using ``Jump to Item`` or ``Net List Filter``

The Design Editor Find command has a “Jump To Selected Item” option with First, Previous, Next, and Last choices, greatly simplifying the process of navigating through schematic items that span multiple sheets. The Net List filter within the By Net tab displays Net Route Codes, Net Classes and Spacing Classes, allowing these items to be used as filters without typing their names and without leaving the Find dialog to look up names that exist within the design.

PDF Output Attribute Filter

The Print to PDF setup has been enhanced to include an Attribute filter which allows users to control attributes that appear in the tooltips of the pdf file generated from Design Editor.

Floating Modeless Layer Setting Dialog in P.R.Editor

The Layer Setting dialog in P.R. Editor is a floating and modeless window. This dialog can be used to easily update the current, active, or displayed layer.

Pin-pair Based Lengthening

The P.R.Editor lengthen functionality has been enhanced to work on individual pin pairs. This methodology has been shown to yield a better overall lengthening result by providing an improved resolution of skew constraints and overlapping constraints.

Activ-45 Move and Re-lengthening Enhancements

The P.R.Editor Move tool in Activ-45 has been enhanced to use the pusher and spring-back engine when moving vias. This move behavior is similar to that of Activ-45 routing. Furthermore, Active-45 automatic re-lengthening allows existing lengthening blocks to be adjusted automatically during Activ-45 route and move operations. Re-lengthen can be set to Off, Continuous, Click, or End.

Unlengthen

An unlengthen command has been added to the P.R.Editor Routing menu. This allows users to remove all lengthening patterns from the selected net segments. Simply select a single segment in a lengthening block and the lengthening will be removed.

Analysis Frequency Ranges Extended

Power Integrity analysis frequency range has been extended to 100kHz – 10GHz (previously 10MHz – 1GHz). The frequency is user definable, balancing simulation with efficiency. The analysis plots can be created either linear or logarithmic to show the simulation results over a much larger frequency range. For S-parameters generated by SI simulation, the frequency range has been extended to 15GHz.

CADSTAR 16CADSTAR 16 contains across-the-board performance enhancements and design efficiency features. These include improved group handling and routing functionality, and enhancements to meet the demands of today’s high-speed designs.

CADSTAR’s Design Editor now allows items to be modified within a group, provides increased flexibility in shape creation, and introduces a new hand tool that allows panning of the display simply by dragging the mouse.

The P.R.Editor move tool in Activ-45 has been enhanced to use the pusher and spring-back engine when moving vias, and the lengthen functionality has been enhanced to allow work on individual pin pairs.

Flexibility in Shape Creation

CADSTAR coordinate input

Increased flexibility in shape creation

The flexibility and usability of the Design Editor shape creation functionality has been improved to allow the following values to be entered:

  • radius when adding a circle or modifying an arc
  • width and height when adding a rectangle
  • exact coordinates when adding a polygon/polyline

An arc can be added directly during polygon/polyline creation.

Modify Items in Groups

Items contained within a group in the Design Editor can be selected and modified without the need to first perform an ungroup. Simply select the group with the first click, then select the item(s) within the group (and outside if needed) with the second click, and manipulate the item(s) as required.

Drag to Add a Connection

When working with a schematic in the Design Editor, performing a drag operation from a symbol pin will start adding a connection – in the same way you would drag-move an item. Connections can also be started from junction points, danglers, block terminals, block shapes, busses and connections by dragging while holding down the ‘Ctrl’ key.

Actual vs. Rule Values inclulded in the Design Rule Error List

The Design Rule Check Report within the Design Editor reports the actual spacing as compared to the design rule spacing for a given error. An active link is included to the appropriate design rule in the assignments dialog for fast and easy access.

Named Property for PCB Only Pads

A property named “PCB Only Pad” is available for component footprint pads. The property is used to mark mechanical pads that only appear in the PCB. The purpose of the property is to prevent ECO Update and Back Annotation from changing pads containing the property. These pads no longer need to be added to the exclusion file. The PCB Only Pads are managed within the Component Editor.

Pan Easily using the Hand Tool

A Hand Tool is allows the display to be panned by dragging with the mouse. Simply press the middle mouse button and drag the mouse in the required direction, similar to Acrobat Reader and many other graphical tools. This function is supported in Design Editor, Embedded Router and Library Editor. The Hand tool can be used to pan the display during execution of commands (e.g. when moving a component, etc.)

