Michael Wrote:

P-CAD is about $10K for the full package,  $6K for a 6 layer
package, $1.5K for schematic only, with free viewers with cross probing and
print capabilities


I don't know how Altium is pricing PCAD these days. but the last I checked.
A fully functional PCAD station was in the 20 K range.  ( I read their
website and it still reads $9995, or whatever )    At 10K - 20K  it is in
the range of packages like PADS,  CADENCE, and MENTOR.     When these
packages are in the same price range and I will opt for the package that has
the best reputation,  regardless of  it being the best (layout) package.
Only because I don't have to convince a customer that my package is "as good
as.....(MENTOR) ".    I deal with allot of  managers that are biased against
low end packages and no matter how you try to convince them .   Their
perception is       low end software = low end product,  even if I am the
best designer in the universe.

As of claiming a full package is 6 layers,   I don't know what you could
possibly design with 6 layers.   If I had to rely on business being limited
to 6 layers, I would not have survived past the first 6 months.     6 layers
does is not a full package for me so add some $$ to the base price.  PCAD is
now sold with PROTEL's infamous non functional auto router.  To make PCAD
work you still need another 35 K to by a real router like SPECTRA.

Don't get me wrong,   To make PROTEL work you also need to spend 35 K to
purchase are real router like SPECTRA. So a real PROTEL seat is around 45 K.
and a real PCAD Seat is 45- 55 K.   I know some of you will blast me for
saying a PROTEL seat is 45K, but until you use SPECTRA, see how fast it is,
how efficient it is, how it works, don't even talk to me.   Your poor lives
have been in misery without a real autorouter.

I have made some noises in for past 2 yeas that if Altium adopted PCAD
menus, interface, and functionality into Protel , I would seriously start
looking at  other programs.
I have also voiced for the past several years that PROTEL now Altiom's
survival in this industry my hinge on the release of an auto router that
trounces the competition.     I cant hold my breath any longer.  I have seen
the next generation routers with MENTOR EXPEDITION software.  The bar has
been raised and ALTIUM is trying to play catch up to last years technology.
They currently have two software packages with no router.  That is
unacceptable for today's designs.    MENTOR just swallowed up PADS, Cadence
swallowed Orcad,   I think Altiom will be the next target.   I have a 50/50
chance of picking the right company that will swallow Altiom   Mentor or

This is my Saturday Morning Commentary

Mike Reagan

* Tracking #: 1CADDD8C06DDDB48A0461956AD1AAE7147ABE310

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