04 Nov 2014

Affordable PCB design tools introduced

As part of its ongoing drive to meet the needs of development engineers, Digi-Key has teamed up with PCB design tools leader, Mentor Graphics.

Traditionally top end PCB design tools have been exceedingly expensive and the aim of this new development is to provide a low cost entry for smaller companies or design teams who may not need all the advanced features.

The new professional-level EDA/CAD tools, starting at under $200 for design starts providing a foundation for long-term product design. The jointly developed Designer Schematic and Designer Layout tools are available today exclusively from Digi-Key.

For the first 90 days, Designer Schematic and Designer Layout will be available at a 30-percent discount, starting at $199 and $449, respectively. The product licenses are sold as an annual subscription, exclusively from Digi-Key. Also, for a limited time, the software is available for a 15-day evaluation period, free of charge.

“Mentor Graphics’ leadership in design software combined with Digi-Key’s connection to hundreds of thousands of design engineers around the world makes perfect sense,” said Henry Potts, Vice President and General Manager of Mentor Graphics Systems Design Division. "Together we found a way to lower the barrier of entry for engineers seeking better ways to accelerate cycle time from concept to prototype to production.”

Mentor Graphics and Digi-Key collaborated to create industry-first EDA software solutions able to address escalating demand from professional engineers for affordable design software linked to Digi-Key’s vast inventory of over four million electronic components. The companies’ objective is to offer design engineers the broadest selection of resources supporting the concept-to-prototype-to-production process.

Designer Schematic and Designer Layout come with free access to Mentor Graphics’ PartQuest, a fully integrated website that merges Digi-Key part numbers into symbols and footprints, reducing manual errors and saving time and cost. With these innovative tools, design engineers can easily complete an entire circuit and printed circuit board design themselves or leverage third party PCB layout houses.

“The new Designer tools are perfect for the professional engineer who needs a reliable, scalable platform to support current and future design starts,” said Randall Restle, Director, Applications Engineering for Digi-Key. “With Mentor, we have designed an industry-first, collaborative EDA solution that accelerates the design process while enabling the engineer to eliminate steps and reduce errors while establishing a proven, long-term foundation for product design.”

As part of the intensive collaboration and product development process, Digi-Key and Mentor Graphics completed thorough beta testing which included more than 300 participants around the globe. As a result, the companies validated the need and market demand for an affordable professional-level tool for the design engineer.

Designer Schematic is available today starting at $199. Designer Layout starts at $449. There is a 15 day free trial.

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