Find using ``Jump to Item`` or ``Net List Filter``

The Design Editor Find command has a “Jump To Selected Item” option with First, Previous, Next, and Last choices, greatly simplifying the process of navigating through schematic items that span multiple sheets. The Net List filter within the By Net tab displays Net Route Codes, Net Classes and Spacing Classes, allowing these items to be used as filters without typing their names and without leaving the Find dialog to look up names that exist within the design.

PDF Output Attribute Filter

The Print to PDF setup has been enhanced to include an Attribute filter which allows users to control attributes that appear in the tooltips of the pdf file generated from Design Editor.

Floating Modeless Layer Setting Dialog in P.R.Editor

The Layer Setting dialog in P.R. Editor is a floating and modeless window. This dialog can be used to easily update the current, active, or displayed layer.

Pin-pair Based Lengthening

The P.R.Editor lengthen functionality has been enhanced to work on individual pin pairs. This methodology has been shown to yield a better overall lengthening result by providing an improved resolution of skew constraints and overlapping constraints.

Activ-45 Move and Re-lengthening Enhancements

The P.R.Editor Move tool in Activ-45 has been enhanced to use the pusher and spring-back engine when moving vias. This move behavior is similar to that of Activ-45 routing. Furthermore, Active-45 automatic re-lengthening allows existing lengthening blocks to be adjusted automatically during Activ-45 route and move operations. Re-lengthen can be set to Off, Continuous, Click, or End.

Unlengthen

An unlengthen command has been added to the P.R.Editor Routing menu. This allows users to remove all lengthening patterns from the selected net segments. Simply select a single segment in a lengthening block and the lengthening will be removed.

Analysis Frequency Ranges Extended

Power Integrity analysis frequency range has been extended to 100kHz – 10GHz (previously 10MHz – 1GHz). The frequency is user definable, balancing simulation with efficiency. The analysis plots can be created either linear or logarithmic to show the simulation results over a much larger frequency range. For S-parameters generated by SI simulation, the frequency range has been extended to 15GHz.

CADSTAR users get a productivity boost with new features in CADSTAR 15.

CADSTAR’s P.R.Editor now supports impedance balanced routing that simplifies the implementation of high-speed interfaces. Engineers can easily route to JEDEC standards and meet DDR3 performance specifications. New features in Power Integrity Advance include adjustable gridding for common-mode voltage maps, decoupling capacitor improvements, and a common user interface for result display in all signal integrity and power integrity analysis tools.

Users will appreciate the GUI’s updated appearance with familiar ribbon-style navigation.

Modeless Item Properties Dialogues

The new Item Properties dialogue combines functionality from the many Item Properties dialogs, allowing the user to both see and modify data from the current design selection. It supports floating, docking and auto-hide functionality. This avoids repeated opening and closing of the dialogue when reviewing or updating item or shape properties, offering improved ergonomics, efficiency and ease of use.

New Ribbon-style GUI

CADSTAR version 15 has an updated modern appearance with a new ribbon-style GUI, including a reorganized menu bar that is more user-friendly and logical. Ribbons can easily be minimized or expanded. The GUI includes support for customizable quick access, user-defined custom, and macro toolbars.

Active HTML Reports

All Design Editor pre-defined reports support a new active HTML format which includes hyperlinks back to objects on the design canvas.

Impedance Balanced Routing

For users working with high speed routing, the CADSTAR Place and Route Editor (P.R.Editor) has added support for impedance balanced routing (IBR). Compliant with JEDEC lead-in routing requirements for DDR3, the feature supports both single-ended and differential nets. This results in a reduction of signal reflections caused by impedance mismatch at junctions for H-tree and other branched topologies. IBR has been accomplished by extending per-layer route width and differential pair spacing control to the pin-pair level. IBR supports setting different route widths on pin-pairs within the net, rather than just one width for the entire net, resulting in a reduction of signal reflections caused by impedance mismatch at junctions. New reports for pin pair width errors and differential pair pin pair spacing errors help ensure routing complies with constraints. IBR is available with the XR5000 HS bundle.

New Transmission Line Model

The time domain signal integrity simulator kernel supports a new lossy transmission line model which overcomes the inherent stability and accuracy problem of the so-called W-model, which is commonly used in various simulation products.

