Open Source PCB Design Tools
Braddock Gaskill (email@example.com)
24 September 1999
This list was compiled by Braddock Gaskill (firstname.lastname@example.org) on 24 September 1999. It is a list, with links and descriptions, of available Open Source electronic printed circuit board design software.
This was compiled for the Open PowerPC Project. The Open PowerPC project (http://www.openppc.org) is an effort to make an "Open Source" PPC CPU-based motherboard design. But first we need Open Source tools to do it with! Please contribute or correct me any way you can (Braddock Gaskill - email@example.com). Thanks.
Table of Contents
Graphical PCB Layout Application
Description: "PCB" program seems stable and flexable. Needs support for more layers and groups. Outputs Gerber, NC drill file, and Postscript. Saves/Loads in a well documented format. Large existing parts library.
Part Library: Yes
Primary authors: Thomas Nau (Thomas.Nau@rz.uni-ulm.de), Harry Eaton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Web Page: http://bach.ece.jhu.edu/~haceaton/pcb/
Mailing list: email@example.com
gEDA - GPL Electronic Design Automation
Web Page: http://www.geda.seul.org
Mailing List: firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: This is a very ambitious project to create a sophisticated integrated electronic CAD application suite. [Most of the tools, however, are in very early stages of development and may or may not be ready for production use.] The suite uses the GTK GUI toolkit (like GIMP and GNOME).
- ACS - Al's Circuit Simulator (Author: Al Davis - email@example.com)
ACS is a general purpose circuit simulator. It performs nonlinear dc and transient analyses, fourier analysis, and ac analysis linearized at an operating point. It is fully interactive and command driven. It can also be run in batch mode or as a server. The output is produced as it simulates. Spice compatible models for the MOSFET (level 1,2,3,6) and diode are included in this release.
- gmos - Metal/Oxyde Semiconductor simulator (Author: Emmanuel Rouat - firstname.lastname@example.org)
- gnetlist - Netlist Generation (Author: Ales V. Hvezda - email@example.com)
gnetlist is a netlist generation program. It takes .sch (schematic) and .sym (symbol) files and converts them into netlists. Well, at least that's the plan-- gnetlist is still highly alpha and isn't usable yet, but it is being worked on.
- gpcb - Printed Circuit Board (Author: Eric Busta - firstname.lastname@example.org) - Possibly vaporware?
- gschcheck - Schematic Checker (Author: Jamil Khatib email@example.com)
gschcheck is a schematic sheet checker. Give it a schematic file and it will go through and perform some basic ERC (Electronic Rule Checking) such as floating nets, floating pins, and multiple net names. "It is a fairly new piece of code but it works."
- gschem - Schematic Capture (Author: Ales V. Hvezda - firstname.lastname@example.org)
gschem is the schematic capture program/tool which is part of gEDA. It's sole purpose is to facilitate the graphical input of components/circuits. [Looks like it will be a nice tool, but not very feature rich yet.]
- sarlacc - An OrCAD schematic converter (Author: Matthew Ettus - email@example.com)
Project Sarlacc is an OrCAD to gEDA format schematic converter. This project is beta software, so it still has limitations. [This may prove VERY useful in converting the IBM PPC POP or Motorola reference designs]
- Icarus Verilog - Verilog Compiler (Author: Stephen Williams - firstname.lastname@example.org)
Icarus Verilog is a a GPLed Verilog compiler. Icarus Verilog includes a a parser that parses Verilog (plus extensions) and generates an internal netlist. The netlist is passed to various processing steps that transform the design to more optimal/practical forms, then passed to a code generator for final output.
Official website of Icarus Verilog is: http://www.icarus.com/eda/verilog/
Caltech "Chipmunk" tool collection
These tools date back to the early 80's.
Web Site: http://www.pcmp.caltech.edu/chipmunk/
Contact: John Lazzaro (email@example.com)
"Log" - Log is a circuit schematic capture tool and simulation
environment. Log supports schematic entry for documentation, simulation,
and netlist creation. Schematic printouts can be previewed on-screen, and
Postscript and HPGL output. Can generate SPICE and "NTK" format netlists.
Has extensive (?) analog and digital simulation capabilities.
"Wol" - IC mask layout environment.IS THIS ADAPTABLE TO PCB LAYOUT?
Numerous other supporting tools.
MUCS PCB - University of Manchester PCB Software
A suite of PCB layout tools, from schematic capture, to auto-routing, to layout.
Authors: Doug Edwards, Alistair MacIntosh, Zahir Moosa, Fred Hoyle
Web Page: http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/amulet/pcb/index.html
Description: The main feature of this tool-set is it's stand-alone auto-router, which seems quite advanced and implements several algorithms. Documentation seems very good. File formats are well documented. This router is just asking to be integrated into PCB or gEDA...
Other MUCS tools include: Ncap, a textual schematic capture interface; Place, a graphical device placement tool; and various other utilities for manipulating and editing the design and generating GERBER or HPGL output.
Part Library: Yes
Schematic Capture drawing tool.
Description: Very appropriate for parts-library based drawing,
but of unknown maturity (?). Can save "netlist" format files for
layout or simulation tools.
Part Library: Yes
Author: R. Timothy Edwards - firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Page: http://bach.ece.jhu.edu/~tim/programs/xcircuit
Electric VLSI Design System
Web Page: http://www.electriceditor.com
Description: This is a very extensive CAD system. It used to be commercial until "Electric Editor, Inc" released it under GPL for pubicity to sell their commercial modules for it. Electric can handle many forms of circuit design, including:
The free version of Electric supports a number of file formats, but EDIF and SDF require a commercial module from Electric Editor, Inc (though you're free to write a GPL'd one!) Electric includes a fairly extensive manual.
- Custom IC layout
- Schematic Capture (digital and analog)
- Textual Languages such as VHDL and Verilog
- Electro-mechanical hybrid layout
- Programmable logic (FPGAs)
Contact: Steven Rubin (email@example.com)
Description: This is a very small C program to convert HPGL or DXY files to PostScript. This is from comp.sources.misc, Volume 1, 1987. [I have not been able to get this to actually work, even on the supplied test case.].
Author: Don McCormick (firstname.lastname@example.org ???)
Description: This is a BISON parser for EDIF 2.0.0 level 0, which is a standard CAD format (see http://www.edif.org , though they want a couple hundred to buy the spec [Anyone know where else we can get the spec??]). This would require a lot of work to make useable.
Author: Roger March (email@example.com ???)
Description: An old ('89) DOS PCB autorouting package. It may be useful, however, because it comes with C source (6000+ lines), and an article describing the algorithms used, and routing algorithms in general, with references. Licensing is GPLish.
Author: Randy Nevin
- The PCB FAQ
- The Electrozone
- Electronics info page
- Green CirKit Instrument Prototyping Homepage
- Electronics software
- EE CAD FAQ (comp.lsi.cad,comp.lsi)
- XCircuit drawing program home page
- The Chipmunk Home Page
- PowerPC Reference Designs and Evaluation Boards
- Allied Electronics - Specializing in Electronic Components and Equipment Distribution.
- schematic interchange
- schematic interchange
- Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ: Home Page
- Homepage of gEDA
- PCB Home Page
- Links to other free EDA software
- Project Sarlacc
- EE software
- eg3.com:overviews dsp, embedded, applied computing, system-on-a-chip, and more!
- Electric Editor, Incorporated