New Cadence Allegro PCB design next generation productivity platform change

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Introduction to Allegro PCB

Cadence Allegro PCB Designer is a leading printed Circuit Board Design tool used by electronics engineers worldwide. It offers a complete design environment for creating complex PCBs from schematic capture through physical layout and routing to manufacturing documentation.

Some key features of Allegro PCB include:

Feature Description
Constraint-driven PCB layout Enables efficient, high-quality PCB designs
Advanced routing technologies Supports high-speed and high-density designs
Manufacturing preparation Generates manufacturing files and documentation
ECAD-MCAD collaboration Allows co-design with mechanical engineers

Next Generation Productivity Enhancements

With the latest release, Allegro PCB introduces significant new capabilities and workflow improvements to boost productivity for PCB designers.

Optimized Database Structure

The Allegro database has been re-architected to enable faster design opens, saves, and updates. Benchmark testing shows:

Design Complexity Database Open Time Improvement
5K – 10K components 2X faster
10K – 50K components 3X faster
50K – 100K components 5X faster

This allows designers to work more efficiently, especially on large, complex PCB designs.

Multi-threading for Concurrent Operations

Many core Allegro functions are now multi-threaded to take advantage of modern multi-core processors. This allows background tasks like database updates to run concurrently, without blocking the user interface.

Examples of multi-threaded operations:

  • Placement planning
  • Routing
  • Design rule checks (DRC)
  • Artwork generation
  • Reuse block insertions

Overall, this improves responsiveness and productivity, letting designers continue to work while lengthy operations complete in the background.

Real-time Design Feedback and Analysis

Real-time, in-design feedback helps designers make better decisions earlier in the design process. The Allegro environment now provides:

  • Real-time 3D visualization of the PCB
  • Real-time design rule checking
  • Real-time interconnect length analysis
  • Real-time signal integrity analysis

Issues can be identified and corrected during design rather than waiting until signoff verification. This reduces late-stage design iterations.

Enhanced User Interface

The Allegro user interface has been refreshed to improve usability and ergonomics:

  • Modern “dark mode” color scheme reduces eye strain
  • Ribbons and toolbars reorganized for efficient access to common functions
  • Larger, more readable fonts and icons
  • Touch and stylus input support

The refreshed UI makes the powerful Allegro toolset easier to learn and use productively.

Schematic Editing Improvements

Several enhancements have been made to accelerate the schematic capture and editing process in Allegro.

Multi-sheet Placement and Editing

Components and circuitry can now be placed and edited across multiple schematic sheets simultaneously:

  • Cross-select components on multiple sheets
  • Cross-edit properties of multiple components
  • Cross-move circuitry across sheets

This greatly speeds up the schematic entry process and ensures consistency across the design.

Intelligent Pin Mapping

The pin mapper now uses AI techniques to suggest optimal pin mappings and assignments based on the design context. It considers factors like:

  • Signal flow
  • Interface requirements
  • Physical packaging
  • Electrical constraints

The intelligent pin mapping reduces manual effort and errors during schematic capture.

Real-time Electrical Checks

Real-time electrical rule checks (ERC) identify issues as the schematic is entered:

  • Floating inputs/outputs
  • Mismatched port widths
  • Incorrect voltage connections
  • Unintentional signal loops

Catching problems early prevents schematic issues from propagating to layout.

PCB Layout Productivity Gains

Allegro’s PCB layout environment incorporates numerous improvements to accelerate physical design.

Accelerated 3D Graphics

The integrated 3D viewer now uses hardware GPU acceleration for a highly responsive visualization experience. Panning, zooming, and rotating large designs remains smooth and stutter-free.

Design Complexity 3D Graphics Speedup
5K – 10K components 2X faster
10K – 50K components 4X faster
50K – 100K components 6X faster

The accelerated 3D graphics enable designers to work naturally in 3D without performance lag.

Multi-board Co-design

Related PCBs can now be designed concurrently within a shared layout environment:

  • Synchronize component placement across boards
  • Route interconnects between boards
  • Visualize board-to-board interfaces in 3D

Multi-board co-design eliminates manual steps to ensure inter-board connectivity.

Advanced Routing Improvements

Allegro’s advanced routing technologies have been further enhanced:

  • Deep learning algorithms for auto-interactive routing
  • Higher route density using optimized via patterns
  • Real-time tuning of high-speed interconnects during routing

These improvements help designers route dense, high-speed PCBs faster while meeting all signal integrity and manufacturing constraints.

Component Placement Planning

Placement planning tools use intelligent algorithms to identify optimal component locations considering:

  • Connectivity
  • Electrical constraints
  • Manufacturing rules
  • Mechanical enclosure requirements

Automated placement planning generates better initial component locations, reducing manual placement effort.

Manufacturing Preparation

Allegro includes enhanced tools to streamline the transition from design to manufacturing.

3D Clearance Verification

The 3D viewer can now check component-to-component and component-to-enclosure clearances. Potential interferences are highlighted for correction before signoff.

Smart Artwork Generation

Intelligent algorithms optimize manufacturing artwork generation:

  • Pad and via coverages automatically adjusted per manufacturer specs
  • Teardrops added and sized based on trace width
  • Thermal reliefs optimized for current density

Smart artwork generation reduces manual rework and speeds the creation of high-yield, high-reliability manufacturing data.

Comprehensive Design for Manufacturing (DFM) Checks

An extensive set of automated DFM checks ensure the PCB is optimized for manufacturing:

Running comprehensive signoff DFM analysis within Allegro prevents costly manufacturing issues.


What are the key benefits of the new Allegro platform?

The next-generation Allegro platform delivers significant productivity improvements for PCB design:

  • Faster database performance for large designs
  • Multi-threaded, concurrent operations
  • Real-time design feedback and analysis
  • Enhanced UI for better usability
  • Accelerated schematic capture and editing
  • Advanced PCB layout technologies
  • Streamlined manufacturing preparation

How much productivity gain can I expect?

Productivity gains will vary depending on design size and complexity, but users can expect:

  • 2-5X faster design opens and saves
  • 2-6X graphics performance improvements
  • 20-50% reduction in manual routing time
  • 1-2 day reduction in manufacturing prep time

Will the new platform require extensive retraining?

No, the core Allegro environment remains familiar to existing users. Designers can take advantage of new functionality without steep learning curves. Built-in tutorials also guide users through new capabilities.

Does the new platform have any special hardware requirements?

The next-generation Allegro platform is optimized for modern workstation hardware. Recommended specs include:

  • 8-core (or higher) CPU
  • 32 GB (or more) RAM
  • Discrete GPU with 2 GB (or more) memory
  • Solid-state drive (SSD) storage

How can I migrate my current designs to the new platform?

Legacy designs can be upgraded to the new platform using the built-in database migration utility. The utility handles any required database conversions while preserving design integrity. Cadence also provides documentation and support to assist with design migrations.


The next-generation Cadence Allegro platform represents a major leap forward for PCB design productivity. With its optimized database, multi-threaded architecture, real-time feedback, and advanced technologies, Allegro PCB Designer accelerates every aspect of the design process.

Electronics engineers can harness Allegro’s new capabilities to design and deliver complex PCBs to market faster. As PCB complexities continue to grow, Allegro provides a next-generation toolset that rises to the challenge.