I. Overview of Software  

In today’s connected world, electronic systems need to be designed in an interdisciplinary process that spans mechanical engineering and embedded software development.

Advanced multi-board PCB design software

  • CR-8000 is a suite of applications that span the entire PCB engineering lifecycle: from architecture planning through system level engineering and optimization, to physical implementation and manufacturing.
  • CR-8000 is the only PCB design environment complemented by data management capabilities, providing comprehensive library, module, configuration and release management.


From architectural planning to physical implementation

CR-8000 is a product-centric electronic system design solution that provides the tools to optimize a design at both the IC and PCB design level. Product-centric design processes provide architectural validation of the design against product requirements. Product-centric detailed design includes 2D/3D multi-board design and implementation, FPGA I/O optimization, chip/package/board co-design, and 3D MCAD integration all in one design process.

  • Explore implementation approaches on a system level
  • Partition complex systems into multiple connected PCBs
  • Manage IC, package and PCB designs in one single environment
  • Control releases, revisions and configurations with integrated data management


System Level PCB Design from Concept to Manufacture

  • Functional design

CR-8000 is a comprehensive engineering and design environment that enables engineer to define and validate the architecture of new designs on a functional level using a mix of functional blocks that can be referenced to existing schematics

  • System circuit engineering

Ensure design integrity and manufacturability with embedded simulation and analysis tools and powerful design rule checks

  • Central constraint management

Save time and eliminate errors through centrally managed rules and constraints

  • 2D/3D multi-board PCB design

Manage multiple board designs as a coherent system within the boundaries of their mechanical enclosures.

  • Chip package and PCB co-design

Create and optimize the layout of system-in-package (SiP), package-on-package (PoP) and package-in-package (PiP) assemblies in 2D and 3D in their target PCB environment

  • Library and Design Data Management

Control releases, revisions and configurations with an integrated data management environment.


II. Overview Software functions

1. System Planner

System Planner provides a system-level design environment for the architectural planning and optimization of electronic systems and products. It enables engineers to optimize partitioning and performance of multi-board systems and maximize design reuse, while eliminating the need to re-enter up-front planning data into the design tools during detailed design.

  • Describe the logical architecture of your system using functional blocks and design reuse modules
  • Finalize the PCB partitioning and floor planning of single and multi-board systems
  • Represent your single and multi-board systems in 3D to check the fit of the boards in the enclosure
  • Analyze parametric values of components and nets to optimize part use, cost and availability


System Planner is the first solution in the industry to support complete upfront architecture of your electronics products. It is the starting point for concept development and design creation. Steps that were once disconnected are now intelligently brought together in one view. Engineers and designers can flow through the design process optimizing form, fit and function of single and multi-board systems, maximizing design reuse, without reentering upfront planning data into the design tools during detailed design.


A multi-discipline design and validation tool

System Planner provides optimization and validation of your design across four domains: functional, PCB, mechanical and parametric requirements.

  • Functional Design

System Planner fully supports modular design. The functional design can begin with your previous generation schematic. Simply draw a functional block and attached the schematic. Icons on each block will indicate the block’s content. Additional blocks can be added directly from your corporate library which are typically used for modular design or design reuse. Functional blocks can also contain a parts list if the detailed design is not complete. The parts list can contain a few required parts along with prices, weight, power consumption, etc. Or a functional block can be a place holder with the intent to have the contents defined during detailed design.

  • Multi-board Planning

Many products or systems today are comprised of multiple PCBs. For an optimal architecture those boards need to be designed as an entire system and not independent boards. The Physical Visionary enables multi-board partitioning, planning and validation. Begin with your initial assumptions – 3 boards and 3 board outlines. Simply drag the functional blocks from the functional design onto the desired board.  You can move functional blocks from board to board anytime.  System Planner will tell you how much surface space is being utilized for a routability assessment. After some analysis, you determine that the design can fit on 2 boards which lowers cost dramatically.

