Version 24 Highlights
Version 24 Highlights
The emphasis this year has been about making Easy-PC work smarter for you. We have added over 50 new features, all requested by our valued customers. Every single feature can be traced back to a named customer in one of over 105 countries that Easy-PC has been sold into around the globe:
- New Nets Bar
- Intelligent Design Backups
- New DRC checks
- Paste Shapes in Footprint Editor
- Manufacturability Enhancements
- New online Gerber Viewer
- New Open dialog & Browser
- Intelligent Values columns
- Option for Drawing PCB Connections by Side
- Disconnect From Signal Nets option
- Values sorting in Component Values dialog
- Colour Components
- Plotting Enhancements
- Plus many other additional features summarised here...
- Read the V24 Supplement here and view all the technical details...
How to Upgrade...
Upgrade any Windows version of Easy-PC to the latest release. View the current price list and see what special offers we have running.
Update your current Easy-PC by Contacting us.
If you would prefer to try the features before you buy, you can download the Easy-PC 27 trial version from here.
New Nets Bar
Dockable Nets Bar
A new dockable Nets Bar showing details of the nets in a PCB design has been added to Version 24. The bar can dynamically display Net Name, Net Class, Total Track Length, Min/Max Length Values and Rules, Via Count and Test Land Count.
New PCB Designs
As a fully customised bar, you can set fields to be displayed that are relevant to you. You can also set whether you view all nets, selected nets, Net Classes or nets matching your own wildcard name criteria.
It instantly gives you live monitoring of nets and tracks being edited in your design. Colour coding ensures a quick visual confirmation of values that are within limits or exceed them.
Full Net Path Listing
Additional functionality in the cells of this dialog means you can interrogate the Pads cell to display a list of all the connective nodes on a net. For each 'connected' Component on that net, you can also view all the nets attached to that Component using this dialog. This enables you to view a full net path and onward connective structure.
Intelligent Design Backup Interval
Work and Idle Timers
With the whole emphasis of version 24 on working smarter and more efficiently, the Design Backups option has been enhanced to operate based on 'Work Time' rather than a hard, absolute time.
Easy-PC will ensure that a meaningful amount of work is done between each backup regardless of how frequently you Save the design on which you are working. This means you can Save as often as you like without "filling up" your set of cyclic design backups with tiny incremental differences.
Timer settings enables you to control the elapsed work time before making the next backup, and how long the design has to be unmodified before it is considered idle and thus the work timer stops ticking over. Work Time is triggered by any design editing that records or invokes an Undo action.
New Design Rule Checks
New CM-CM SMT Checks
New checks further improve daily design and final manufacturability. The Component-to-Component check for SMT components on the opposite side of the board against a through-hole component will no longer require a placement shape for that component but instead will work from the protruding through-hole pins. This means less work trying to avoid artificial 'body' violations, helping you to achieve denser component placement on the reverse side of the board.
Min Via Hole Size Check
An additional manufacturing check has been added to differentiate between minimum Pad hole sizes and minimum Via hole sizes to aid final manufacturability.
Integrity check has been added to Design Rules Checking to enable it to be included in DRC Sign-off checks. This is vital in ensuring your design has maximum integrity before manufacture.
Unpoured Copper Areas Check
A new check for Unpoured Copper areas enables full design integrity to be confirmed before sending off plots for manufacturing.
Silkscreen Overlap Checks
Silkscreen overlap checks have been expanded into their different facets for more refined item checking.
Paste Shapes in Footprints
Add complex pad shapes
For complex Components such as QFNs where the manufacturer specifies a particular pattern of paste to be used in place of the standard shape generated by the pad itself, you can now create that Paste Mask pattern using the new Apply Paste tool.
This new tool helps you create and position the shape sizes, add quantities, create the gaps and add to a layer. The dialog lets you create the shapes and apply them iteratively; each time a value is altered, it can be applied to the shapes to enable you to see how it looks.
New Options for Manufacturability
Two new features have been added to enhance copper pour areas and thermal spokes on pads:
Avoid the same Net Tracks in Copper Pour Areas
Within individual Copper Pour Areas, you can avoid the same Net Tracks to provide extra isolation. This provides additional clearance and less potential thermal drain on items that might otherwise be connected with copper.
Thermal Spoke values by Pad Style
This option enables the control of the thermal spokes on individual pads or pad styles. This means pads on the same net can be allocated different thermal spokes depending on their size. Obviously, where larger pads on power nets may require larger spokes to connect to the plane, smaller pads/vias require less. A new column in the Design Technology enables you to inspect any Pad Styles with the Thermal Spoke value assigned to it.
Online Gerber File Viewer
Number One Systems is pleased to partner with Ucamco, the owners of the Gerber format. Using the Ucamco Gerber viewer embedded into the Number One web site, you can now drop your Gerber files or Zip files onto this interface to view them. This is a completely free and independent Gerber viewer allowing you to view and verify your designs before sending them out and committing to manufacture.
