RS adds design rule checking to free PCB tool
RS Components has introduced the latest release of its software design tool for schematic capture and PCB layout, which is free for download.
Called DesignSpark PCB Version 5.0, this latest version has two new features – online Design Rule Checking and buses – which have been introduced to further reduce design times for engineers and to minimise errors during the design process.
Design Rule Checking determines whether the physical layout of an integrated circuit satisfies a series of recommended parameters called design rules. DRC is used during the physical verification of a design, which is normally carried out in the post-design phase.
“Now the engineer can detect errors in real-time during the design stage, highlighting any issues before the design is finalised and layout completed,” said the distributor.
According to RS, the increasing adoption of digital design has resulted in the use of on-chip buses, or bundles of related wires, to transfer data, enabling the engineer to combine multiple data signals into a bus in multiples of 8 (e.g. 8, 16, 32).
“Instead of drawing and/or labelling the individual wires in a schematic, a single ‘bus wire’ can be used to represent related wires, thus simplifying the final schematic,” said RS.
Buses have been added directly into DesignSpark PCB Version 5.0, allowing the engineer to refine the schematic during the design phase.
“The uptake of DesignSpark PCB has been tremendous since we launched the software in July 2010 with more than 155,000 downloads recorded globally,” said Mark Cundle, Head of Technical Marketing at RS.
DesignSpark PCB already provides access to the ModelSource component library, PCB quote service and BOM quote functionality.