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McCAD Trailblazer's incredibly efficient autorouter will bring your McCAD PCB Design System to the forefront of today's design tools. Based on the principals of PUSH, SHOVE and INSERT, McCAD Trailblazer closely emulates the approach taken by professional board designers. This approach results in the most efficient use of board area with a minimum of vias thus producing the highest quality boards.
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McCAD Trailblazer employs a routing strategy traditionally used by senior designers: route the most difficult areas first then the board will always be completed! To accomplish this, Trailblazer 's incredibly effective Sweep Router concentrates on each routing area -- individually -- in order to find the optimum path for each connection. Because the Sweep Router devotes it full power to analyzing specific areas of the board in meticulous detail, it can complete the routing for a given area very quickly and then move onto the next area.
COSTED WAVE FRONT & SHOVE ALGORITHMS
McCAD Trailblazer's Sweep Router is supported by two major algorithms: Costed Wave Front and Shove. The Costed Wave Front Algorithm analyzes routing paths in waves, from both the source and target of a connection. Once the ideal path is determined, the shove algorithm takes over and moves aside obstructing routes. McCAD Trailblazer is specifically written for extremely fast shove calculations to optimize routing paths. Other Trailblazer algorithms include:
- Multi-pass Heuristics, for certain patterns
- Tackdown, for avoiding dense areas
- Rip-Up and Reroute
- Jump, for moving routes past obstacles
EFFECTIVE USER INTERFACE
The Trailblazer has been implemented to take full advantage of intuitive human interface. Through easy to use dialogues and menus the user has full control of this powerful routing environment. The user can choose from automatic, semi-automatic, or interactive modes.(Please note that Tracker offers only the Batch Mode of routing) No longer are you restricted to the limitations of conventional routing technologies.
Un-Like Conventional Routers
Conventional routers typically start out very fast. They can route the first 60 to 80% of a board very quickly. However they bog down as they approach 90%. Typical autorouters lay in thousands of connections, but each one is slightly less than optimal. As a board becomes crowded, each new connection requires more and more vias and uses more and more valuable board space. On a difficult board this method results in a nearly complete board with every routing channel used. There is no room left to finish the board. Even if the board is 98% complete how is the last 2% to be finished??
Trailblazer seldom finds itself in this situation since it uses its Shove algorithms from the start before any of its other available algorithms are implemented. This results in trace connections of higher quality with fewer vias thus leaving more available routing channels at later stages of routing. Furthermore the most difficult areas are tackled first, not last.
Unique Inter-Active Mode (Trailblazer Only)
Both manual design and autorouting have their advantages. The designer is better at recognizing patterns, planning ahead, and adapting to new rules. The autorouter is faster on simple operations, doesn't mind repetitive operation and is accurate at clearance checking. The Trailblazer with its shove technique provides the ideal union within the Windows environment. In the Interactive Mode the router acts as the designer's assistant. The designer chooses the path and the autorouter clears it and installs it. The designer can concentrate on the overall plan while the router tends to the tedious details.
Using an autorouter based on Shove can save the user money on complex designs by requiring fewer layers to complete a design. Frequently boards that require 6 layers on conventional rip-up and retry routers (which claim 100% completion) can usually be done in about 4 layers on the Trailblazer's shove router thus lowering production costs.
TRAILBLAZER FEATURES INCLUDE:
- Maze Based Router with Shove-Aside and RipUp/Reroute Algorithms
- Up to 16 signal and/or power/ground layers
- Optimizers for High-Quality Layouts
- Automated rerouting of existing layouts
- Routing width on a per net or per connection basis
- Copper Sharing/T Connections
- Dynamic calculation of cost factors
- Polygon type Copper areas
- Polygon type Keepout areas
- Polygon type Via Keepout areas
- Polygon type Active Copper areas
- Gridless Placement of Routes Pins and Areas
- Routing Grids: 50, 25, 20, 16 2/3, 12 1/2 and 10 mil
- Several Via Grids
- User definable primary routing direction per layer
- Automatic sorting of route order
- User Selectable Routing Options and Strategies
- Full interrupt and restart strategies
- Accepts partially routed boards
- Optional Routing Strategies
- All features user-selectable
- User-Selectable Technologies
- Uses McCAD PCB-ST as set-up editor
Please note that Tracker has fewer features than Trailblazer. See the above table for a comparison of the major differences.