Mike,
I would absolutely agree Mentor Expedition (VeriBest)
has the cream product with Allegro just behind and like I said earlier if
you really
look at how a function is done etc you will
absolutely save time and money in long run.
I do feel the VeriBest router still beats Specctra though.
If you really look at this program it runs circles around
anything else for interactive routing. I find it hard to
believe you can't take in a netlist though??
I believe Orcad etc output a keyin netlist which
VeriBest would take in, not sure since Mentor
made a few versions now with respect to netlists
though. I will just re-iterate, if you look at what you
would need to pay for Protel with a good autorouter
included I really believe that even the full blown
version at about 36k is really only about 6-8K more
but believe me you would be saveing more than 6-8k
in time and effort in the first year. But you could get
a lesser version of Expedition that limits the
number of layers that can be autorouted most else
is same other than the lowest 2 layer version, so if
you really do not autoroute to begin with the interactive
/ manual routing capability of this tool can't
be beat.
Not a plug just from first hand knowledge of both
Protel and Expedition, I am still using Protel, but trying
really hard to convince the powers at be to move
to either Allegro or Expedition.
Bob Wolfe


----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Reagan (EDSI)" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 8:48 AM
Subject: [PEDA] Hard Look at other Programms


    Dennis and Waldemar wrote

>here is one more guy who want to know what you will find out looking for
other EDA Software.
The Programs I found where either very expensive (unpayable for me) <


Here is what I have found so far:

Orcad PCB:  users satisfied with Orcad until Cadence purchased Orcad .
OrCad PCB may have licensed routing code and "other" code from Protel and
vice versa, The interfaces are very similar.  Also similar in functionality
and price, and features.  Protel 99SE has an edge with more layers,
generally more capability.  Both are in the same price range.  Both are good
capable programs.  Cadence has not done much to improve ORCAD layout since
purchasing it.   Don't look for good support from Orcad unless you plan to
drop Orcad layout and upgrade to Cadence tools.   Orcad also shares the same
buggy autorouter, but the Orcad users I talked to don't know the difference.
Maybe Orcad debugged their router.  If you want to make OrCad work properly,
you need Spectra.


PADS/INOVEDA/now MENTOR:   Lets face it this is DOS code dressed up to look
like a windows program  the same approach that Acad did with their programs.
It is fairly stable.  Commands are awkward, looks like it was designed by
Unix programmers.  While awkward and limited,  it is still a good program.
I have seen droves, herds, packs, groups, and all    of PADS users switch to
Cadence in the past year.   Maybe they made a mistake and should have
switched to MENTOR.     To get a real working setup of "PADs" be ready to
spend some money.   I doubt if you can seriously do any PCB work (equal to
99SE) for under 30K.      Their new router is fair,   lets face it Spectra
is still king of the hill.    I don't know what MENTOR was thinking buying
this Product from  Inoveda.  They were going out of business anyway, so why
pay for any money for them.    (Sounds like the Accel deal)    PADS offers
less features at a higher price than MENTORs EXPEDITON did, I'm  not sure
how Mentor plans to sell a program with less features at a higher price.
( did I repeat myself,  sounds like the Accel deal again)


MENTOR EXPEDITION:  Guys and Gals   This is the real McCoy of Software.
This is the program everybody but me should be using, This is the yardstick
that all tools should be measured to.   So why cant I use it ?     Be cause
I cant import a netlist into it.  That is a major hurdle for design bureaus,
since we get netlist different sch packages . If your design is in house,
both schematics and  pcb.  There is no better tool.   OK you say you cant
afford it?  36K with all the bells and whistles.  Don't look at how much the
tool cost but how much you will save when things are working the way they
should.  This tool will actually save you money     This is VERIBEST
software, which I saw several years ago,   it was good then and it is better
now.  I have not seen anything better , period.


INTERCEPT:   I just spent a few minutes on the phone yesterday with the rep.
BUZZZZZZZZZZ  drop them to the gator trap!  They use Spectra  for routing.
OK Spectra is good.   If you couple Spectra with Protel,  you can probably
do a board as good as any piece of software out there  except the MENTOR
stuff.

Cadence:   See INTERCEPTcomments with Spectra.   Same old trick another day
with Spectra.  Lets face it if Cadence didn't purchase this software they
would have folded years ago.














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