  • 3D Mechanical Validation

To perform a mechanical fit check the mechanical enclosure can be imported from any number of popular MCAD tools including Siemens NX, PTC Creo, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, etc.  And you always have the option of directly loading a STEP file. The boards from the Physical Visionary are dragged into the Geometric Visionary where they can be placed within the enclosure. The fit can be inspected along with some clearance and conflict. The PCB shape can be modified at this time to meet a clearance requirement.  That board shape change automatically propagates back to the PCB planning tool.

  • Parametric Validation

The Parametric Visionary maintains an up to date report as the design evolves. As the systems engineer adds design modules, the BOM, cost, weight and any other listed parameter is automatically updated accordingly. Requirement targets for cost or weight can also be set. As the design is evolving, the design team can see actual cost and weight compared to design requirements.

  • Transition to Detailed Design

A powerful capability of System Planner is to move the functional and multi-board PCB design directly into Design Gateway (schematic design) and Design Force (PCB design) respectively.  Unlike other PCB design systems, Design Gateway and Design Force support system or multi-board design processes. The multi-board system is maintained and managed throughout the detailed design process. The product or system that you have optimized and validated in System Planner moves directly into the detailed design process without any data re-entry.


Optional products and extensions

The following can be added to extend the functionality of System Planner

Net Topology Verification - Scenario EX

Scenario EX enables to check the electrical characteristics and the connection topology of signal tracks. It allows “What-If Scenarios” of both schematic and layout data to optimize the behaviour of a circuit. It can be used both for interactive design and design verification.

  • Exploration and evaluation of net topologies
  • Generation of topology templates from evaluated net structures (IP reuse)
  • Evaluation and optimization of design constraints during schematic design
  • Optimization of routed e-nets and post layout verification for signal integrity issues

Scenario Ex (Electrical Editor) can be launched from following applications:

  • Design Force
  • Design Gateway
  • System Planner


2. Design Gateway

Design Gateway is a platform for logical circuit design and verification of single and multi-board system-level electronic designs. It supports a true system-level circuit design in which individual circuits can be represented and connected as blocks. Design Gateway enables engineers to manage signal continuity (interconnects) at the system level rather than just at the design level, allowing for an evaluation of board-to-board signal continuity.

  • Support for multi-board design and extraction of multiple PCB netlists from one schematic
  • Interface with best-in-class simulation tools for analogue/mixed signal, RF, and system level analysis
  • "What-if” studies to determine best termination and topology of critical signals
  • Parallel use of black box symbols and parts to enable initial layout early in the design process


Design Gateway brings extensive design, simulation and analysis capabilities to your desktop. It allows companies to manage and make optimal use of engineering design data across all company and team sites. Intelligent multi-board design is inherently supported in Design Gateway.

Design Gateway provides complete system circuit engineering. Native and interactive integration with a wide range of signal integrity (SI), analogue, digital, and multi-technology verification tools is provided. Through this it also supports the co-simulation of analogue and digital functional blocks and programmable devices. Design Gateway enables design re-use, allowing engineers to use proven and tested logical circuits from previous projects


A complete solution for the design and verification of single and multiboard systems

  • True system level engineering

Design Gateway allows you to design a true system-level circuit design by creating a board-level block or connector symbol for each individual circuit, and connecting them together to define a complete system. Engineers can avoid maintaining spreadsheets of system interconnects, and manage them with intelligent graphical design. With the power of the multi-board design technology in Design Gateway, you have the option of selecting each board symbol and generating a netlist for each PCB, or create a full system-level netlist to support the complete analysis of a product.

  • Central constraint management

Whether you are challenged with the complex requirements of DDR2/3/4 or faced with incorporating the latest high-speed interfaces, the Constraint Browser within Design Gateway enables you to define constraints for any combination of nets, extended nets, differential pairs, and busses using a spreadsheet approach. In the same instance, a user can continue adding layout rules for nets and manage complex spacing rules within net groups and between net groups.

  • Simulation and analysis

With embedded simulation and verification, and flexibility to interface with best-in-class tools, Design Gateway reduces errors and improves your design cycle time by utilizing the same schematic for both PCB layout and simulation. Whether you require analog or digital simulation, verifying polarized capacitors are connected correctly, or insuring that the simulated signal voltage doesn’t exceed power ratings of a component, you can accomplish all this in a co-design flow using Design Gateway.

