DipTrace Vs EAGLE | What Is The Features And Differences [2020 UPDATED]

EDA (Electronic Design Automation) is a highly important and widely used discipline in electrical and design engineering. It deals with the designing and analysis of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and circuits.

Given the challenges designers face, the need for good PCB design software programs is ever-increasing. Here we are discussing a comparison between DipTrace vs EAGLE. These are two popular EDA applications and have a variety of features. These are also in the lower priced end of the price range.

To help you select between DipTrace vs EAGLE, we have compared them on all major technical parameters and other factors such as pricing, features, system requirements and more.

DipTrace Vs Eagle PCB Designer Comparison

DipTrace PCB Design Software

software radius diptrace PCB Design SoftwareDipTrace is an EDA (Electronic Design Automation) platform for the PCB designing and creating schematic diagrams. It is developed by Novarm Ltd. and was first released in 2004. In the past 16 years, it has greatly improved and its latest version is the DipTrace 4.0, which was published in 2020.

DipTrace consists of four main modules, SC (Schematic Capture) editor, PCB layout editor that includes shape-based auto-routing features, component editor, and pattern editor.

The new version features a lot of upgrades and offers some advanced tools like: diff pair constraint management, auto/manual defining of paired pads, phase tuning tools, controlling phase and length tolerance dynamically, paired trace recognition and more.

Based on feedback from users over time, DipTrace has also included features such as Gerber X2 manufacturing file output, ODB++ version 7.0, design rule checking with constraint defining and management, tree-view for 3-D models and an updated library with a wide range of parts and models.

Compare DipTrace Vs Eagle

KEY FEATURES:

In this section, we have given the details of the key features available in DipTrace.

  • DRC with constraint manager: The new DipTrace platform has a better than ever design rule checker, which also supports electrical rules. The ERC allows customization and the option to create constraints for additional modules, detecting unconnected pins, short circuits, single pin nets, and more.
  • Component Editor: DipTrace offers an intuitive component editing workspace. With tools like BSDL import, pin naming and management, part handling becomes much easier. It also allows the designer to create single / multi part components through templates by defining dimensions, electrical and visual pin factors, initiating a SPICE model and combining the pattern with a 3D model.
  • Advanced Schematic Features: For working on complex circuits, DipTrace includes multi-sheet and multi-level hierarchical capture tools. You also get cross module management, which allows conversion of principal circuits to boards, front-back annotation, and format support from other EDA, CAD and netlists.
  • Library Management: Users get a cross-module LMS (Library Management System) that allows you to import components and patterns from external sources. Components can be created quickly with pre-built templates in a smart library environment. Patterns and components with a large number of pins can be built faster with bulk pin naming and pad numbering.
  • Advanced Auto-Routing: DipTrace has a modern routing engine with intelligent manual routing and shape based auto routing that supports high speed features and differential pairs. You can define your design requirements by class-class rules, net classes by class-wise or layer-wise object type settings.
  • Design Tools for High-Speed Features: To help you work on complex projects, DipTrace also has tools such as: dynamic length comparison tables, length-matching, rule checking for length tolerance and meander placement features for efficiently obtaining the timing for high speed nets and buses. The routing of differential pairs with specific parameters such as phase and length, in both single and double track modes is made easier. Thanks to the phase tuning tool, shift corrections can also be made accurately.
  • Pattern Editor Module: With the help of this feature, you can draw patterns with various shapes and styles, create footprints and more. The pattern generator can be used to create patterns with quality assurance in sync with the IPC-7351 Custom templates can also be made and reused for various designs, and files can also be exported and imported as DXF, which is a useful format for compatibility with manufacturing programs.
  • 3D Functionality: With a wide range of 3D features, DipTrace integrates the 3D module within the layout and pattern editors for faster model generation. You can build, edit, view, and orient the model. Furthermore, export options such as CAD (STEP, VRML) and 3DS and IGES are supported, which can be opened in other CAD applications also. The library contains over 11k models with 3D compatibility.

Why Choose DipTrace? (PROS)

  • The ability to save models in MCAD supported formats allows you to use it in collaboration with mechanical designs.
  • With a variety of pricing options, the base versions are very affordable and can be scaled up on a requirement basis.
  • The learning curve for DipTrace is very gentle and the in-built tutorials help novice users learn the functions quickly.
  • The features for high-speed design and interactive routing make this a great option for working on high level projects also.
  • DipTrace can be run on most of the major operating systems, such as Windows, macOS and Linux based platforms.

CONS

  • Tools for working with HDI (High Density Interconnect) structures are limited.
  • The hardware and GPU acceleration systems need to be improved as graphic intensive tasks run a bit slowly.

What is unique about DipTrace?

One of the main features of DipTrace is that it is immensely easy to use and even beginning users can easily learn the software and start creating PCB designs and projects.

With a variety of pricing and feature options, designers of all experience levels can try this program, be it beginners or expert users.

Who’s it for?

This is a program with a wide range of functions and hence can be used by novices and professionals alike. There are both commercial and non-commercial licenses available to suit individuals and businesses.

Supported Platforms:

  • Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 (32, 64-bit)
  • Linux (Wine)
  • Mac OS X

System Requirements:

Below are the minimum system requirements for downloading, installing and using DipTrace on your designing device:

  • 1 GHz Pentium III processor or equivalent
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 2 GB hard disk space
  • 1024×768 screen resolution or higher
  • OpenGL / DirectX 9.0 or higher

PRICING: 

  • DipTrace offers a free version.
  • It also provides a DipTrace Lite version for free to students and academic institutions.
  • DipTrace Starter (300 pins, 2 signal layers): $75.00
  • DipTrace Lite (500 pins, 2 signal layers): $145.00       
  • DipTrace Standard (1000 pins, 4 signal layers): $395.00
  • DipTrace Extended (2000 pins, 6 signal layers): $695.00
  • DipTrace Full (Unlimited pins, Unlimited signal layers): $995.00

Pricing plans for businesses, commercial ventures and academic institutions are different and a quote for the above options can be requested from the DipTrace website.

Is DipTrace worth it?

DipTrace is a great option for PCB designing, with the number of tools it provides and the quick processing and workflow. It is also really simple to understand and use, which helps beginners get a grasp of the software.

Moreover, the user interface is highly intuitive, with a focus on productivity and simplicity. The scalability also allows users with various requirements to purchase a license as they require and not pay for features they don’t need.

 

Autodesk EAGLE

Software Radius Eagle PCB DesignerAutodesk EAGLE (Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor) is a widely used PCB designing platform with powerful layout and schematic features and performance.

The original publisher was CadSoft Computer GmbH. In 2016, Autodesk acquired EAGLE. Autodesk added some more features and revamped the platform to upgrade the performance and more.

Users now get a new user interface with productive and efficient tools and an improved layout editor, routing engine and schematic capture abilities. Other additions are the multi-window GUI (Graphical User Interface), a project management system, 3D functionality with mechanical design collaboration.

In the latest version, more attention has been given to professional features and also on improving user-friendliness. Autodesk is known for its design platforms. Hence, they have created a new design cloud suite, with seamless format support and electrical as well as mechanical design solutions together.

EAGLE is now integrated and available with the Fusion 360 software bundle. The EAGLE 9.6 version also features some added functionality for manufacturing and production related processes. Let’s take a look at some of its highlights.

Comparison between Autodesk Eagle Vs DipTrace PCB Design Software

KEY FEATURES:

Here we have discussed the main features and highlights of EAGLE.

  • HDI Designing: In the modern world, the focus is on compact technology. As a result, PCB and chips are shrinking in size, posing new challenges and calling for a high density design form. To work on such complex HDI projects, EAGLE includes features such as BGA (Ball Grid Array) fanout routing, working with blind and buried vias and even microvias.
  • Modular Design Blocks: To save you the effort of creating shapes and blocks from scratch every time, with EAGLE you can create modular design blocks and shapes which can be saved for future use. You can drag&drop them to new projects, or save them in the library to use in a different project.
  • SPICE Simulation: It is extremely important to analyse the behaviour of your PCB through simulations. This can tell you if the performance of the board is as per your design, or if some improvement or changes are needed. EAGLE gives an advanced set of simulation related tools with its SPICE simulation platform.
  • Manufacturing and Production Support: Users who have to work on designs for manufacturing will find some great options in EAGLE. It can obtain the part details and availability information from the suppliers based on the parts you use in your design. It can also indicate fluctuations or changes in pricing and details so you can avoid such problems once the design is complete.
  • High Speed Feature Design: For complex boards like memory or motherboards, high-speed features have to be designed into the board. These features are required when the physical limitations of the PCB affect signal integrity and the performance of the circuit. EAGLE has a set of features that include length tuning, making blind and buried vias, diff-pair routing and more.
  • Powerful Rule Checking: In ensuring that your design is valid and error-free, rule checking is a very important tool. With EAGLE, designers can check rules in both electrical and design processes. Moreover, certain additional modules are also covered to help you while designing unconventional circuits.
  • Interactive Manual Routing: EAGLE also provides interactive routing techniques that allow users to smartly avoid obstacles while routing and route using an intelligent system that detects obstructions in the path and suggests alternative routes to avoid the obstacles.
  • 3D Design Suite: The Autodesk functionality for 3D design allows you to open your electrical circuits and boards in native mechanical CAD platforms and check the fit and dimensions of the board with the enclosure. Your EDA projects and CAD projects can be opened together to ensure the highest quality and accuracy in your designs.

Why Choose Eagle? (PROS)

  • Integration with the Fusion 360 suite offers a wide range of solutions to handle all your PCB design tasks.
  • Design reusability and modular design blocks allow you to save time and effort.
  • You can make simultaneous edits between your schematic and layout with Dynamic Design Synchronization.
  • Subscription based pricing plans allow you to pay for the software for as long as you need it.
  • EAGLE runs on the major operating systems such as Windows, macOS and Linux Ubuntu.

CONS

  • The recurring cost for EAGLE in the form of annual maintenance fees is high, and has to be paid for upgrading to the new version.
  • The learning curve is quite steep and it requires a lot of time and effort to understand the UI and work with it for new users.

What is unique about Eagle?

EAGLE is a very capable design solution for PCBs and electric circuits. It comes within the Autodesk Fusion 360 package, which includes other design applications to give you a complete platform for design to manufacture processing of boards.

EAGLE libraries have a variety of components and part information that is very useful in deciding which parts to select for your project. The Element14 site includes a lot of consolidated libraries which contain additional content that you can use directly for your file.

Who’s it for?

The features in EAGLE can cater to users of various kinds of experience, from novice to expert. The user interface is not very user friendly, and might be difficult for beginners to understand initially. So it is better suited to users who have some experience in PCB designing.

Supported Platforms:

  • Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit)
  • Mac OS (64-bit)
  • Linux Ubuntu (SSE, 8bpp)

System Requirements:

The following are the minimum system requirements for running EAGLE on your device. 

Windows

  • Operating System: Windows 7 or newer
  • CPU: 64-bit processor
  • Memory: 3GB RAM (4GB recommended)
  • Internet: DSL internet connection or faster
  • Storage: At least 650MB of free space

Mac

  • Operating System: OS X Yosemite (10.10.x), El Capitan (10.11.x) or MacOS Sierra (10.12)
  • CPU: 64-bit processor
  • Memory: 3GB RAM (4GB recommended)
  • Internet: DSL internet connection or faster
  • Storage: At least 650MB of free space

Linux

  • Operating System: Intel PC-based Linux with 2.6 kernel
  • CPU: Needs to support SSE
  • Graphics: X11 with a minimum colour depth of 8 bpp
  • Libraries: libssl.so.1.0.0, libcrypto.so.1.0.0
  • Internet: DSL internet connection or faster
  • Storage: At least 650MB of free space

Note: For the 64 bit version of Autodesk EAGLE, the libc.so.6 with subversion GLIBC_2.14 or higher will be required.

PRICING: 

Autodesk EAGLE is available bundled with the Fusion 360 software suite. Prices given below are for the complete Fusion 360 package.

  • A free version is available with limited functionality (Available for 12 months): Included with a Fusion 360 subscription for personal use, EAGLE free download is a limited version for beginners including 2 schematic sheets, 2 signal layers, and an 80cm2 (12.4in2) board area.
  • A full-featured free trial is available for 30 days.
  • Monthly Subscription: $60.00
  • Annual Subscription: $495.00
  • Three-Year Subscription: $1335.00

Is Autodesk Eagle worth it?

EAGLE offers a feature-rich experience and users, who know their way around a design program, will find it quite functional and productive. However, beginners might need some time to adjust to the user interface. The pricing is subscription-based and hence users can pay for as long as they use the software.

 

Main Differences Between DipTrace Vs Eagle

Below are the main 7 differences between DipTrace and EAGLE.

  1. The DipTrace user interface is much better as compared to EAGLE, and beginners will find it easier to understand it.
  2. DipTrace is available as a perpetual license whereas EAGLE offers subscription based licenses.
  3. EAGLE has an integrated mechanical and electrical design platform which allows you to open your 3D PCB file in either CAD or EDA applications.
  4. EAGLE also provides forward/backward sync, which makes changes in both the board and schematic simultaneously.
  5. DipTrace offers a custom constraint defining system, which can be extended to modules beyond design and electrical.
  6. Users also get autorouting features with DipTrace, and interactive routing in manual mode which makes routing much easier and quicker.
  7. EAGLE supports design for HDI structures through tools such as faster fanout routing and more. In DipTrace, these tasks are more slightly more difficult.

 

Which Software Is Best For PCB Designing, DipTrace Vs Eagle

On taking PCB designing as a focal point, EAGLE provides some more advanced features as compared to DipTrace, but DipTrace also has adequate high-level features for professional users. With EAGLE, designers get a better mechanical design review, which can be helpful from a manufacturing perspective.

Considering the pricing though, EAGLE will seem more affordable, and has special versions for academics/businesses. Both are supported on major operating systems, and provide almost similar performance.

 

DipTrace Vs Eagle: Who’s the Winner?

The decision lies with individual requirements, as both programs offer all the essential PCB designing tools, and the high-level tools are slightly different, which needs to be selected according to user requirements.

Hence, you can consider factors such as pricing, performance, feature set, and system requirements. DipTrace can prove to be a better option for users who beginners in PCB design and want to start working on projects fast.

Features such as DFM tools, component and pattern management, are available in DipTrace and can help you make better schematics and layouts. The routing can also be done more easily thanks to the auto-routing options.

EAGLE, on the other hand, has features to help you work on more complex projects, HDI (High Density Interconnect) and projects that involve high speed features. Designers also get an amazing mechanical CAD integration with the Autodesk platform.

 

So, Which One Should You Pick? (CONCLUSION)

The right option for you will be the one that suits all your designing requirements, and is compatible with your system specifications and budget. While EAGLE is slightly better suited to experienced users, DipTrace is more user friendly and novice designers will prefer its UI.

On the other hand, their pricing plans are different: one is license-based and another is subscription-based. Hence, you can select whichever plan meets your requirements. Both are ideal for individuals and small to mid-size businesses. Hence the decision between DipTrace vs EAGLE is completely an individual choice.

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