Industry Press Releases

Mentor Graphics Redefines the PCB Landscape with Affordable, High-Technology Design Solutions for the Independent Engineer

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015

Mentor Graphics Corporation today announced the delivery of three new PADS® family products starting at unprecedented pricing of five thousand dollars to address the advancing needs of the independent engineer. The new PADS family provides for the wide spectrum of electronics complexity by combining ease of learning and use, characteristic of previous market-leading PADS products, with high-productivity design and analysis technologies and unprecedented price-performance value.  It builds on the strong PADS legacy – production-proven on millions of designs by hundreds of thousands of engineers worldwide – and in some cases leverages certain technologies of the market-leading Xpedition® suite. Now the independent engineer has affordable access to the capabilities that distinguish the Mentor Graphics portfolio and enable higher design productivity, enhanced product quality, and cost and design cycle reduction.

These independent engineers are typically part of a small to mid-sized company, or members of an isolated team within a large enterprise (e.g. building prototypes, validating reference designs, and performing manufacturability studies), and perform the complete design, analysis and manufacturing data delivery of printed circuit board (PCB) electronic products.  In the past, for engineers doing complex design, their only option was to look at enterprise solutions, and for many, these solutions were out of their reach due to budget and heavy infrastructure requirements.

As demands increase for the efficient design of electronic products, the burden often falls on independent engineers to perform the complete process but current lower-priced offerings run out of steam and do not support their complete needs.  The design process can often include more than schematic entry and layout of the PCB and may require analysis such as signal integrity, thermal, design-for-manufacturability, and power distribution network integrity.  As well, depending on the company, the complexity of the end-product can vary from relatively simple to extremely complex.

With the delivery of the three new PADS products (Standard, Standard Plus and Professional) starting at $5,000 including support, Mentor has combined classic PADS product ease of use with three levels of design technology at affordable pricing. This effectively creates a new category of PCB design solutions.  The new PADS offerings leverage technologies found in the Mentor Graphics® flagship Xpedition product, to tackle the most advanced design complexity challenges.  The Mentor® integration of these technologies into easy-to-use products meets critical needs for an independent engineer with broad design and analysis responsibility as they may only occasionally use a tool in the design process and they are required to quickly and efficiently employ the tool then proceed to the next step in the process.

The new products include:

  • • PADS Standard – Schematic and PCB layout with starter parts library, part creation wizard and archive management priced at $5,000 USD including support.
  • • PADS Standard Plus – PADS Standard, plus advanced constraint management, high-speed net constraints and routing, central library creation and management, HyperLynx® -powered signal/thermal/analog simulation, and variants design priced at $10,000 USD including support.
  • • PADS Professional – PADS Standard Plus, including Xpedition-powered technologies such as sketch routing, simultaneous 2D/3D layout, hierarchical placement planning, component and net explorers, manufacturing prep and design review/compare priced at $18,000 USD including support.

Technologies in the PADS products that differentiate them from the market include:

  • • Correct-by-construction methodology: Enabled by a common constraint management system used across the flow to support advanced high-speed topologies and design for manufacture, minimizing design cycle iterations by getting it right the first time.
  • • Integrated, accurate, easy-to-use analysis and verification technology: Designers can virtually prototype their system powered by the HyperLynx product with signal/power integrity analysis, analog or thermal simulation and advanced full-board rule checks, minimizing expensive, time-consuming physical prototype cycles.
  • • Highest performing, highest capacity layout environment: Leverages industry-leading technology powered by the Xpedition product for placement/planning, 2D/3D layout, dynamic power distribution design, and constraint-driven routing including the Sketch Router™ tool to tackle the most complex layouts.
  • • Part library access: Engineers can use over 360,000 parts via PartQuest™, a fully integrated website that also merges Digi-Key part numbers with symbols and footprints, reducing manual errors and saving time and cost.
  • • Manufacturing preparation: Validation of the design for fabrication and test, and preparation for manufacturing hand-off and documentation.
  • • Maintenance of data integrity: Management and archiving of different design revs, and simplification of reviews across the organization.


Larry Toda
Mentor Graphics


Mentor Graphics Corporation is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world's most successful electronic, semiconductor and systems companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues in the last fiscal year in excess of $1.24 billion. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777.

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