  • Productivity through design reuse

The benefits of design reuse are well-known, but implementing a methodology that is flexible, easy to use, and can take advantage of data management was not fully realized until Design Gateway. Design Gateway introduces a flexible approach that allow you to design with certified circuits, use a circuit from an existing design as a template for a new design, or creating a multi-PCB design – using either a top-down or bottom-up approach. Block circuits can be saved in a library for you to catalog and search and add to a design. Revision control can be used to govern any changes to a circuit – all part of Design Gateway’s robust approach to block circuit management.


Optional Products and Extensions

The following can be added to extend the functionality of CR-8000 Design Gateway

  • Analog Simulation Manager

A simulation cockpit for Spice simulation tools (PSpice, LTSpice, HSPICE)

  • Circuit Adviser

Design Gateway’s Circuit Adviser enables engineers to conduct concurrent, advanced electrical rule checks during logical circuit creation. Users can specify rules and conditions, create check results, cross-probe results with the design and generate summary reports.

  • Circuit Design Review Navigator

Circuit DR-Navi helps design teams consolidate engineering expertise and best practices into a central knowledge base  integrated with the design process. During logical circuit design, engineers can access a standard set of requirements or create project-specific instructions to drive design guidelines across the PCB design flow.

  • Design Gateway Viewer

Design Gateway Viewer is a native schematic data viewer with comprehensive analysis capabilities, such as cross-probing, constraint viewing, signal classes and many more.

  • Graphical Pin Manager

Graphical Pin Manager (GPM), offers an effective FPGA/PCB co-design environment providing support for the latest devices offered by FPGA vendors, such as Xilinx, Altera, Lattice, and Microsemi.

  • Scenario EX - Net Topology Verification

Scenario EX enables to check the electrical characteristics and the connection topology of signal tracks. It allows “What-If Scenarios” of both schematic and layout data to optimize the behaviour of a circuit. It can be used both for interactive design and design verification.


3. Design Force

Design Force combines traditional 2D design with native 3D design and the latest human interface techniques, accelerated graphics and almost instantaneous rendering and refreshing. It is the fastest, most effective PCB design solution available today. Design Force enables design teams to layout their designs in the context of a complete system or product.

  • Concurrent design of multiple PCBs and Chip-Packages in a single environment
  • Hierarchical multi-board design and system-level signal and design traceability
  • Single environment for high-speed design with constraint management and SI and PI analysis
  • Design to any manufacturing specification with built-in design for manufacturing (DFM) checks


With a native 2D and 3D architecture, designers can effectively co-design a chip, package and board to optimize I/Os at each level, embed components in the dielectric of a stack-up intelligently, and verify manufacturing rules in real-time. Concurrent design-for-manufacturing checks and constraint verification ensure that both manufacturing and engineering intent are maintained during the design process.

  • Multiple PCBs in one environment

Design Force combines traditional 2D design with native 3D design to support single board, multi-board and chip-package-board interconnect analysis and optimization.

  • Placement and Routing

Easy-to-use interactive placement and routing features and powerful autoplacement and autorouting capabilities boost productivity while automatically adhering to differentiated constraints to ensure manufacturability and signal as well as power integrity.

  • System-level signal traceability

Design Force manages multiple boards in one system. Users can select from a combination of PCBs, packages and SoCs, and complete the layout of the design as a complete system.

  • Built-in Analysis

Design Force allows access to embedded EMI and power integrity analysis, and supports integrations to best-in-class analysis solutions for disciplines such RF, Full-wave 3D signal integrity, power integrity, and thermal.

  • Chip-Package-Board Co-design

Design Force is the industry’s only chip/package/board co-design solution in one tool. With Design Force, you can design and optimize your IC packaging design and never leave your PCB design.

  • DFM Checks and Manufacturing Outputs

Design to any manufacturing specification during layout with built-in design for manufacturing (DFM) checks. Creation of panel designs, fabrication and assembly drawings, and CAM outputs.

