There’s some exciting news about the Cadence OrCAD® Software, especially for academics! Generations of analog designers have used Cadence® PSpice® Simulator, which is a part of the OrCAD package, as their first analog simulator. Now, the accessibility of this tool has been improved for students. If you are a student and have a valid matriculation certificate and university email address, then you should visit the OrCAD Academic Program page ￼where you can receive a free 1-year license for the full OrCAD-package, which you can use for fundamental research and education. You will be able to create schematics using OrCAD® Capture, simulate it with Cadence PSpice Simulator and then do the layout of the PCB using OrCAD Layout tools. There are still offerings for campus-wide licenses available and if you’re a member of a student club or want to participate in a competition, like RoboCup or Hyperloop, you can apply for sponsorship.
Getting access to free licenses is nice, but learning how to use the OrCAD licenses is even better! There are plenty of online resources available, like OrCAD Tutorials and OrCAD Blogs. You can find solutions to common problems answered by Cadence engineers or community in the PCB Design Forum. PSpice users also have their own forum and a video library. Since OrCAD is distributed not directly through Cadence, but through Cadence Channel Partners, they have created plenty of resources in other languages than English; FlowCad has plenty of videos available in German. You can find the Channel Partner responsible for supporting your country by checking here. You can contact them for instructor-led trainings or OrCAD commercial offerings, if you’re planning to use the tools outside of academic conditions.
There are a number of textbooks about PSpice and OrCAD, two of which provide the newest updates on the latest versions of the tools:
2. “Complete PCB Design Using OrCAD Capture and PCB Editor” by Craig Mitzner is an OrCAD Bible. It describes not only OrCAD tool features, but provides a complete introduction to the PCB design, which can only be gathered from decades of experience in the field. The book first appeared in 2009 and it was considered so important, that for the second release the Channel Partners have teamed up and provided updates for the OrCAD 17.4 version. Whatever you need to know about the PCB design, you will find it there.
There is more to come in the next months for OrCAD and PSpice, so stay tuned!