Improved Eye Patterns

The efficient analysis of high-speed channels such as DDRx requires a more sophisticated Eye Pattern analysis functionality, considering a base and a strobe signal. The improved Eye Patterns include automatic measurement of eye height/width and setup/hold.

New Field Solver

CADSTAR version 15 includes a new field solver that can handle not only trapezoids, but also more general shapes such as circles and triangles. Based on Method of Moments (MoM), it is faster than the existing Finite Element Method for trapezoids. The new fields solver is used for all field solutions.

Power Integrity Advance Updates

Power Integrity Advance has been updated with new features such as adjustable gridding for common-mode voltage map, improved result documentation and decoupling capacitor improvements.

Accepted DRC Errors

Any Design Rule Error in the Design Rule Check Report can be marked as accepted by the user. This allows the user to concentrate on other errors in the design.

Pin Identifiers and Alphanumeric Pin Names

Pin numbers in components have been replaced by pin identifiers, which support alphanumeric characters and non-consecutive numbers. Pin names can also now start with numeric characters and can be purely numeric.

Autoroute Schematic Connections with Moving

When moving design elements on a schematic diagram the connections will be dynamically autorouted to avoid crossing other connections and symbols.

BGA Wizard Update

The BGA and Staggered Grid wizards have been improved to allow additional pin configurations to be specified. Additional parameters have been added to specify:

  • Number of pins to remove from each corner (BGA Wizard only)
  • Cavity window size
  • Size of an additional group of pins in the center of the cavity area
  • Number of pins to be added to the middle and/or corner of the cavity window

Drill Table Enhancements

The Drill Table has been updated to include an extra column that is user-defined, allowing for any extra information to be added to the table. The visibility of columns within the table can now be controlled to give the user more flexibility over what information is displayed. CADSTAR also now provides a way to suppress the most frequent Drill Letter on a layer-pair basis, to reduce clutter in designs.

Name Range by Sheet

Name Range by Sheet is a new setting for CADSTAR Schematic that allows users to manage component names from the start of the design cycle. The user establishes a defined range for each sheet and all new symbols will then be added with a name appropriate for the range of the sheet.

An active report is added that lists Name Range by Sheet settings and any symbols whose name suffix is not within the defined range of the sheet they are on. Positional Rename has been modified to provide a mechanism to quickly rename any symbols that are not correctly named.

Rename Pads

The ability in Component Editor to rename pads has been enhanced to give more control over the naming used. This is in line with the support of alphanumeric pin names. Naming may be applied numerically or alphanumerically and the directions (horizontal or vertical) in which alphabetical and numerical identifiers are applied can be controlled.

Via Color by Layer Pair

CADSTAR now allows colors to be applied to vias by their layer pair so all vias of a certain layer pair can be displayed in the same color. This allows users to quickly see which vias correspond to which layer pair.

Constraint Browser

CADSTAR now supports a new Constraint Browser which allows constraints to be set during circuit design. Alongside this is an enhanced constraint management system that makes the Constraint Browser and Constraint Manager the master when handling constraints, allowing for more advanced constraint management.

Topology Editor

When using the new constraint management system, a wider range of net topologies are available within the Constraint Manager and Constraint Browser.

Placement Planner

CADSTAR Placement Planner offers engineers an opportunity to conduct placement studies and verify design requirements early in the design process. As high-speed requirements become more stringent, placement of critical components has become a necessity. Placement Planner enables creation of board outlines or allows import of board outlines from mechanical systems. Conduct placement of components obeying design rules and constraints to ensure specifications are implemented correctly.

IDF Interface

CADSTAR allows design data to be exported to IDF. IDF data can also be imported into CADSTAR to update designs.

Power Integrity Advance

CADSTAR Power Integrity Advance provides fast and practical power integrity and electromagnetic interference analysis within the real-time PCB design flow. With EMI, AC and DC power analysis combined in a single environment, you can determine the best decoupling and power distribution strategy during pre-layout and post-layout stages with support for a complete what-if environment.

Dockable Active Reports

The Bus Report, Electrical Rules Report, Routing Completion Report, Unused Component Report and Design Rules Check Report can now be viewed as dockable windows.

Automatic Drill Table Generation

Drill letters and the drill table, previously only available in the drill drawing output, can now be added to and edited on the PCB drawing canvas. Furthermore drill letters can now be generated automatically.

