PADS – Mentor Graphics PCB Design Software

Mentor Graphics is certainly an industry leader in pcb design software.  Their offering, PADS, is a full featured schematic capture and autorouting printed circuit board software.

Mentor continues to grow their product by adding several key features like RF circuitry design, high-speed net analysis and routing, and design for fabrication right into the design flow.

These features come on the backbone of an already user friendly software that boasts high speed routing capabilities with controls for matched length nets and differential routing.  An ECO workflow that allows for the design rules to be verified between schematic capture and pcb layout databases.

The design for fabrication analysis can complete several different checks like acid traps, starved thermals, solder mask slivers.   It allows the pcb designer to find and correct manufacturing defects before the gerber files are ever generated.

A base level Mentor Graphics PADS license is going to cost about $4000.  There are several different licensing options available so you’ll have to get a quote to meet your specific needs.  Its certainly not one of the versions a hobbyist will have the option to use for printed circuit board design.