Proteus PCB Design software combines the Schematic Capture and ARES PCB layout programs to provide a powerful, integrated and easy to use suite of tools for professional Printed Circuit Board design. This tool range is a professionals choice for modern PCB Layout. With over 25 years of continuous development and innovation, the focus remains on adding functionality while maintaining a simple, clean user interface and tight integration with the schematic design.
All Proteus PCB products include a rich set of core functionality, with more advanced features being added in the higher product levels (PCB Level 2 and above). These are discussed further in the topics below. Design capacity also scales with the product range, from a 500 pin limit in the app Starter Kit to unlimited design capacity in the PCB Design Level 3 and the Platinum products.
Product Range Overview
- 16 Copper Layers, 10nm Resolution, any angle placement.
- Lightning-Fast Hardware Accelerated Display.
- Constraint Driven Layout with Design Rule Aware straight and curved interactive routing.
- Integrated Shape-Based Autorouting included as standard.
Proteus PCB Design Features
The supplied libraries cover a large range of through-hole components including all the most common IC, transistor, diode and connector packaging types. It also supplies as standard the full IEC libraries and SMT footprints which include all the standard discrete and IC packaging styles. Both the IPC-782 and the IPC-7351 standard surface mount standard libraries are included. More importantly, It provides a seamless import tool for CAD parts that provides access to over 14 million parts via popular vendors such as SamacSys Library Loader, SnapEDA, PCB Library Expert and Ultra-Librarian.
Templates and Technology Data
The layout module includes a comprehensive scheme for design re-use in the form of board templates and technology data. A user can create several templates representing common projects and then initialize new layouts from a template to preload all of the configured information. A default set of common Eurocard boards are provided as standard. A template file is essentially a basic layout (board edge, mounting holes, etc.) together with a technology data set.
Manual routing makes no requirement that you start from the rats nest lines (rubberbanding). You can place tracking in any way you wish and Proteus will remove rats nest lines as the connections are actually completed. During track placement, the route will follow the mouse wherever possible and will intelligently move around obstacles while obeying the design rules for the project. When editing routes you can re-route or delete any section of a track, irrespective of how it was originally placed. Commands are also provided to change the thickness and/or layer of any section of track.
Length matching of tracks is an essential step in ensuring correct timing at the signal receiver for high-speed transmissions. Proteus includes support for automatic length matching of tracks via a simple select and matches user interface. This includes the ability to have track segments in multiple match groups that are needed for routing topologies like the DDR3 fly-by configuration.
Proteus PCB Design suite includes a world-class integrated shape-based autoroute as standard with all professional purchases. The router uses advanced cost-based conflict reduction algorithms proven to maximize completion rates on even the most densely packed boards. For total control of the routing process, users with the advanced feature set (PCB Design Level 2 and higher) can also drive the router either by writing custom routing scripts or by directly entering routing commands interactively. This provides many additional features such as the ability to route only particular areas or net classes and also additional flexibility such as the ability to specify the fanout direction or length.
It features the ultimate in power plane support – user placeable polygonal regions within which inner boundaries are automatically created around existing pads and tracking. Change the pads and tracking and the boundaries are recomputed to maintain design rule clearances. Thermal reliefs are supported and you can choose whether to hatch or fill each polygon. Inner zones (nested zones) can be included and/or islands of unconnected copper suppressed. All computation is based on grid-less shape geometry and occurs in the background so that there is no interference in manual board placement for computationally intensive layouts.
Stitching and Shielding
Via stitching is a technique used to tie together larger copper areas on different layers, helping keep return paths short and to reduce noise on the PCB. You can automatically stitch planes in the suite via a simple context menu command. This gives you control over via style and also spacing and row offsets for the stitching pattern.
Teardrops are often used at the connection point between track and pad to prevent drill breakout during board manufacture. Proteus PCB Design includes comprehensive support for teardrops. When enabled, teardrop connections will be made to all qualifying routes. They are then automatically generated, updated and removed as you place, edit and delete routes during board layout.
During manual routing, It checks each track as you place it and warns you if any design rules (physical/electrical) are broken. You can fully customize the board constraints, setting rules by physical regions such as a layer or a user drawn area of the PCB. You can also set rules by electrical net class and then if necessary combine both to form even tighter constraints (e.g. power lines on top copper layer).
Project Notes is an application module in the software for adding documentation or written content to the project. It is a free-form editor so you can add whatever you like in whatever style you want. This may be as simple as scribbling a TBD list at the end of the working day or as formal as an approved revision history for the project.
The 3D Visualisation Tool (3D Viewer) in Proteus provides a way to extrude a layout and view the board as it would appear in real life. This is extremely useful as a design aid during board layout. Navigation, both orbital and ‘fly-by’ is extremely intuitive and mouse controlled. The user can also specify a ‘height plane’ corresponding to the board chassis which will appear as a semi-transparent box around the board, allowing for a quick visual check for protrusions.
As well as supporting the basic ability to output your PCB to standard windows printers, It provides a full set of features for professional board manufacturing. Gerber X2 is the primarily supported manufacturing output format. This format, together with an IPC-D-356 netlist and optional assembly drawings, provides an intelligent and complete representation of the PCB to your manufacturer. Traditional Gerber/Excellon output via the RS274X format is also supported.
|Processor||2GHz or faster Intel processor (AMD processors fine but less optimized)|
|Memory||4 GB RAM (recommended 8GB)|
|Storage Space||2 GB of minimum free HDD.|
|Graphics Card||Graphics card supporting OpenGL version 2.0 or higher and/or Direct 3D and multi-sampling (MSAA)|
|Title||Proteus PCB Design Software For Windows V 8.9 SP0 Build 28501|
|File Size||25.8 MB|
|Requirements||Windows 7 64 bit, Windows 8 64 bit, Windows 10 64 bit|
|Available Languages||English, Italian, French, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, German, Japanese|
|Author||Labcenter Electronics Ltd|
Proteus PCB Design demonstrates it is a strong contender and one of the best tools in its software category. It comes with a really strong feature pack and the numerous resources it bundles will surely prove helpful for all users.