PCB (software)

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PCB
Pcb eda.png
Developer(s) Thomas Nau
Initial release 1990 [1]
Stable release
2.0
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Operating system Unix-like (BSDs, GNU/Linux, Solaris, OS X (experimental) and Microsoft Windows
Type Electronic design automation (EDA)
License GNU General Public License
Website pcb.geda-project.org

PCB is a free and open-source software suite for electronic design automation (EDA) - for printed circuit boards (PCB) layout. It uses GTK+ for its GUI widgets.

History[edit]

PCB was first written by Thomas Nau for an Atari ST in 1990 and ported to UNIX and X11 in 1994. Initially PCB was not intended to be a professional layout system but as a tool for individuals to do small-scale development of hardware.[1][2] The second release 1.2 introduced user menus. This made PCB easier to use and increased its popularity.[1] Harry Eaton took over PCB development beginning with Release 1.5, although he contributed some code from Release 1.4.3.

PCB includes a topological autorouter named Toporouter, developed by Anthony Blake in a Google-funded open source project mentored by DJ Delorie in 2008.[3] It is mostly based on an implementation of the algorithms described in Tal Dayan's 1997 PhD thesis, "Rubberband based topological router".[3][4] This router has meanwhile been adapted for use with the open-source KiCad project as well.

Features[edit]

  • Scalable fonts
  • Layer groups to keep signals together
  • Add on device drivers
  • Gerber RS-274X and NC Drill output support
  • Centroid (X-Y) data output
  • PostScript and Encapsulated PostScript output
  • Rats-nest generation from simple net lists
  • Automatic clearance around pins that pierce a polygon
  • Flags for pins and vias
  • Groups of action commands can be undone by a single undo
  • Simple design rule checker (DRC) - checks for minimum spacing and overlap rules
  • Drawing directly on the silk layer
  • Viewable solder-mask layers and editing
  • Netlist window
  • Netlist entry by drawing rats
  • Auto router
  • Snap to pins and pads
  • Element files and libraries that can contain whole sub-layouts, metric grids
  • Up to 16 copper layer designs by default
  • Trace optimizer
  • Rats nest
  • Connectivity verification
  • Can interoperate with free schematic capture tools such as gEDA and XCircuit
  • GNU autoconf/automake based build system
  • PCB is Free Software

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "PCB document manual".  100826 pcb.gpleda.org
  2. ^ "Linux Fund partners to boost usability of gEDA open source electronic engineering software package".  100826 linuxfund.org
  3. ^ a b Blake, Anthony (2009-07-07) [2008]. "Topological Autorouter - Introduction". Archived from the original on 2011-02-27. 
  4. ^ Dayan, Tal (June 1997). "Rubberband based topological router" (PDF) (PhD thesis). Santa Cruz, CA. USA: University of California. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-09-25. Retrieved 2017-09-25. 

External links[edit]