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PCB Design reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

Best PCB Design Software

PCB design software aids electronic engineers in designing layouts for printed circuit boards. Engineers leverage the software to collaborate on the design process, pull previously used circuit board component designs from PCB libraries, and verify circuit schematic designs. PCB design software is most often used by engineering firms and teams that may be involved with product development. PCB design software is often implemented as a part of other design software systems such as product and machine design software and general-purpose CAD software.

To qualify for inclusion in the PCB Design category, a product must:

Modify PCB layouts and PCB circuitry
Include a components library so users can easily implement high-quality PCB footprints
Provide schematic editing tools that enable modification of electrical properties and other attributes of components, wires, nets, and pins

Top 10 PCB Design Software

  • Altium Designer
  • Fusion 360
  • KiCad EDA
  • NI Multisim
  • Autodesk EAGLE
  • Ultiboard
  • DipTrace
  • CAM350
  • SolidWorks PCB
  • OrCAD Capture

Compare PCB Design Software

G2 takes pride in showing unbiased reviews on user satisfaction in our ratings and reports. We do not allow paid placements in any of our ratings, rankings, or reports. Learn about our scoring methodologies.
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(102)4.5 out of 5

Altium Designer is the most comprehensive, modern, end-to-end solution designed for PCB designers and the number one choice among engineers and designers worldwide. Representing decades of innovation and development, Altium Designer empowers a truly unified design environment, uniting teams worldwide with every aspect of the PCB design process.

(312)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$332

Fusion 360 is for product designers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and machinists. It unifies design, engineering, PCB design, and manufacturing into a single platform. It allows you to connect your disconnected product development process to deliver high-quality products to market faster and positively impact your bottom line. Fusion 360 is a fully integrated CAD, CAM, PCB, and CAE software that includes generative design, 2.5, 3, 4, & 5 axis machining, and advanced simulatio

(39)4.7 out of 5

A Cross Platform and Open Source Electronics Design Automation Suite

(25)4.2 out of 5
Entry Level Price:1,869.00

Multisim is industry standard SPICE simulation and circuit design software for analog, digital, and power electronics in education and research. Multisim integrates industry standard SPICE simulation with an interactive schematic environment to instantly visualize and analyze electronic circuit behavior. Multisim has an intuitive interface that helps educators reinforce circuit theory and improve retention of theory throughout engineering curriculum. Researchers and designers use Multisim to re

(54)4.0 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$100.00 per year

Autodesk EAGLE is an electronic design automation (EDA) software. Enabling printed circuit board (PCB) designers to seamlessly connect schematic diagrams, component placement, PCB routing, and comprehensive library content.

(21)4.3 out of 5

Ultiboard is printed circuit board design and layout software that integrates seamlessly with Multisim to accelerate PCB prototype development. Ultiboard software offers efficient PCB design layout and routing with a customizable environment. You can use its flexible tools to place parts and copper with manual precision to define critical board elements. With its automated functionality, you can quickly complete a design. The advanced spreadsheet view, toolbox, and design wizards help you easily

(29)4.3 out of 5

PCB Layout is a high-level engineering tool for board design featuring smart manual routing of high-speed and differential signals, shape-based autorouter, advanced verification, and wide import/export capabilities. Design requirements are defined by net classes, class-to-class rules, and detailed settings by object types for each class or layer. DipTrace features design process with real-time DRC, which reports errors on the fly before actually making them. The board can be previewed in 3D and

(30)4.5 out of 5

CAM350 automates the PCB CAM engineering department by preparing and optimizing the design files for fabrication. Getting designs quickly through fabrication is a very complex process and effectively managing each operation is the key to moving into high-volume production. With a solution for every operation, CAM350 manages data input and preparation, through analysis, test, mill and drill to final bare-board production.

