RS Components has released the latest update of its DesignSpark PCB software. DesignSpark PCB Version 5.0 integrates two additional features – online Design Rule Checking and buses.

The inclusion of online DRC will introduce time saving benefits to the user as any errors can be rectified immediately with minimum knock-on effect to the rest of the design, ensuring maximum yield and reliability.

The increasing adoption of digital design has resulted in the use of on-chip buses, or bundles of related wires, to transfer data, enabling the engineer to combine multiple data signals into a bus in multiples of 8 (e.g. 8, 16, 32). Instead of drawing and/or labelling the individual wires in a schematic, a single ‘bus wire’ can be used to represent related wires, thus simplifying the final schematic. This also enables simulation and debugging to be carried out with minimum errors. Buses have been added directly into DesignSpark PCB Version 5.0, allowing the engineer to refine the schematic during the design phase.

“The uptake of DesignSpark PCB has been tremendous since we launched the software in July 2010 with more than 155,000 downloads recorded globally,” said Mark Cundle, Head of Technical Marketing at RS. “User feedback is an important part of the tool’s evolution and these two new features have both been popular requests from the user community. The relationships we have developed with some users are helping to shape the future direction of the software, ensuring that our continued investment in DesignSpark PCB is based on the needs of engineers.”

This new release builds upon the previous version of DesignSpark PCB announced in October 2012, which provided access to the industry-leading ModelSource component library, PCB quote service and BOM quote functionality.


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