Hello to all - I'm looking for some feedback from users of the Orcad Layout tool vs. the Allegro 220 (+ performance Option). (Currently using Capture CIS/Precience/PADS) I've only used the Orcad Layout EE version. This really is a basic tool and not for complex boards. (I used it for 3 bds, 1st time EVER, in the last 6mths) (I'm a 15+ yr Mentor user, so this PADS, Orcad, Allegro usage is keeping me busy) Just had the demo of the Allegro 220 recently. I'm in the process of setting up evaluation. While it looks like it can do ALOT, the interface (menus) appears very unnecessarily complex. (footprint/geoms are now called symbols, WHY?!) In any case; Orcad Layout has a 16 layer auto-router and Specctra (but its grid based) Allegro has 6 layer auto-router and Specctra (but gridless) What features do you like? Do you prefer one over the other? Is the translation of existing databases smooth? Need to do the following; Matched lengths Diff. pairs Multiple split planes on multiple layers Fanouts (BGA's and SOICs) Pin/gate swapping Understandable DRCs Any input would be helpful. Thanks In Advance
Well I don't have any Mentor experience to compare with but I do have OrCAD layout experience. To me there is no tool to compare to Allegro. So I'm not sure what you were saying about the footprints since this has been the same for 12+ years... Are you sure about the router you mention for Allegro? The 6 layer autorouter that comes with mine is the Specctra router and it is essentially grid based -- it's a grid that might be very small but still grid based. Matched length, diff pairs all need to be done with the license level you are looking at but work very well. The auto prompting of length errors is a very nice feature. Pin/gate swapping is a single button click and quite intelligent. I feed to/fro OrCAD so it's easy to setup. DRCs are easy to understand if you read them. There are so many layers at which a DRC can happen but the error box always tells you which DRC is squawking and what the expected/actual values are so it's fairly straightforward to resolve. If you're using CIS and Allegro you should be very impressed with the simplicity of the two tools. Cross probing is a very nice feature. Have you seen this in action?