(11)4.4 out of 5

SOLIDWORKS PCB enables the productivity you need to design Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) quickly along with unique, collaboration between electrical and 3D mechanical design teams. It offers a clear advantage where ECAD-MCAD collaboration is critical for overall success of electronic product design

(28)4.2 out of 5

OrCAD Capture is one of the most widely used schematic design solutions for the creation and documentation of electrical circuits

(19)4.3 out of 5

ExpressPCB circuit board layout program is a snap to learn and use. Laying out PCBs is easy, even for the first time user. ExpressPCB Plus is the next generation PCB Layout software. ExpressPCB Plus is still a snap to learn, plus it provides many features not available in ExpressPCB Classic software and manufacturing services.

(12)4.2 out of 5

OrCAD PCB Designer is a tiered, scalable PCB design solution that delivers advanced capabilities and highly integrated flows.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface that automates complex tasks, such as contact cross-referencing and terminal drawings. It accelerates product development by simultaneously minimizing the repetitive tasks associated with developing electrical schematics

(3)3.3 out of 5

Quickly take designs from concept to production. The Cadence Allegro PCB Designer quickly takes simple and complex designs from concept to production in a constraint-driven design system to ensure functionality and manufacturability. Scalable technology allows designers to cost-effectively match all current and future technological and methodological needs for teams, organizations, and projects of all sizes and complexities.

(3)4.3 out of 5

Altium CircuitMaker is a community-driven PCB design tool.

(3)4.7 out of 5

DesignSpark PCB is here to help your company explore more design options - leading to increased innovation. At the core of this unique software is a powerful software engine that enables you to capture schematics and design PCB boards and layouts.

(3)4.3 out of 5

CadenceAllegroDesign Authoring is an enterprise-enabled design creation solution that allows schematic designers to create complex designs quickly and efficiently. It provides advanced productivity features such as reuse of previous schematic designs as blocks or sheetspartially or completely.

Easy-to-use and powerful, CadenceAllegroDesign Entry Capture and Capture component information system (CIS) is the most widely used schematic design solution, supporting both flat and hierarchical designs from the simplest to the most complex. Seamless bi-directional integration with Allegro PCB enables data synchronization and cross-probing/placing between the schematic and the board design. Allegro Design Entry Capture and Capture CIS allows designers to back-annotate layout changes, make gate

(1)4.0 out of 5

A highly capable PCB design software that is intuitive, unrestricted and free.

(1)4.0 out of 5

The CadenceAllegroPSpiceSimulator provides complete pre- and post-layout testing for analog and mixed-signal designs with powerful simulation, debugging, design, and analysis utilities. The Allegro PSpice Simulator includes Cadence PSpice technology at the core, providing fast and accurate simulations. This advanced analysis package includes utilities for sensitivity analysis, goal-based multi-parameter optimization, component stress and reliability analysis, and Monte Carlo analysis for yield e

(1)3.5 out of 5

CircuitStudio the PCB Design Tool ready to pick up and go. With the 1.5 release now making it easier than ever to transition your historical Eagle data into a modern tool, with the peace of mind that you will be able to continue editing your design files today, tomorrow and into the future.

(1)2.5 out of 5

EasyEDA supports direct links to more than 200,000 real-time, in-stock components at LCSC. Designers can refer to stocks, prices, and order at any time during design. A massive collection of open source projects helps you find more interesting projects and speeds up your design.

(1)3.0 out of 5

OrCAD PCB SI is an integrated analysis environment that delivers powerful simulation technology to help find and address signal integrity (SI) issues throughout the design process from circuit design in the schematic to board placement and routing.

(1)4.5 out of 5

CadenceSigrity SystemSI technology performs automated die-to-die signal integrity analysis in two configurations: source-synchronous for parallel buses and serial links, with an emphasis on SerDes channels. Covering the range DC to over 56GHz, the SystemSI technology uses frequency domain, time domain, and statistical analysis methods. Both configurations are augmented with a general-purpose topology exploration tool.

0 ratings

CadenceAllegroDesign Publisher converts Allegro Design Entry HDL schematics to content-rich Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files, creating a secure, single-file representation of the design. The PDF files provide navigation through the hierarchy as well as access to design attributes and constraints, making them ideal for design reviews. Intellectual property (IP) is protected through access controls that allow users to decide what design data is published for review.

