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Digi-Key, Aspen Labs collaborate on free schematic layout design tool


Aspen Labs, Boise ID, in cooperation with Digi-Key Corp., Thief River Falls MN, launched a free schematic capture and layout EDA/CAD tool for design engineers called PCBWeb Designer. The new software is available globally as a full-license application with no limitations on number of parts, size or layer count, supporting a standard Gerber output.

PCBWeb Designer is exclusively linked to Digi-Key’s broad inventory of over four-million searchable electronic components including 300,000 ready-to-place parts. The easy-to-use schematic and layout tool is available today, free of charge, at www.pcbweb.com.

“PCBWeb Designer is unique in the industry as a full-featured design tool available at no cost to the engineer,” says Robert Lind, director of business operations at Aspen Labs.

“By linking to Digi-Key’s vast selection of inventory, we simplify and accelerate the entire product design process; engineers can place a part in a schematic, route the pcb, and then proceed to managing and ordering the entire bill of materials.”

PCBWeb Designer includes built-in board and component ordering, allowing engineers to easily send their design to fabrication or order a complete bill of materials with the single click of a button. The free software enables multi-sheet and multi-gate schematic capture, multi-layer pcb layout with copper pour and a custom parts editor. In addition, PCBWeb features an integrated bill of materials (BOM) manager and an optional web publishing feature that allows for design-sharing within a browser format.

PCBWeb Designer is part of a broader suite of EDA/CAD design software tools offered by Digi-Key. Aspen Labs and Digi-Key also jointly developed the popular Scheme-it – a schematic and/or block diagramming tool for concept-to-prototype sketches. There have been over 36,000 designs created using Scheme-it. The third tool in the companies’ jointly developed EDA trifecta is PartSim, an easy-to-use design simulation system available at www.partsim.com

“Our strategy is to offer the design engineer a broad range of EDA tools to support different levels of product design needs and requirements,” said Randall Restle, director of engineering for Digi-Key. “This new offering from Aspen Labs is yet another option for the design engineer seeking new and better ways to take a product from concept to prototype to production.”

Digi-Key plans to announce additional design tools next month, expanding its EDA/CAD tool suite to include a broader spectrum of tools from free to subscription-level offerings, appealing to the ever-changing needs of today’s design engineer.