Update Parts with Local Library

Maintain local reference names and pad information when reloading parts and generate a report to compare with values in the library.

Re-use of Design

Reusing existing design data is the quickest and most efficient way to streamline your design processes. In CADSTAR 12.1 there is now full capability to do just that.

With CADSTAR 12.1, Zuken is delivering a modern design environment, which will help you to create and easily store blocks of a design, and re-use them when you need them.

OLE Interface to MRP, ERP or E-PLM Systems, Direct Storage in Any ODBC-compliant Database

With the ability to store Parts Libraries into an ODBC-compliant database, searching your libraries for the correct component becomes not only faster, but as well the integration with MRP, ERP or e-PLM systems becomes now much easier. It’s easy to verify that parts, components, and symbols used are the latest versions available. Warnings can be issued on obsolescent or obsolete parts selected, and component updates with alternatives can be obtained, to ensure old designs can be maintained. Custom symbols, components and footprints can be easily created, along with customised datasheets in HTML for every part in the library. These can be viewed and shared locally or on-line; vital for manufacturing and procurement.

Analysis and Verification

For analysis and verification, two packages, SI Verify for signal integrity and EMC Adviser, are seamlessly integrated with CADSTAR. SI Verify uses IBIS and Spice models, and can be used as an estimator, in ‘what if’ mode or will run a complete signal integrity simulation on the design. Meeting the needs of todays high speed, high density boards, geometry extraction and analysis allows engineers to consider the parasitic impact of vias and microvias. EMC Adviser is driven from the CADSTAR PCB Design editor. It requires no external net or component lists, exchanges files or translators, and can be used by both EMC experts or non-specialists.

With CADSTAR 12.1 we are delivering a modern design environment, which will not only help you to find a component easily, but also find the correct one

Board Modeler Lite (3D)

  • Simple or detailed 3D component models automatically displayed in 3D layout
  • 3D model wizards for easy creation of your detailed 3D component models
  • Support of STEP, ACIS, STL and IDF format for easy interfacing with your MCAD department
  • Import new board outlines to meet the CAD design, with automatic board layout changes
  • Back-annotation of newly imported or modified board shape and component placement data into Design Editor
  • Easy control icons to perform operations on separate elements, like moving components or running collision checks.
  • View individual collisions between board and case and make placement changes to resolve them

Embedded Routing

Intelligent automation is theme behind the enhanced features in Embedded Place & Route Editor, with the interactive ability of the Placement Tools and Move Components facility.

With CADSTAR 12.1 we are delivering a modern design environment, which uses the latest Windows compliant GUI, including dockable windows and tabbed design windows. This allows you to use your CADSTAR tool in a more comfortable and efficient way than ever before.

P.R.Editor XR HS (Place & Route High-speed)

At the heart of Cadstar 12.1 is the P.R.Editor XR HS (Place & Route High-Speed). Taking a ‘right-first-time’ approach, this powerful placement and routing tool is optimised for speed and accuracy, to tackle today’s dense PCB designs. It handles a wide range of circuit rules and routing constraints that can be set early in the design process to ensure designs are implemented correctly first time.

With CADSTAR 12.1 we are delivering a modern design environment, which uses the latest Windows compliant GUI, including dockable windows and tabbed design windows. This allows you to use your CADSTAR tool in a more comfortable and efficient way than ever before.

Ease of Use, New GUI

Since CADSTAR 12.0 you can quickly and easily use only the menus that you need. There are several ways of doing this including, hiding unused menus, docking menus that are the most useful and formatting your screen with the use of separate windows in a tabbed layout. CADSTAR 12.1 uses the screen layouts that we have become familiar with from using other applications, making it easier to organize your interface.

With CADSTAR 12.1 we are delivering a modern design environment, which uses the latest Windows compliant GUI, including dockable windows and tabbed design windows. This allows you to use your CADSTAR tool in a more comfortable and efficient way than ever before.

True STAR-point Routing

Of particular interest to designers of mixed signal boards, is support for true star-point routing in both the Design Editor and the Place & Route Editor tools. The important differentiator with the Zuken star-point router is that not only does it facilitate the interconnection of different GNDs, but it fully respects the constraints within the Design Rule Checker to ensure there are no subsequent errors.

