What s New in Eagle V6 PCB Design Software

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Improved User Interface and Experience

One of the most noticeable changes in Eagle V6 is the refreshed user interface. The new UI has a modern look and feel, with intuitive controls and better organization of tools and menus. Some key UI enhancements include:

  • Customizable workspaces that allow you to arrange toolbars, buttons, and windows to suit your workflow
  • Multi-monitor support for spreading out your designs across multiple screens
  • Dark and light UI themes to reduce eye strain and match your preferences
  • Streamlined menus and toolbars that surface commonly used commands
  • Context-sensitive help that provides relevant information as you work

These UI improvements in Eagle V6 enable a smoother, more efficient user experience for both new and experienced designers.

Enhanced Board Layout and Routing Tools

Eagle V6 introduces several new and enhanced tools for board layout and routing:

Interactive Routing

The new interactive routing mode allows you to easily route connections by clicking on pads or existing traces. As you route, Eagle V6 provides real-time feedback on things like trace length, parallelism, and clearance. This makes manual routing much faster and reduces errors.

Multi-Trace Routing

You can now route multiple traces in parallel with user-defined spacing. This is useful for creating bus connections or differential pairs. The multi-trace routing tool also supports automatic length matching.

Back Drill Support

For high-speed designs, Eagle V6 now supports back drilling of vias. Back drilling removes the unused portion of Through-hole vias to improve signal integrity. You can define back drill settings on a per-via basis.

Teardrop Pads

Eagle V6 can automatically generate teardrop-shaped pads at trace-pad intersections. Teardrops increase manufacturing yield and reliability by strengthening these high-stress areas. You have full control over the size and shape of the teardrops.

High-Speed Design Rule Checks

Several new design rule checks (DRCs) have been added for high-speed designs:

DRC Description
Serpentine Checks for excessive bends in a route that could cause reflections
Stub Detects unterminated traces that are too long and could cause ringing
Matched Length Verifies that length-matched differential pairs meet a specified tolerance

These automated checks help ensure your high-speed designs will perform as expected.

Schematic Capture Updates

Eagle V6 also includes some notable updates to the schematic capture tools:

Updated Component Libraries

The standard Eagle component libraries have been refreshed with hundreds of new parts, including many common sensors, power regulators, and interface ICs. Part symbols and footprints conform to the latest IPC Standards.

Pin Connection Improvements

A new “snap to pin” mode makes it easier to draw wires to component pins without overlapping. Pads and pins are also clearly labeled with their names and numbers. This reduces the likelihood of schematic errors.

Hierarchical Blocks

For complex designs, you can now create hierarchical blocks in your schematic. Blocks can contain multiple components and sheets, and allow you to reuse circuitry across projects. This helps keep schematics clean and organized.

Simulation and Analysis

Traditionally, Eagle has relied on third-party tools for circuit simulation. But Eagle V6 now includes some basic simulation and analysis features built-in:

DC Analysis

You can perform DC operating point and DC sweep analysis on your circuits. This calculates the steady-state voltages and currents, and can sweep component values to create graphs of circuit behavior.

AC Analysis

Eagle V6 also supports AC analysis, which calculates the small-signal frequency response of your linear circuits. You can plot gain and phase over a range of frequencies.

SPICE Export

For more advanced simulations, you can export your schematic to industry-standard SPICE format. This allows you to use powerful SPICE simulation tools to verify your designs.

While Eagle V6’s simulation capabilities are not meant to replace dedicated tools, they provide a convenient way to do quick checks of your circuits without leaving the PCB design environment.

Manufacturing Preparation

Eagle V6 includes several enhancements to help you prepare PCB designs for manufacturing:

Comprehensive DRC Checks

New DRC checks verify your design against an extensive set of manufacturing rules:

DRC Category Example Checks
Copper features Minimum trace width and spacing, copper fill zones
Drill/route Minimum hole size, edge clearance, slot dimensions
Masks Solder mask clearance, paste mask apertures
Silkscreen Font size, silkscreen over pads, line width

Running these automated checks can prevent expensive manufacturing issues.

3D Visualization

An improved 3D view lets you see a realistic rendering of your final board with components. You can rotate, zoom, and measure features in 3D. This helps visualize assembly and enclosure fit.

CAM Output Improvements

Eagle V6 supports an extensive list of industry-standard CAM file formats for manufacturing output. You have granular control over the layer mapping and file settings to meet your manufacturer’s requirements.

Design Reuse and Collaboration

To facilitate design reuse and team collaboration, Eagle V6 includes:

ULP Scripting Enhancements

User Language Programs (ULPs) allow you to automate repetitive tasks and extend Eagle’s functionality with scripts. Eagle V6 adds new ULP functions and improves performance.

Enhanced Library Management

An improved library manager helps you organize your custom components, devices, and design blocks. You can easily share libraries between team members or projects.

Version Control Integration

Eagle V6 integrates with popular version control systems like Git and SVN. You can store designs in a repository, track changes, and collaborate with team members.


What are the system requirements for Eagle V6?

Eagle V6 supports Windows 7+, Mac OS X 10.11+, and Linux. A minimum of 4 GB RAM and 2 GB disk space are required, with 8 GB RAM and SSD storage recommended for best performance.

Can I import designs from older Eagle versions?

Yes, Eagle V6 is backward compatible and can open designs from previous Eagle versions. However, once saved in V6 format, designs cannot be opened in older Eagle releases.

Is there a free version of Eagle V6?

Yes, there is a free educational version for students and a hobbyist version for non-commercial use, with limitations on board size and layer count. Paid licenses are required for professional use.

What kind of support and training is available?

Autodesk provides extensive online documentation, tutorials, and a large user community forum for Eagle V6. They also offer paid training and support services.

What’s the upgrade pricing for current Eagle customers?

Upgrade pricing depends on your current license type and age. Contact Autodesk sales or your distributor for specific pricing. Most paid Eagle licenses include a 1-year upgrade plan to V6.

In summary, Eagle V6 is a significant update that brings many exciting new features and improvements to this popular PCB design platform. From an enhanced user interface, to powerful routing and simulation tools, to manufacturing preparation aids, Eagle V6 has something for every PCB designer. Whether you are a professional engineer or a passionate hobbyist, Eagle V6 is worth checking out for your next project.