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Cadence TECHTALK: Introducing OrCAD X: Webinar Recap

Key Takeaways

  • OrCAD X is the next-generation PCB layout solution from Cadence that includes tools for diagram drawing, component management, circuit simulation, and more.

  • In this webinar, John Carney, product engineer architect with Cadence, demonstrates some of the new innovative features of the OrCAD X Presto PCB Editor, such as 3D Canvas, search table, footprint editor, and design review and markup.

  • Following the webinar, Cadence answers some of the burning questions viewers have. For example, Is there a built-in Gerber view and ODB++ viewer?

OrCAD X Presto PCB Editor layout user interface (screenshot)

OrCAD X Presto PCB Editor layout user interface (screenshot)

OrCAD X is the next-generation PCB layout solution from Cadence. It has an intuitive interface that allows users to navigate between schematic and layout design phases easily,  John Carney, product engineer architect with Cadence, in a webinar entitled “Introducing OrCAD X, Our Next-Generation PCB Layout Solution,” explains how OrCAD X enables PCB designers to overcome common design challenges, as detailed in the table below.

How OrCAD X Helps PCB Designers Overcome Challenges



Fabrication and Assembly

OrCAD X DesignTrue DFM: comes with 80+ fabrication and assembly rules that can be put into the design and checked in real time. 

Supply Chain

OrCAD X Live BOM: is a Bill of Materials (BOM) management viewer and editor with supply chain insights that provide an up-to-date view of the design of BOM with zero configuration.

Time to Market

Symphony: allows designers to work collaboratively and simultaneously with another teammate within the same layout.


OrCAD X Cloud: enables designers to collaborate and share designs in libraries with the entire team.

Signal and Power Integrity

These signal and power integrity tools are tightly integrated in OrCAD X:


Sigrity Aurora: provides design insight right within the layout environment to analyze signal and power integrity for PCBs and IC packages with support for power-aware IBIS  and transistor-level models. It uses the patented Sigrity embedded hybrid field solvers to extract 2D and 3D structures.


Clarity 3D Solver: is a 3D electromagnetic (EM) simulation software for designing critical interconnects for PCBs, IC packages, and systems.


OrCAD X Presto PCB Editor: includes floating panels, condensed menus, environment personalization with shortcut keys, and seamless cross-probing between schematic and layout.

Carney says that Cadence has made “significant investments in the OrCAD X platform to satisfy existing customers in the community: ease of use, scalability, data management collaboration, analysis, and manufacturability.”

He adds, “If you're not an OrCAD user yet, new capabilities and user interface will attract you to our platform. We're also introducing a ton of new functionality and capability into the OrCAD X platform: new Presto PCB Editor, cloud connected, sourceability, and other innovations.”

OrCAD X Presto PCB Editor Features

OrCAD X Presto 3D view

In the webinar, Carney also demonstrates features of the OrCAD X Presto PCB Editor UI and shows how the three main panels work: visibility, property, and search. These panels are dynamically connected. 

3D Canvas 

Under the visibility panel, the display tab enables a user to select 3D mode and easily switch back and forth between 2D and 3D views using the same UI. “For example, in the 3D view, if you were to select a component, you will then get its component properties displayed. You can then navigate from that component property panel to the other components with the same information,” Carney explains.

Carney continues: “If you want to look at and navigate nets in 3D, you can do that. While navigating 3D, you may want to adjust the visibility of the symbols. For example, you may want to hide your mechanical bodies, or you may want to go into the visibility panel and start turning off dielectric visibility so you can see the conductor layers as they're being displayed. Or you may want to go in the visibility panel and adjust the flex bends and how those things are being bent in the design.”

Search Table

Carney also discusses the search table under the search panel. The table enables a user to find components, nets, pins, traces, shapes, and other data. 

“You can use the search table to find specific data collections you want in your design. For example, let's say you want to find a particular footprint that starts with MTG; you can find and filter by that,” he says. “Or you can filter by every footprint that's on the layer top. You can find every footprint on the layer top that's at a certain XY location. And you can do wildcard searches, equal to, greater than, and less than or filter by specific data values,” he adds.

Caney explains that by using complex searches, “you can find a specific thing you're looking for in the design by grouping and then using that to work from the search table to find it. Or you can use the search table in collaboration with one of the design commands. For example, you could find all the same parts and then run the fanout command on all those same parts at the exact same time.”

Footprint Editor

Carney also demonstrates the footprint editor, which gives the user the ability to create PCB footprints.  The footprint editor has the same UI as the PCB layout editor, making it intuitive to use. He opens a footprint to show the top level footprint properties. 

“This is all the data you want to see at a glance when you open a design. How many electrical pins? How many surface mount pins? Mechanical pins? Is it based on the place bound or mechanical body? Do I have a mechanical 3D model associated with it? What's my origin? How many pad stacks? Which pad stacks? Do I want to refresh or replace them?”

Carney continues: “From the perspective of creating and drawing a footprint, one of the most common things you need to do when you create a footprint is create a new pad stack. We've given you a pad stack wizard that allows you to create the most common typically used pad stacks in the design. You get a whole family of surface mount pad stacks that you can parametrically create …  You can then  just add those into the design.”

Design Review and Markup

Carney also examines the design review feature, which eases the collaboration with your teams , as well as manages and updates review data efficiently.

With design review, users can mark up any area in the design canvas with rectangular or arrow markups and add text comments. Each comment has a unique ID.

“You can add as many comments as you want into the design. Then, anybody else can open up the design review and markup and choose to turn on and off the markups. They can then navigate the markups to work through them in the design,” he relates.

“You also can see a picture of what the design looked like when the markup was created. The design review and markup are part of the design database. So anybody working on the design can now participate in design review and markup,” he concludes.

These are only a few of the innovative features provided by the new OrCAD X Presto PCB Editor. If you would like a more detailed version, click here to view the entire webinar. 

OrCAD X Webinar Q&A

Following the webinar, Cadence provided answers to some of the common questions from viewers about OrCAD X, such as:

  • Question: Is there a built-in Gerber view and ODB++ viewer?
  • Answer: There is currently not a built-in manufacturing output (Gerber, ODB++, IPC-2581) viewer. There are numerous free viewers that are offered by several software providers.
  • Question: Is it possible to route several tracks at the same time?
  • Answer: Yes, multi-track/bus routing is fully supported in either OrCAD X Presto and OrCAD X PCB Editor.
  • Question: Is the Presto license included with OrCAD X 23.1 or an add-on cost?
  • Answer: Yes, the OrCAD X Presto PCB Editor license is available within OrCAD X 23.1, and there is no add-on cost – it is your choice to choose which layout environment you want to design with.
  • Question: Which EDA translators are included in OrCAD X Presto?
  • Answer: You can translate your designs from Altium, PADS, and Eagle.

For a full list of questions and answers, please click here.

OrCAD X Free Trial

Sign up for our free trial to try OrCAD X, the next-generation PCB layout solution from Cadence. In addition to OrCAD X, Cadence has a full suite of PCB design and analysis tools. Check them out at this website.

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