Version 25 Highlights

Version 25 Highlights

New technology features and smarter working have been the emphasis for Version 25 this year. Over 25 new features have been added, 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:

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If you would prefer to try the features before you buy, you can download the Easy-PC 27 trial version from here.

Differential Pair Support

Differential Pairs are now supported in Easy-PC. Functionality has been added to enable their definition, parameters, addition, editing, checking and reporting.

Net Class Definition and Rules

The Net Class dialog allows the enabling of Differential Pairs. Within this, the pair gap rule allows you to set the gap so that it can differ from the Track to Track Spacing and the definition of the Diff Pair Skew; the value of the difference between two Diff Pair tracks. Any net with the suffix on its name of _P and _N that matches the Net Class is deemed a Diff Pair and as such can be routed as a Pair with the rules applied.

Diff Pair Routing

Once the Pair is identified in the design, the Diff Pair option enables to you start routing without further setup. Options are available to automatically create your starting tracks from the source pads before collecting the tracks together to form the Diff Pair. While routing, the Diff Pair Gap will be adhered to. When using Change Layer, a pair of Vias will be inserted with suitably spaced tracking added to enable the Diff Pair to continue on the opposite layer. The Show Legal Completion Path option will aid you to identify the final entry point to the target pads, and with Auto Completion enabled, a double-click will finish the Diff Pair to completion. The design tooltip is enhanced to display rule lengths for the Diff Pair during editing with a unique highlight Colour in Display aiding identification of Diff Pairs in the design.

Nets Bar Shows Diff Pairs

The Nets Bar displays the new Diff Pair Skew rule and actual Skew value difference as the Diff Pair is being routed in your design, this is all done dynamically in real time.

DRC and Reporting of Diff Pairs

Once Diff Pairs have been added, Design Rules Checks can be run to ensure their length and skew have been adhered to. Reports are available for Diff Pairs to ensure completeness of the design process and validity of the Diff Pairs.

Tented Via Support

Easy-PC 25 adds methodology for specifying whether or not vias are to be 'tented'. A tented via is one that is covered with solder resist during the manufacturing stage. In order for this to be processed, the via that is to be tented must be identified in the design and a specific output generated.

Tented Vias in Net Class

The Tented via property is defined in the Net Class so that specific vias can be identified. The identification can be one of three possible states; None, All and Individual. None will be the normal state of vias, 'All' is every via on this Net Class will be selected for tenting, 'Individual' means that vias can be selected for tenting using their Via Properties. This means specific control is available where required.

Display and Plotting of Tented Vias

Tented vias are easily viewed in the design using a small cross for instant visibility and along with a special unique colour defined in the Display dialog. When vias in the design use this Net Class, plotting Tented vias is performed as part of your normal process and forms part of a plot or as a special plot as required using a new selection in the plot settings.

New Design Rule Checks

New DRC checks have been added to enhance the checking of your design so that errors can be rectified at an earlier stage of the design process. Additional checks for Undrilled Pads and Via to SMD Pad distance on the same net are included as well as a new Track Spacing option for Teardrops.

Undrilled Pads check

The Undrilled Pads check is used to check for through-hole pads that are identified with no drill hole, thus plating cannot occur during manufacture.

Via to SMD Pad Distance Check

The Via to SMD Pad distance is a check used when the via is on the same net as the SMD pad. If too close, although electrically legal, this small gap can cause problems in manufacture, especially within a solder paste mask.

Track Spacing option for Teardrops

The Track Spacing option for Teardrops is an override selection and check where the Track spacing can be used between the teardrop shape and copper areas meaning tighter spacing can be achieved.

Resize Shape

Resize Shape

The Resize Shape enables shapes to be replicated and resized. The resizing can be both larger and smaller than the original shape selected. The ability has been added to grow or shrink Areas, Board, Copper or Doc shapes, therefore having many uses. For example, copy a board outline, change its Type to a Copper Pour Area, change its layer than then shrink it to fit inside the original board outline. This option can also be used in the Schematic design and symbol editors too.

Autoplace Component Names in PCB

From the Autoplace menu, the new Place Component Names option in PCB enables the smart placement of component names based on the current component position in the design. This means, where components have been rotated in the design along with their names, this new tool will rotate and position them into a usable orientation and with options to avoid design obstacles such as Vias, Pads, Shapes and more. A much cleaner looking silkscreen layer for your PCB can be produced which not only makes it more manufacturable but also more readable for servicing later on.

Recent Used Components List

Dialogs which show library content, as used in Add Component, the Add Component Bar and Change Component options can now optionally show a list of Recent items in addition to [All Libraries] and [Current Design]. This provides you with the ability to remember the most recent components you have added to your designs. Each component added or used from any of these locations will be automatically added to the top of this list, so the most recently added or used components will always be visible, ready for use again.

The operation of this feature is controlled by independent settings on the Interaction tab of the Preferences dialog. These allow you to enable/disable the whole 'recent items' feature, control how many items are to be remembered (the default is 30) and to specify whether to always display the [Recent] list when you open the Add Component dialog.

Copper Coverage Report

This new report lists the total area of filled/hatched copper shapes by layer, including the percentage of the board area covered by this copper. When producing multi-layer PCBs, it is highly recommended to balance the percentage of copper on each layer so that the board doesn't bend and warp during manufacture. When using copper areas, it is preferable to use hatched copper too. The report also shows hatched copper coverage.

Additional V25 Features

  • Highlight Net across Project
  • Component Values dialog, Rename Value name option
  • Component Description on dialogs
  • Add Component Bar shows Values
  • Free Pad selection in Custom Report
  • Any angle of PCB Item in a Panel Design
  • Shape To Pad option
  • Component Suppression dialog
  • Export Pin Information from Component Editor dialog
  • Fully Supported under Windows 10
  • Continued use with the Component Search Engine
  • Access to the online Gerber file viewer facility
  • Benefit from our FREE technical support service
  • Read the V25 Supplement here for all the technical details...

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