EDA that supports "sub-systems"

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#1
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Hi,

I'm thinking of switching away from Eagle EDA and am looking for an EDA program that can create a "sub-system" around a bunch of components and then use this sub-system for both schematic and layout.

Here's a specific example of why it would be useful:

Imagine I have an h-bridge chip that needs seven supporting components ( passives, fuses, whatever... ) If I want to control a few motors, I need to copy the schematic and layout. If I do it the obvious way ( copy and paste ) then if I change the design on the h-bridge subsystem, I have to make the change over and over again. I'd like to group all the parts into a unit that can be changed all at once.

Are there packages that support this? Pulsonix, Protel, OrCAD, whatever? Is the software recommended?

Thanks,

-Dan

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I do this in DXP/Altium all the time using the multichannel feature or by using multiple schematic sheets connected using the software "offsheet" connectors or ports. You can also create a "library componet" that has the module(s).
You can do similiar things with OrCAD, Pads etc...

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Thanks for the reply.

With an "offsheet connector" do you need to use an actual connector, or do the wires go directly to the sub-component?

Sounds like you're saying you can do this with pretty much everything other than eagle? :)

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I've used both Eagle and Mentor Graphics (many $K). MG certainly does not have the feature you are looking for. I would be really surprised if any did because you COULD lay out a subsystem interleaved with the rest of the system and it would be very hard to extract one from the other.

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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ORCAD has what it calls "hierarchical blocks" ... I believe this is what you are after.

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I'll second the vote for Altium. I do it all the time. And "offsheet connectors" are just schematic tools to let you connect sheets together. They aren't real connectors. Pretty standard stuff actually.

Go electric!
Happy electric car owner / builder

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Thanks for the replies!

The "offsheet connectors" are usable for the PCB layout as well, not just schematics?

-Dan

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I'm not sure what you mean by that. "offsheet connectors are just virtual symbols that let you visually indicate a signal leaves this portion of the schematic and goes somewhere else. If you have signals leaving an actual PCB layout then I would assume you need a real physical connector for that!

Go electric!
Happy electric car owner / builder

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I'm trying to figure out if the feature that people are mentioning can be used to quickly layout duplicate groups of parts on a PCB ( rather than just on a schematic ).

For example, if I want to make a whole sub-system consisting of an h-bridge driver, FETs, and supporting resistors, capacitors, and connectors. If I want to make a PCB that uses four of these h-bridge sub-systems, WITHOUT copying and pasting, is this possible?

So far it seems like people have been talking about schematics only, rather than PCBs.

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Quote:

For example, if I want to make a whole sub-system consisting of an h-bridge driver, FETs, and supporting resistors, capacitors, and connectors. If I want to make a PCB that uses four of these h-bridge sub-systems, WITHOUT copying and pasting, is this possible?

In Altium it is called "multi-channel design". You layout one "room" then you can sort of step and repeat:

http://www.altium.com/Evaluate/DEMOcenter/AltiumDesigneroverview/Multichanneldesign/

One note though, if you interleave parts from another schematic or subcircuit then those parts are not automagically updated or manipulated.

John