Easy Data Access & Storage
New Design & Project Browser
Access to your designs, Projects and libraries has never been so easy - a new File Open dialog has been added to provide access to recent Projects, Designs and Library items in a browser style window. As well as providing an instant list of design items, it also gives you the ability to 'pin' items so they appear at the top of the list ready for selection. This dialog is a switchable option that can be enabled/disabled in Preferences.
Recently Used List Contains Projects
The Recent File list on the File menu has been divided to display Projects separately from designs making it easier to find the document you are looking for.
Save Projects into ZIP File
A new option is now available to enable all files within a Project to be zipped into one zip file ready for sending out. This means no more searching for files and potentially missing them.
BOM Composer Update
Intelligent sorting on Values is now possible. This means you can sort values such as 33pF, 0.1uF, 100nF etc. with Easy-PC understanding the true numerical value of your components.
A new Line Number field can be added to your BOM to give you item numbers for each component, some suppliers require this for identification purposes and item picking.
Option for Drawing Connections by Side in PCB
Option for Drawing Connections by Side in PCB
This new feature enables you to declutter your design area when faced with a design that has dense connection patterns. Options let you switch between showing all connections, connections that connect on just the top side or just the bottom side, as well as those only within the current view.
New Disconnect From Signal Nets option
Context Menu Driven
A new context menu option Disconnect from Signal Nets can be used in select mode. With a Component selected, it enables you to make minimum impact changes to your design, be it a Schematic or PCB design. It means you can 'lift' out a Component but leave the power and ground in place on a power gate, allowing you to re-attach your signals in a different order then 'weld' the gates back in without the need to remember to reconnect all your power afterwards.
Updated Component Values dialog
Editable Component Names
Changes made to the Component Values dialog enable more power and flexibility to your Component management. Editable Component Names now enables you to change names in a design as well as any of the values on your Components.
With Value sorting using true electronic values, such as resistors and capacitor values can be checked and verified.
Reference Name Filter
The new Reference Name filter means you can focus your view on Components of interest without cluttering the dialog.
Further colour coding of the cells indicates the editable status and whether editing is allowed or not.
Rules for Colouring Components
Rules for Colouring Components
The Component Colour rules feature enables specific Components to be colour-coded for easy identification within the design. Rules can be applied to the component Shapes and/or Text, on particular Layers, and can be matched by Reference Name or Value Name. These colours overwrite other colours defined such as those for the Silkscreen layer. As well as ease of viewing in the design, colour PDF prints can be produced for Component assembly purposes. Groups of coloured Components or specific Components can be highlighted as required.
To further aid downstream manufacturing, enhancements have been made to the plotting outputs.
Drill Data in Gerber Files
As well as the ability for plotting to include or omit drilled-out Pads you can now also output Drill Data to Gerber. This enables drilling information to be exported in Gerber X2 format instead of Excellon as preferred/required by some manufacturers.
For pad styles where the drill size is larger than the pad, this produces an effect called 'drilled out pads' where any copper land for the pad would be completely removed by the drilling process. These can be suppressed using this new option on the Plotting dialog.
IP Protection in ODB++ Export
When exporting to ODB++ format, you now switch critical information fields off to prevent them being exported. Fields such as the Net Name and BOM section can be omitted leaving the file neutral. You can also choose to output the data using 'neutral' or 'vanilla' names for your components and nets. These options help to protect your intellectual property (IP) when sending data externally.
Additional V24 Features
- Toggle True Width with Ctrl Key in Layers Bar
- Auto-Hide Power Plane in Layers Bar
- Named Layer Toggles accessible in Layers Bar
- Add to Project - Other Files Relative Path Name
- Cross-probe Zoom after Probe
- Net Properties - Nets shown on other sheets
- Goto Bar shows DRC Errors for all open SCM Sheets
- Drag Connected Items to Component Bin
- Move Component Names within a Tight Group
- Values are shown in the Replace Component Preview list
- Rename Components by List
- Component Wizard can now add Description and Values
- Library Item time stamp preservation
- Prompt for Net Name on Add Connection
- Integrity Check suppress SCM- or PCB-only Component messages
- Change to Preferences for 'Cancel in Add Track'
- Mirror Pad Style Exceptions
- Allow Reposition of Component Pads
- Copper to Pad Association Footprint check
- Hexagonal Pad Style Shapes
- Highlight Net during Add and Edit Track
- Prefer Visible Layer in Add and Edit Track
- Move Treat Vias as Fixed
- Extra header info in Excellon
- Fully Supported under Windows 10
- Continued use with the Component Search Engine
- Access to the new online Gerber file viewer facility
- Benefit from our FREE technical support service
- Support through a manned phone & email