An excellent schematic capture tool for the Macintosh or Windows, DesignWorks does much more than just create a clean schematic drawing of your circuit design. Beneath every wire and every device symbol lies a comprehensive database that is built invisibly and automatically while you just point, click, and draw. The program is modular, hierarchical, supports multiple pages, and comes with a comprehensive library of devices, each device having database attributes for things such as the manufacturer's part numbers, packaging information, PCB footprint code, and many more, pre-defined and ready, so that as you create the schematic drawing you are also building a powerful descriptive database of the design automatically as you go.
A Browser tool gives you access to this database in a spreadsheet-like environment, making updates and minor changes a breeze, and a template driven Report tool allows the database information to be selectively extracted, sorted and output into a text file in absolutely any format whatever (templates for over a dozen popular CAD systems are included, and it's very easy to write your own for any custom purpose). The optional 13-state gate-level logic simulator responds instantly to all changes in the circuit, and results can be displayed both in simulated display devices on the drawing, and in a logic analyzer style timing window. The state of any signal can be probed at any level of the hierarchy (in Physical Mode).
An integrated device editor lets you create your own custom parts quickly by starting with one that is similar and making minor changes, or building one up from scratch if desired. An error checking tool is standard, as are library maintenance utilities. It's truly the most comprehensive and easy to use electronics design tool on the market.
Hierarchical Design: Hierarchical Designs with unlimited levels are fully supported. Any symbol on a schematic can contain another schematic of arbitrary size. Blocks can be nested to any desired depth, limited only by available memory. Any number of hierarchical blocks can be open for editing at any time.
To support a variety of applications, two hierarchical modes are supported: Pure Mode is designed for use in VLSI design, and other applications requiring large circuit sizes. In this mode all instances of a circuit block are identical, and editing the internals of one block immediately updates all similar blocks. (Note: Interactive simulation is not possible in Pure hierarchy mode, since separate simulation data is not available for each instance.) Physical Mode is intended for use with the DesignWorks simulator, or for designs requiring separate physical data (i.e. PCB package names and pin numbers) which may be different among different instances of the same block used repeatedly within a given design. - Larger files, but lots of muscle.
Custom Sheet Templates: DesignWorks comes with sheet templates for the standard ANSI sheet sizes, plus commonly used printer and plotter sheets. These may be used as is or customized with your own custom title blocks and graphics to conform to local conventions. All aspects of sheet layout, including reference grids, title blocks, and border text styles can be fully customized, and the inclusion of certain keywords in your title block (e.g. $DATECREATED, $TIMENOW, $PAGETITLE, etc.) cause the title block text to update automatically according to the current values of these system variables, for automatic revision tracking, so you will always know at a glance when a print was made, and which of two drawings is the most current. - Really handy.
Flexible Editing Features: Cut, Copy, Paste, Duplicate any collection of selected circuit objects, within a design, between designs, or between other Macintosh applications (sure, it's a Mac, this is expected). Drag a collection of selected devices around on the page, and the connectivity is respected, with all lines rubberbanding automatically. Place a page connector, and the program automatically notes where all other page connectors are for the same signal (page number and grid coordinates). Bus connections are fully supported in the same way. When placing a device, or pasting device(s), circuits, or pictures from the clipboard, the cursor automatically assumes the graphical information of what is about to be placed, allowing accurate positioning of the object(s) before they become permanent. A text tool allows editing the names of Devices, Pins, and Signals, changing the contents of displayed attributes, or entering "text" notations anywhere on the page. A "Zap" Tool allows removing any element or segment with one click. Full Undo/Redo available on all operations all the way back to the last file Save. - Very comprehensive.
Powerful Attribute Features: Text information of arbitrary length may be associated with any Signal, Device, or Device Pin. More than 40 attribute fields come pre-defined for a variety of functions, and user-defined fields may be added at any time. A table-based approach makes editing easy, and greatly reduces the chance of entry errors. All attribute data can be displayed, positioned, and rotated independently of the device or signal, and may be edited in place directly on the schematic, or via the Browser tool. - Lots of power here.
Attribute Browser/Editor: The Browser tool is a spreadsheet environment for all attributes contained within the design. The Browser's window may be called and dismissed at will. The Scope of it's impact (full design, this circuit only, here down) and the classes of objects it probes and edits (Signals, Devices, Selected Devices, etc) are conveniently set from pop-up menu, as are the attribute fields that it displays. The entire window may be sorted by the contents of any field, and standard editing functions like Cut, Paste, and Fill Down can make repetitive tasks like specifying individual component values much faster than entering them individually would. It's a great tool to quickly verify the correctness of your data, or to make any corrections you might find necessary with just a few keystrokes. - Fast!
Packaging Tool: The Packaging tool checks gate-to-package allocation and automatically creates optimum device packaging. It can be run at any time during the design process. For all devices having multiple units per package (dual flip-flops, quad NANDs, etc.) the Auto Packaging feature automatically assigns the next available unit for each device type. Pop-up menus let you change the assignment easily if desired, and pin assignments are always updated automatically.
Integrated Report Tool: The DesignWorks Report tool is template-driven, so it can create text reports pertaining to your design in any format, compatible with any other CAD system. Report Form templates are included for over a dozen major CAD systems, and it's easy to write your own for any purpose whatever. Commands are available for searching sorting and setting format parameters, all commands begin with the dollar sign (e.g. $FIND, $DEVICES, etc.) attribute references all begin with the ampersand (e.g. &Package, &Ground) and cause a substitution for the field contents, and everything else is simply passed along to the report output as is. - The ultimate in flexibility, and very easy to use.
Back Annotation Tool: Back annotation is fully supported for a number of common formats, and includes device name, gate swap, and pin swap operations, making all revisions recorded while laying out the PCB a snap to update on the schematic.
Extensive Symbol Libraries: DesignWorks comes with over 15,000 devices in the libraries, in both ANSI and IEEE formats. The list includes 5400, 7400, 7500, 4000, and ECL families, plus an extensive collection of processors, memories, interface devices, discretes and others. The libraries include pre-defined attributes for packaging, prefix assignment, manufactures numbers, etc. And a floating parts palette, with search filter, facilitates quick selections at any time. - Very complete, and very accessible
Integrated Device Editor: Integrated Device symbol editor lets you quickly create custom symbols for new devices or hierarchical blocks using standard drawing tools. An existing similar device may be opened and saved under a different name to give you a head start if desired, or a powerful Auto-Create function can be used to generate a standard rectangular symbol from a pin list in seconds. Cool!
Optional Integrated Circuit Simulation: A thirteen-state digital circuit simulator correctly handles high impedance, conflicting, and unknown states. Programmable logic devices can be freely mixed with other circuit elements with full simulation (see MacABEL). Waveform display allows any number of signals to be displayed simultaneously, and even grouping arbitrary signals together to be displayed as a single timing trace in hexadecimal notation. Resolution of the timing window can be changed and the sequence of signals re-arranged at any time, even while the simulation is running. Triggering capability provides logic analyzer-style word recognition and glitch detection. On-screen controls give you quick parallel access to commonly used simulation menu commands. Waveform drawing tools let you create and edit time-sensitive stimulus in seconds, and a test vector panel provides a powerful spreadsheet-like data entry and monitoring environment. Over 800 simulation models are included for 7400 and 4000 device families (microprocessor and other models available separately), plus the inclusion of a library of primitive logic elements lets you create arbitrary logic functions and include them as the internal circuit of special devices you may create. This is a very rich tool itself.
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Douglas Electronics, Inc.
2777 Alvarado Street
San Leandro, CA 94577
Voice: +1 510 483-8770
Fax: +1 510 483-6453