0 ratings

The CadenceAllegroFPGA System Planner offers a complete, scalable technology for FPGA/PCB co-design that allows users to create an ideal correct-by-construction pin assignment. FPGA pin assignment is synthesized automatically based on user-specified, interface-based connectivity, FPGA device pin assignment rules, and placement of FPGAs on the PCB. With automatic pin-assignment synthesis, users avoid manual error-prone processes while shortening the time to create initial pin assignment that acco

0 ratings

The CadenceAllegroPCB Librarian provides a powerful mix of functionality that includes the ability to quickly import and manipulate data, split pins across multiple symbols, and define visibility for power and ground pins. The capability to automatically manage, track, and save part versions while continuously recording differences removes the need for manual intervention and greatly increases accuracy during the part creation process.

0 ratings

Allegro Pulse analyzes your work-in-progress designs in near real-time so all members of the project team have the insights they need to ensure a successful project. Easily track milestones and goals to ensure everything is moving ahead smoothly. Metrics are compiled in dashboards on a per-project and per-user basis. If there are any problems, youll know about them before they become a major crisis. Allegro Pulse will help you track those issues, too, so you can ensure theyre addressed completel

0 ratings

The CadenceAllegroSigrity PI Base is an interactive design and analysis environment with Allegro DRC markers locating areas that need layout changes to improve power integrity (PI). In addition, advanced modeling and PI simulation is provided in support of Power Delivery Network (PDN) analysis of high-speed and/or high-current designs. The Allegro Sigrity PI Base simulates PDNs at the package or board level.

0 ratings

Integrated with CadenceAllegroPCB and IC package design, editing, and routing technologies, Allegro Sigrity SI provides advanced SI analysis both pre- and post-layout. Operating early in the design cycle allows for what ifscenario exploration, sets more accurate design constraints, and reduces design iterations. Allegro Sigrity SI reads and writes directly to the Allegro PCB and IC package design database for fast and accurate integration of results. It provides a SPICE-based simulator and embed

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Check out the G2 Grid® for the top PCB Design Software products. G2 scores products and sellers based on reviews gathered from our user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. Together, these scores are mapped on our proprietary G2 Grid®, which you can use to compare products, streamline the buying process, and quickly identify the best products based on the experiences of your peers.
Leaders
High Performers
Contenders
Niche
Fusion 360
KiCad EDA
NI Multisim
Autodesk EAGLE
SolidWorks PCB
OrCAD Capture
OrCAD PCB Designer
Altium Designer
Ultiboard
DipTrace
ExpressPCB Plus
CAM350
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Learn More About PCB Design Software

What is PCB Design Software?

A printed circuit board (PCB) is a board that connects electrical components to create the electric circuitry necessary to power electronics. PCB’s are the building blocks of most electronics and are used in nearly all electronic products, with the exception of very simple electronics. The mechanical structure that makes up the PCB can contain a variety of complex components. Therefore, users implement PCB design software to make the process of designing a PCB more efficient and cost effective.

Key Benefits of PCB design Software

  • Users save time by selecting premade design components included in the software
  • Allows users to test the strength of their designs in a virtual environment
  • Provides a holistic view of PCB design with 3D visualization features

Why Use PCB Design Software?

The main function of PCB design software is to aid in improving PCB layout. This includes features such as PCB trace routing, PCB alignment tools and design rule checking. All of these tools provide a faster process for laying out the overall structure of the printed circuit board and preparing the board for manufacturing, fabrication and assembly.

3D component visualization — The ability to see a design in 3D enables users to catch any faulty components that are interfering with the electrical circuitry. Sometimes, these inaccuracies cannot be caught in 2D design software, which is why 3D visualization is so important. This prevents users from sending a design to manufacturing, then realizing a design flaw. This technology increases reliability, and results in less frustration while saving time and money.

Visualizing layer structures — PCB designers can benefit from visualizing the layer structure of their designs. With PCB design software, users can tilt, rotate, and zoom in on their designs, providing users with a more holistic view of their board structure.

Fits any use case— One of the major benefits of PCB design software comes from its variety of use cases. PCB design software lets users create single-layer, double-layer, or multi-layer boards. Additionally, users can design the board for power, analog, mixed-signal, high-speed or RF applications.

