PADS: Easy to use PCB design with depth of functionality

“It is essential for the company to be adaptive to each customer’s specific needs, which requires us be proficient with CAD tools with a timely response,” Mike says. “San Diego PCB uses a few, very basic principles to achieve this—talented, trained staff; adaptive customer service with an attitude to serve; and great software tools that are utilized to their full capacity.” The company has been in operation for eleven years.

Download PDF (117kb)

Some of the most sophisticated boards I’ve ever seen, I did in PADS.”

Mike Creeden, President, San Diego PCB, Inc.

The Problem

“Some people seem to have the perception that PADS® is used by mostly smaller companies for smaller projects as opposed to enterprise companies,” Mike says. “But I’ve found it is quite capable on any size design. I’ve used it on some of the largest projects I’ve seen in my 38 years in this industry. These designs would be considered big for any tool in the market.” Mike has worked with all the major PCB software. Whatever tool the industry uses, he needs to be proficient in it to service his customers. But he chooses PADS for many projects because of its unique combination, “It has an ease of use with a depth of functionality,” he says.

The Solution

According to Mike, no tool can make an inexperienced designer good. But PADS makes a good PCB designer productive. “It’s easy to use for someone who understands the discipline of PCB design. And it has capabilities to tackle the most sophisticated designs, in terms of both complexity and size,” he says. San Diego PCB has used PADS to create 36-layer boards, with a 20 MB database, and via counts in the 15,000 range. They recently used PADS to complete an HDI board with 4mm BGA ball pitch, 18 layers, laser build-up technology, and chip-on-board packaging. San Diego PCB carries licenses for several Mentor products besides PADS. They use HyperLynx® for signal integrity analysis. “HyperLynx is an incredible tool,” Mike says. “HyperLynx will predict issues and give you answers before the circuit is designed, using component and transmission line models laid out in a topology. It’s an amazingly productive tool.” San Diego PCB uses HyperLynx to help make sure the first prototype is a working design. “The whole purpose of this tool is to make version one work. Do that and you’ve reduced the overall development cycle and can be the first to market,” he says. “HyperLynx quickly and easily eliminates unnecessary board spins.” San Diego PCB typically takes circuits designed by client engineers and brings the schematic into PADS. Mike appreciates the flexibility of PADS to readily work with and cross-probe other schematic capture software. “We can see the board layout in PADS through the intelligence of the schematic. Integrating this flexibility to cross-probe is one of the brilliant features in PADS,” Mike says.

The Results

According to Mike, PADS allows his designers to be accurate, proficient, and fast on nearly any size or complexity of a design. “PADS software commands a very significant market share within the industry,” he says, “and we have been able to satisfy our PADS customer base with accuracy, schedule commitment, and high-quality layout no matter what the challenge. The ability of PADS to continue to adapt to emerging market trends and meet new technology innovations makes it a tool with a great history and an enduring presence to meet tomorrow’s challenges.”

HyperLynx and PADS are a fantastic toolset to accurately solve whatever your electronics circuit challenges are!”

Mike Creeden, President, San Diego PCB, Inc.

San Diego PCB, Inc.

For more information about San Diego PCB, Inc. visit