I use Pads V5 here and the extra features indicated to you do exist in Pads (although I think the Pads features are over emphasised a bit by your manager to make his point).

Mostly when people mention Pads they forget that PowerPCB (aka Pads) is typically only a back end.

Options for capture are PowerLogic or (other Mentor offerings) you CAN use Protel (and your retained skills/investment on the tools)

Pads is most definitely not, the solution to all things to all people. But Pads, like everything else has its own set of bugs, hidden nasties and caveats which you do not want to be landed with on Friday afternoon at 4.00pm! PowerLogic is a lump of junk and its database is not compatible with any other tools (except their own).

Most things will take the same time in Pads that it will in Protel. So no productivity gains, in fact a penalty in having to learn Pads again.

But if you need to have a dense board auto routed or need to do some rip up/relay on a dense board then you will save time by using Pads/blaze, including training time, over the time spend to struggle with Protel auto router or cleanup afterwards as the 99SE/DXP offerings are no where near as efficient as Blaze.

You can always save the pads file back to V3.5 and open in Protel later if you wish.

Protels capture front end is one of the easiest to use I have ever come across (exception is Ulticap now owned by EWB), and has came miles in development with the introduction of DXP. The layout tools in Protel are good.

As I mentioned in the DXP lists, I use 2 sets of back end tools, Protel and Pads depending on board complexity and real estate. But I use the same front-end, Protel, as a lot of clients supply me designs in Orcad which I can open in Protel but not in PowerLogic. The decision at netlist time over which tool I should use to be productive is back under my control (most of the time :-) )

My hope for an 'all doing' front end for both sets of back-end tools lies with nVisage (DXP) but the nVisage=>PowerPCB netlist formatter still has a bit to go yet....

Hope some of these hastily gathered comments is of some help.

Best Regards

John A. Ross

RSD Communications Ltd
8 BorrowMeadow Road
Springkerse Industrial Estate
Stirling, Scotland FK7 7UW

Tel     +44 [0]1786 450572 Ext 225 (Office)
Tel     +44 [0]1786 450572 Ext 248 (Lab)
Fax     +44 [0]1786 474653
GSM     +44 [0]7831 373727


-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis Saputelli [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2003 4:52 PM
To: Protel EDA Forum
Subject: Re: [PEDA] PADS ?

we are about to embark on a large project for an outside
customer (second spin, one year in rev, 16 layers, yada yada)

we will be using 99SE and probably spectra

in talking with the manager (a very smart fellow BTW)
at our customer's place he said: 'I HATE Protel!' quite vigorously
i said "Oh?" (pretty diplomatic i thought)

he said he watches his people tediously draw track segments and
then when they have to move something, rip it up and re-draw everything segment by segment 'very primitive' as he put it

he then went on to say that he used to do this stuff and he used PADs

he said with PADS he could pick up a fully routed and fanned
out QFP and plop it somewhere else all the traces would remain attached and reroute themselves around obstacles very fast and easy he claimed, like a mini-manual-autorouter

anybody know about this or have experience with newer
versions of PADS ? my last look at it was probably in the 70's :)

As DXP does not seem to offer any productivity gains which i
can see we may be looking for another package

Dennis Saputelli

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