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    Power for the Professional: What’s New in Autodesk EAGLE 9.0

    Ladies and gentlemen, the next major update for Autodesk EAGLE has landed! This release is all about upgrading the professional tool that you know and love with some much needed intelligence and accessibility. Inside you’ll find new tools that help you cut out the busywork and focus on what really matters, designing professional electronic devices. We’ve got new features for routing, schematic capture, and design management that will level up your electronics design game. Here’s what’s new in this release:


    Quick Route

    First, a quick walk down memory lane. The first commercially available ECAD tool came about in the 1980s. Before then it was all about tape and mylar. With ECAD, we took what was once a physical process of routing and just transferred it into the digital domain. The way we have been routing has largely remained unchanged.


    Yep, we’re still doing this, just with a mouse. (Image source)



    Today, this is a bit of a problem. We’re still manually routing PCBs the same way we did 30 years ago, but our board layouts have changed dramatically. Complexity has expanded, but our process has stalled. With Quick Route, we decided it's time to move designers beyond the manual point-to-point mentality into a more intelligent way of working.


    What it does

    Quick Route lets you route single nets, multiple nets and differential pairs in rapid-fire with a single mouse click. No, this is not another autorouter, this is an intelligent routing aide. You get to decide which nets get routed, and Quick Route does the manual busywork of connecting that net from node to node for you.


    With Quick Route we’ve designed a system that analyzes all of your nets holistically before deciding how to make a connection. How does this manifest? When Quick Route connects a net, the results look incredibly natural and human. You get the beauty of a flowing board layout without all of the manual busywork.



    Today, Quick Route supports single-click finish for:

    • Airwires
    • Single or multiple nets
    • Differential pairs
    • Trace smoothing


    How it works

    Enter routing mode and you’ll discover four new Quick Route options to work with:


    Quick Route Airwire

    This mode completes airwire connections instantly in a single click for individual signals or differential pairs. There are two methods for using this mode. You can either click the beginning of an airwire connection and have it auto complete. Or you can start routing an airwire manually, and press Enter on your keyboard at any time to have Quick Route take over and complete the connection.


    Quick Route Signal

    Similar to Airwire, Quick Route Signal will complete an entire net connection in a single click for either individual nets or differential pairs. Again you can either let Quick Route take care of the job completely, or start routing your net and press Enter to complete the connection.


    Quick Route Multiple Signals

    Ready to throw a real challenge at the Quick Route engine? Left-click and drag to select multiple pads, then press Enter on your keyboard and all the signals are completed, instantly. You can route either multiple, unrelated nets or a logical bus, the choice is yours.


    Smooth Signal

    Got some traces you need want to beautify? The Smooth Signal mode will automatically smooth out one or multiple traces by looking for overlapping segments and excess length.


    Quick Connect

    We’re all familiar with the challenging process of designing a schematic. The hardest part isn’t finding the parts or placing them. It’s spending an insane amount of time wiring every pin and making labels.



    Take something like a 2K pin BGA. Breaking out all the pins and adding labels can literally take an entire workday. And what happens if you make a typo on a label or connect one of those pins incorrectly? This kind of work, while it’s something we’ve all accepted as part of the job, just isn’t worth our time. With Quick Connect, we’ve done away with the manual and error prone process of wiring schematic symbols and creating net labels.


    This one might take a while. (Image source)



    What it does

    Place a symbol or bus down on a schematic and Quick Connect will automatically break out every pin and its label. This feature is priceless when working with high pin-count components. We’ve all spenta colossal amount of time breaking out BGAs or ICs, only to find out we made a simple mistake on a label or connection. These are all mistakes of the past.


    How it works

    EAGLE now has the ability to save buses for future reuse. By default there’s CAN, I2C, and SPI buses created out of the box. Need to create a new one? Select all of your desired signals, create a bus, and the signals get automatically added for you.



    If you’re just wiring a bus without configuring it beforehand, all of the required signals can be added in the Bus Properties dialog. Give that bus a name and you have yourself a saved bus.



    Bus Breakout

    Need to break out all the signals on a bus you just created? Right click the bus and check out the new Breakout Bus options. Quick Connect will automatically add your signals with labels.


    Signal Breakout

    Let’s throw something more challenging at Quick Connect, like a 30+ pin integrated circuit. Imagine having to break out every pin and add labels manually on a symbol like this. That’s going to take you at least 30 minutes at a minimum.


    Connect Pins to Bus

    How about connecting all of the pins you just broke out on your IC to a bus? Another manual process that takes way too much time. With a preconfigured bus filled with signal names that match our IC, we can make this process happen instantly:



    Design Manager

    Navigating a modern PCB layout is anything but easy. Finding what you need visually through a dense maze of traces, vias, and components makes for seriously tedious work. We created the Design manager to give you greater visibility and control over your PCB layout from a single panel in Autodesk EAGLE.


    Design Manager, the master console mixer for your PCB layout. (Image source)



    What it does

    You can think of the Design Manager like your master console for all things PCB design. Need to select a specific set of nets and rip them up? You can do that from here. Or maybe you need see only blind and buried vias? The Design Manager has you covered.



    There are a variety of actions you can do from this one panel in EAGLE, including:

    • Select single or multiple nets, and then route them with Quick Route
    • Select single or multiple nets and rip them up
    • Select single or multiple objects and highlight them on your board
    • Select any object and apply any command
    • Filter and sort objects to your heart’s content


    How it works

    When you open EAGLE 9 for the first time you’ll notice the Design Manager nestled on the right side of your interface. If this placement isn’t to your liking, no worries, you can dock the panel to the left side of the UI, float it around, or get rid of it entirely. Happen to close it accidentally? Open it again from View > Design Manager.