Who Uses PCB Design Software?

Electronic engineers— PCB design software is mainly utilized by electronic engineers. These users work with printed circuit boards on a daily basis to create consumer and commercial electronics.

Teachers — Teachers are another major user of PCB design software. They utilize PCB design software to educate electronic engineering students about the basics of PCB design.

Kinds of PCB Design Software

The two main types of PCB design software are open-source and proprietary. Open source PCB design software is generally free while proprietary solitons are often paid for. It’s important to note that these different types of PCB design software might be marketed towards two different audiences that use PCB design software. These audiences include both hobbyists and professionals.

First of all, most PCB design software created for hobbyists are free. This doesn’t necessarily mean they provide fewer basic features compared to a paid software, however, it usually means they provide less depth across those features. For example, a free software might provide basic 3D visualization features, but a paid solution would provide the same 3D visualization tools with higher quality rendering. Most paid software provides extra features including database management, error debugging and file generation. These additional features are worth the extra money to professionals.

PCB Design Software Features

Schematic editor — Perhaps the most basic feature that exists across all PCB design software is the schematic editor. The schematic editor lets users place and edit components, electrical objects, and graphical objects on a schematic page. This feature provides the basic function of a PCB. Additionally, most schematic editors let users annotate components directly on the schematics; this feature provides additional information about different elements on the PCB.

Component library— Component libraries give users access to a variety of prebuilt components. This feature lets users pull parts of the PCB design from the library and not have to design every part from scratch. Instead, users save time throughout the design process by easily inputting the desired components into the schematics of the design. Additionally, within the PCB component library, there will be a PCB footprint associated with each component. The PCB footprint defines its physical dimensions, provides explanations about each component, and explains what it does. Some of the more advanced PCB design software can even link to a PCB manufacturer directly within the component library. This allows users to quickly place orders for components.

3D visualization — Most PCB design solutions offer 2D schematics and complete 3D visualizations of the printed circuit board. This features allows users to edit components in with 3D computer-aided design. This feature helps designers easily identify mistakes they might not have seen in the 2D schematics, and give users an actual representation of what the finished printed circuit board would look like. It’s important to point out that the quality of 3D rendering will vary widely across solutions.

Design rule check — PCB design software often provide users with a variety of tools for design rule checking. This features allows users to identify design violations that lead to signal integrity, power integrity, and EMI/EMC issues. Design rule checking is generally conducted through simulation tests. These tests include mixed signal circuit simulation, signal integrity analysis, and power integrity analysis. All of these circuit simulations let users test the performance of their boards in a virtual environment. This helps users verify if their design works before they spend money on manufacturing the PCB.

Autorouting — Routing is the basic function of connecting wires from component to component on a printed circuit board. Some PCB design software include features that automatically connect points on the circuit board. All users have to do is select the nets that they want to route, and the router automatically routes the traces according to the design rules. This saves users from wasting time on tedious tasks.

Differential pair routing— Differential pair PCB routing is a design technique used to create a balanced transmission system that can carry differential signals across a printed circuit board. Some PCB design software provide users with a differential pairs editor that lets users define the routing width of the nets in the pair, and the separation (gap) between the nets in the pair. This dramatically speeds up the manual process of differential pair routing.

Collaboration— One of the most useful features included in PCB design software are tools for collaboration. With collaboration tools, PCB designers can all work on the same board together in real time. Users can make changes to each other's work, as well as add comments and provide feedback to fellow designers. Additionally, users can store and access any board from any point throughout its developmental history. This way, no changes are permanent and users can always go back to access old designs.

Potential Issues With PCB Design Software

Learning curve— One of the major issues across PCB design software is that it is not intuitive to use. Some solutions, while incredibly dynamic, may take users a long time to figure out. For users that are struggling with the steep learning curve, they can look to a variety of tutorial resources that generally exist on vendor pages. This is an important aspect to keep in mind, as these tutorials generally provide very thorough guides and detailed explanations on how to utilize some of the more complex features of PCB design software.