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EAGLE is a PCB design software developed by the German CadSoft Computer GmbH created by Rudolf Hofer and Klaus-Peter Schmidiger in 1988. The company was acquired by Farnell in 2009 and by Autodesk in 2016, a world class software heavyweight with over 2 billion euros of turnover. EAGLE stands for Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor.

The software is available in 3 versions:

  • EAGLE Free: the limited trial version for DIY fans
  • EAGLE standard: 99 diagram sheets, 4 signal layers and a 160 cm² printed circuit area
  • EAGLE Premium: the professional version with 999 diagram sheets, 16 signal layers and an unlimited printed circuit area

Features and specifications

  • Diagram editor (connected to the library, electric rules, generation of an interconnection list)
  • Annotation of changes between the diagram and the PCB
  • Diagram hierarchy
  • Layout diagram with advanced features


PORTEL company introduced the circuit design software (CAD) PROTEL in the circuit industry in the the late 80s, 20th century, which is deservedly ranked highly among many EDA software and is circuit designers’ preferred software.

Altium Designer 20 has been released, with new features that improve the overall user experience, and its fluency and smoothness have been improved. In this version, the arbitrary-angle routing function is newly introduced to complete the escape routing of dense BGA packages, the routing optimization processing is also improved, the new DirectX accelerated schematic editor engine, and many other enhancements.

It is good for one or two layers’ board, however, it becomes a little bit hard to use when it comes to more than 4 layers, not to mention the PCB design in signal transmission of high frequency and high-speed digitization.


KiCAD is a Cross-Platform and Open Source Electronics Design Automation Suite. It includes a schematic editor for creating and editing schematic designs, a PCB Editor for making professional PCB layouts with up to 32 copper layers, and a 3D viewer which can be used to inspect the design in a 3D form. Unlike Eagle, KiCAD is entirely free, and no paywall is needed to use some of its features.

Features and specifications

  • Kicad: project manager
  • Eeschema: electric diagram editor
  • Pcbnew: printed circuit editor
  • Cvpcb: utility to select the physical imprints of components used on the diagram
  • Gerbview: Gerber file viewer
  • Pcbcalculator: design aid tool to calculate resistance values, track widths, etc.


Born in 1988 of the merger of SDA Systems and ECAD, Cadence Design Systems is currently a leader on the electronics CAD software market. Based in San José in California, it is a NASDAQ listed company with a turnover of about 2 billion dollars.

Features and specifications

Diagrams, layout and routing

  • Interactive, real time routing with built-in constraints
  • Automatic shape creation and update
  • Automatic BGA assistance

PCBWeb Designer


PCBWeb is a free CAD program for electronic development and manufacturing. It has a multi-page design schematic shot, multilayer support for the printed circuit board layout, and a broad range of details.

By using this popular PCB program, multi-sheeted schemes can produce with a fast and easy to use wiring tool. Even you can direct multilayer boards with copper fill support and DRC checks. Additionally, you can find an integrated list of Arrow information with a specification manager.

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