Jerry, I can relate with your dilemma, but I'm not accustomed to discussing alternate CAD tools on a specialized listserver. But it sounds that you need a little help with your situation.
Protel is a great CAD tool for doing most PCB design work, but your design compexity our your companies management complexity can sometimes surpass Protel's limitations. I know of a lot of people who are very happy and proud with their Protel system, but they are in a nitch where the Protel system works good for them. Tip - if you go directly to Mentor, they will not mention PADS, but will focus only on their Expedition tools. They will not even tell you that PADS exists. In order to get any information about PADS you must speak to a PADS reseller (who work outside the Mentor organization). I personally believe that PADS is the midway point between Protel and Expedtion. If your designs are extremely complex with 20,000 pins +, blind and buried vias, buried resistors, laser holes in fine pitch BGA's and require elaborate simulation for signal integrity then Expedition is your solution. Warning, Expedition has a steep price tag and a long painful learning curve. But when your complexity goes beyond the Protel system and all you need is a fully integrated system that is fully scalable (you add features and tools on an "As Needed" basis" then buying Expedition is like swating a fly with a bazooka. I'm can't go into great detail, but find your local PADS representative and have them come and show you their complete integrated "DX Designer" system. A demo is completely free and it's well worth it. One last word on CAD demo's. Do not let the CAD vendor demonstrate their products using their canned demo. Every CAD vendor has a canned demo that is custom tailored to make their CAD tool perform at optimum levels. Use one of your designs to see the complete range of features that each vendor has. Get quotes from all of them and compare the numbers with the features you need and it should become very obvious which tool is the best for your team. Also, PADS will soon (September / October) have a complete Protel translator so you can move all your legacy work directly over to PADS. Tom H -----Original Message----- From: Symanski, Jerry SPAWAR [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] Sent: Sunday, June 27, 2004 1:08 PM To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Subject: [PEDA] Recommendations please! -- DXP2004 - PADS - Expedition Gentlemen, I am currently involved in the all too familiar task of choosing an EDA tool for our group. Our group consists of about 20 engineers. We do small, low power high density systems consisting of analog and digital components. We cover the full spectrum from algorithms through design, fabrication, packaging, programming, testing, documentation and user interfaces. The group has used Protel for many years but now finds ourselves in need of a complete, full spectrum EDA suite. I am interested in comments, comparisons, recommendations, etc., from anyone who has experience in using at least two of the latest versions of Expedition, PADS and Protel suites. TIA for your valuable time! jjs * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * To post a message: mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] * * To leave this list visit: * http://www.techservinc.com/protelusers/leave.html * * Contact the list manager: * mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] * * Forum Guidelines Rules: * http://www.techservinc.com/protelusers/forumrules.html * * Browse or Search previous postings: * http://www.mail-archive.com/[EMAIL PROTECTED] * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *