PCB Layout

Celeritous has over 40 years of experience in PCB design and layout. Starting literally with pen and ink in the 1970's then moving to black crepe tape and later red/blue tape layouts on vellum in the 80's and since then using a variety of CAD/CAM  software including over the years:

  • Tango PCB
  • Protel 99 SE
  • Altium
  • Design Spark
  • Eagle
  • Pulsonix
  • Orcad
  • KiCAD

We have designed boards with up to 8 layers with BGA's, 0201 components, matched DDS3 tracee lengths and 4/4mil space / trace rules. All power. RF, switching supply and analog routing is done by hand with some use of autorouting on non-critical digital lines. We have a lot of experience in high current, high voltage and RF layout requiring low impedance, low inductonce layouts with proper stitching and isolation cuts where necessary. We have also done a number of layouts on aluminum substrates for high power LED applications. .

Our current tool of choice is KiCAD since it is open source, now supported by CERN and has no real limitations like other "free" programs and does not exist only in the cloud.  It allows us to provide many of our old and new designs as open source projects and provides for easier interchange with customers.

While I have used Eagle in the past, I feel it has the world's worst user interface and now that it has been assimilated by Autodesk I expect it will receive a lot of cloud based strings and licensing but no real improvements in performance and features.

I refuse to use Altium products anymore due to their shabby treatment of their Australian employees when they up and decided to move lock stock and barrel to Shanghai and how shabbily they treated their founder Nick Martin in a board coup to wrest control of the company away from him. A fish rots from the head and as far as I'm concerns Altium is about as smelly as one can get.

We continue to hold a license for Pulsonix for archival purposes and have used Designspark, written by the same company, extensively. Unfortunatley there is no data exchange between the two packages which made it impossible to port our Pulsonix designs to an open source platform.

While KiCad still has some issues, since being supported by CERN as a part of their open source initiative it has greatly improved and a long wish ist of features is slowly being whittled away.

We maintain our own set of custom KiCad component libraries and footprints which are publicly available on Github  and free to use.