    The Design Manager has two primary views to work from, Components and Nets. For the component view, there are a few standard component groups that help to quickly filter parts by the top and bottom side of your board. You can also search for parts manually. Once a component is selected in the Design Manager, it gets highlighted on your board.


    A selected component will also be broken down into its individual elements in the Design Manager. This gives you greater visibility over individual silkscreen and pad features without having to open the library editor.


    The real power of the Design Manager comes when working with nets. You can either search for nets in the search bar, or filter by your preconfigured net classes. 


    Like the component view, selecting a net will highlight it on your board layout. Right-click and you’ll get options to select the net in the editor, rip it up, or route with Quick Route.



    Want to route multiple nets or differential pairs without ever laying hands on your PCB layout? Select them from Design Manager, right-click, and choose Quick Route. The same holds true for ripping up nets. What you used to do manually in your PCB layout editor can now be done automatically in the Design Manager.


    We’ve also expanded the riprup options available for a net within the Design Manager. Selecting a net from the Items section will allow you to ripup either traces and vias, connected copper, or connected copper on the same layer.



    Get EAGLE 9.0 Now

    We’re incredibly excited to push electronics design forward with EAGLE 9, leaving behind busywork that none of us will ever miss. Whether you’re just getting started with electronics design or you’re a seasoned veteran, we all share the same pains of dealing with manual routing, schematic wiring, and just plain ol’ navigating our designs. The new, intelligent features in EAGLE 9.0 help you stay focused on what really matters, creating professional electronic designs.


    For our EAGLE Subscribers, this update will be ready and waiting to download the next time you start your software.

    Not a Subscriber yet? No worries. You can try Autodesk EAGLE 9 today for free, download it now!


    Release Notes:




    * Bus Refresh:

      - New simple workflow and user interface for creating busses that flows

        as follows: start BUS command, draw bus, define specification, (optional) place label.

      - New "Prefix Nets" checkbox option in new bus dialog that allows for simple bus

        member prefixing when creating new buses (i.e., SPI1:SPI1_MISO,SPI1_MOSI,SPI1_CLK).

      - New BREAKOUTBUS command in schematic, used from a bus right-click context menu,

        allows user to breakout a single net, selection of nets, or all nets as new nets

        with labels extending from the bus.

      - New PINBREAKOUT command that allows user to right-click on a part instance (or a

        pre-selected group of part instances) in schematic, and breakout all, or a selection

        of pins from the part. New nets are created that are connected to the chosen pins,

        with labels that match a one of a user-selectable list of label formats.

        New CLI format "PINBREAKOUT partname type" allows for making the label format type

        choice and to select which part to breakout.

      - New BUSFROMSEL command allows the user to select any number of nets in schematic,

        and create a bus using those selected nets to pre-fill the bus specification.

        Select nets, then right-click and choose "Make Bus", or type BUSFROMSEL on the

        commandline, then continue on through finalizing the new bus per new normal workflow.

      - New PINTOBUS command allows the user to automatically breakout nets from parts in

        schematic to nearby buses facing the corresponding part pins. Select one or more

        buses, then right-click on a part and choose "Connect pins to bus". If any of the

        members of the selected bus match any of the names of pins on the part, and if

        there is no connection already made from those pins, and there is a straight

        horizontal or vertical line path available out to the bus from the corresponding pins,

        then new nets will be created from the part pins to the nearby bus(es).



    * Spice Simulation:

      - New REMOVE MODEL command added to be able to remove all SPICE

        attributes and properties from mapped parts.

      - Use the DeviceSet prefix (if set) as first guess for spice type when in

        Library Device editor and setting SPICE type in Add Model dialog.

      - Improvement to SPICE model support: support subcircuits that require input

        parameters when verifying simulation models.



    * Library Editor:

      - New "In Design" tab in library manager shows libraries open in the current

        schematic/board. A banner notification is shown if the user opens a design that

        references libraries that can be downloaded or updated.

      - The 3D packages of device variants are now shown in the device editor.

      - New right-click context menu items for adding devices to a schematic or packages to a

        board directly from the library editor table-of-contents view.

      - New dialog for importing 3D packages from other libraries.

      - New UI and command line syntax for replacing the package and 3D package of an

        existing device variant ("PACKAGE @vname package", etc).





    * CAM Processor:

      - Excellon drill output now correctly creates individual drill files for each specific

        via layer span.

      - When a CAM job file or CAM template contains an integer or decimal significant

        digits specification that falls outside the legal range, the CAM processor now

        produces an error message, instead of an unexpected condition.



    * LAUNCH Command:

      - Command line syntax for launching the package generator and web-based package search

        updated to "LAUNCH package3d-generator" and "LAUNCH package3d-web-search" respectively.



    * PACKAGE Command:

      - New command line syntax for replacing the package and 3D package of an existing

        device variant. See HELP PACKAGE.



    * ROUTE Command:

      - Performance improvement in several cases of obstacle avoidance, mostly involving

        collisions with board edge.

      - When starting a route from a multi-layer object, Shift+Middle mouse key now presents

        a start layer selection dialog.

      - Several new routing modes are added: Quick Route Airwire, Quick Route Signal,

        Quick Route Multi-Signals, and Smooth Route.

      - When routing in Walkaround or Push Obstacles mode, Enter key now auto-completes the

        route to the airwire anchor object.



    * Miscellaneous:

       - New algorithm for highlighting allows for greater range of darker and brighter values.

       - Unicode support for Windows. Now EAGLE supports Unicode on Windows out of the box.

         Option.Codec setting was removed and UTF-8 encoding is used for all files on all platforms.



    * Bugfixes:

      - Fixed a bug in the Display/Layer dialog where cancelling or pressing ESC after

        changing the layer filter would adversely affect which layers were visible.