> On Mar 5, 2018, at 10:49 AM, Wayne Stambaugh <stambau...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> I was thinking one level of abstraction higher where I just input my
> design requirements and it spits out a schematic, full simulation to
> match the design requirements, and a completed board layout.  That would
> make my job a *lot* easier. ;)

Maybe it can do my FPGA design for me, and also write firmware for the ARM 
processor too! Why am I doing all of this hard work when I could be drinking 
coffee and reading the New York Times?

> All kidding aside, I was told by a very highly skilled board designer
> not to waste our time with auto-routers because no one actually uses
> them except for the simplest designs with lots of free board space and
> few or no routing restrictions.  This is someone who uses Altium in his
> day job and has laid out far more boards than I have.  

At the previous day job, we did VME and CompactPCI single-board computers, and 
the layout people took advantage of full-up Specctra autorouting. The designs 
had a lot of wide parallel buses and suchlike which could be autorouted, but 
there was still plenty of stuff on those boards which needed to be routed 
manually. And setting up constraints for the autorouter was still a couple of 
days work.

At the current job everything is smaller. Each product has multiple boards that 
need to connect correctly. Boards are mixed signal, they have power supply 
parts, there are connectors that poke through the enclosure, etc etc etc and 
suffice it to say we never autoroute. Assisted routing, like the Kicad 
push-and-shove, and Altium’s “bus routing” (a feature I’d like to see in Kicad, 
for sure!) goes a long way.


> I'm guessing auto-routers appeal to hobbyists rather than professionals. 

How many questions on forums do you see from hobbyists asking about how to 
autoroute, or wondering if the results from the autorouter are good?

-a
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