With CADSTAR 12.1 we are delivering a modern design environment, which uses the latest Windows compliant GUI, including dockable windows and tabbed design windows. This allows you to use your CADSTAR tool in a more comfortable and efficient way than ever before.

CADSTAR Design Migration Tool

  • Do you have legacy designs in other EDA tools and want to protect your IP when migrating to CADSTAR?
  • What if you were able to insert PADS, Altium, and OrCAD designs quickly and easily into CADSTAR?
  • What if you could use the great new PCB design features from CADSTAR in your old design?

For the first time, users can carry out design migration directly from CADSTAR, without the requirement for any additional add-on tools. This ‘one-click’ migration option allows users to use design data from competitive software packages within CADSTAR, without losing valuable library and design information. The CADSTAR design migration tool enables organisations to transition to the CADSTAR PCB design environment while protecting historical investment and IP for future reuse and reference.

Starting Schematic and PCB Design Wizard

When starting a new design, inputting all the title block information can be the least of your worries. For this reason there are often mistakes or missing information which is vital when printing the design and distributing that design data. In this version of CADSTAR you will find pre-defined templates, a unique dialogue box which shows you all the required parameters and fields that are positioned and justified at the optimum location to minimize the time you have to spend on this area of getting the design started.

With CADSTAR 12.1 we are delivering a modern design environment, which offers you a starting design wizard that lets you choose your template and fill all information without missing anything.

Check out the exciting new features in CADSTAR 12.0 here to find out what CADSTAR can do for you!

Re-use of Design

Reusing existing design data is the quickest and most efficient way to streamline your design processes. In CADSTAR 12.0 there is now full capability to do just that.

With CADSTAR 12.0, Zuken are delivering a modern design environment, which will help you to create and easily store blocks of a design, and re-use them when you need them.

Part Acceptance Attribute

How would you know if you have used an obsolete component in your latest PCB design?

What if your PCB Design Software sent a warning to your engineer informing them that a component has become obsolete when they are adding it to the design

What if your engineer could run a report on a re-design to find out if any components have become obsolete since the design was last used?

With CADSTAR 12.0 we are delivering a modern design environment, which will not only help you to find a component easily, but also find the correct one.

Attribute Editor

Managing attributes can become quite a task in a sizeable design, so what if there was one place where you could effectively organize and visualize these attributes?

New to CADSTAR 12.0 is the Attribute Editor, which is a single dialogue box that enables you to check the relevant information before importing this into your PCB design. There is no longer the need to open multiple reports and charts as this is now managed through the Attributes editor.

Ease of Use, New GUI

In CADSTAR 12.0 you can quickly and easily use only the menus that you need. There are several ways of doing this including, hiding unused menus, docking menus that are the most useful and formatting your screen with the use of separate windows in a tabbed layout. CADSTAR 12.0 uses the screen layouts that we have become familiar with from using other applications, making it easier to organize your interface.

With CADSTAR 12.0 we are delivering a modern design environment, which uses the latest Windows compliant GUI, including dockable windows and tabbed design windows. This allows you to use your CAD(STAR) tool in a more comfortable and efficient way than ever before.

CADSTAR Design Migration Tool

  • Do you have legacy designs in other EDA tools and want to protect your IP when migrating to CADSTAR?
  • What if you were able to insert PADS, Altium, and OrCAD designs quickly and easily into CADSTAR?
  • What if you could use the great new PCB design features from CADSTAR in your old design?

For the first time, users can carry out design migration directly from CADSTAR, without the requirement for any additional add-on tools. This ‘one-click’ migration option allows users to use design data from competitive software packages within CADSTAR, without losing valuable library and design information. The CADSTAR design migration tool enables organisations to transition to the CADSTAR PCB design environment while protecting historical investment and IP for future reuse and reference.

Starting Schematic and PCB Wizard

When starting a new design, inputting all the title block information can be the least of your worries. For this reason there are often mistakes or missing information which is vital when printing the design and distributing that design data. In this version of CADSTAR you will find pre defined templates, a unique dialogue box which shows you all the required parameters and fields that are positioned and justified at the optimum location to minimise the time you have to spend on this area of getting the design started.

With CADSTAR 12.0 we are delivering a modern design environment, which offers you a starting design wizard that lets you choose your template and fill all information without missing anything.