  • High-speed design

Design Force supports advanced PCB layout tasks with sophisticated manual and automatic functionality that adheres to user definable sets of constraints.  With integrated analysis tools, users can conduct signal integrity analysis concurrently during the physical layout.


Available Extensions

CR-8000 Design Force allows for a multitude of extensions to meet your specific design requirements

  • Advanced Design Rule Checking Learn more

Comprehensive checking of PCB manufacturability early in the design process.CR-8000 ADM (Advanced Design for Manufacture) facilitates checking that the design conforms to both manufacturing and component mounting specifications.

  • Advanced IC Packaging Learn more

As IC packaging architecture advances, Zuken’s Design Force enables the designer to deal with the growing complexity in design space in handling high pin-counts, high density designs and the need to interface with multiple formats and flows. Parametric wizards are available to define and optimize pin maps. A native 3D interface is available to deal with the various package architectures allowing for seamless co-design with chip and PCB designs. For feasibility studies, automatic fan-out and full routing features are available.

  • Chip-Package-Board Co-design Learn more

Zuken’s CR-8000 Design Force offers true co-design through a hierarchical setup wherein multiple designs can be brought together in the same framework. The connectivity between designs can be setup automatically or manually. The user is then able to move between designs (chip RDL, package or board or any combination thereof). This enables user to accurately see and edit the nets/routing on a system scale.

  • PCB-FPGA Co-Design Learn more

A powerful PCB-FPGA co-design environment that enables exchange of I/O and constraint information between PCB designs and FPGA designs.

  • Embedded SI Analysis and Topology Planning - Scenario EX Learn more

Scenario EX enables to check the electrical characteristics and the connection topology of signal tracks. It allows “What-If Scenarios” of both schematic and layout data to optimize the behaviour of a circuit. It can be used both for interactive design and design verification. It can be used stand alone or embedded into Design Force (Design Force SI)

  • Signal Integrity, Power Integrity and EMC Simulation Learn more

CR-8000 includes fully integrated simulation and analysis tools to verify all aspects of your single or multi-board designs including:

Signal Integrity

Power Integrity

Electromagnetic Compatibility

  • Current Density Check

Fast and easy check of the current density of a layout structure towards a given maximum.

  • Multi-instance Interactive and Automatic Routing Learn more

Advanced interactive and automatic routing. Specify multiple instances of strategy-driven areas and simultaneously autoroute the design.

  • Sharing and Reviewing Design Data 

Board Viewer – free design viewer Learn more

Board Viewer allows users to share and review native Design Force data to enhance communication during product development.

Board Viewer Advance Learn more

An enhanced viewing tool for sharing and reviewing Design Force design information including component property viewing (query), cross-probing with schematics; Design Rule Checks and manufacturing rule checks; graphical comparison of boards.

  • ECAD/MCAD Collaboration Learn more

3D product visualization is becoming a critical need as the electrical and mechanical designs converge with little room for error. Many companies cite ECAD / MCAD design synchronization as a significant product design challenge. Traditional 2D PCB-centric design cannot meet the needs of a 3D multi-discipline product design process.

  • PI/EMI Analysis Module

A simulation environment for Power Integrity (AC impedance and de-coupling impact, DC voltage drop, current analysis) and electro-magnetic interference (EMI full board screening, differential mode, common mode, power bus noise).

  • DFM Elements Learn more

Creation of panel designs, fabrication and assembly drawings, and CAM outputs.


4. Design Force Advanced Packaging

Deal with the growing complexity in design space in handling high pin-counts

Design Force offers an intuitive, integrated environment for designing single and multi-die packages for wire-bond, flip-chip, and high density advanced packaging. Designers can start designs with early prototype input of chip and package data from the library, reuse data from IC layout tools, and take advantage of parametric wizards to streamline the creation of the system

  • A unified environment to handle chip scale packaging (CSP), multi-chip modules (MCMs), and system-inpackage (SiP)
  • Automatic ball assignment with the ability to optimize complex routing solutions
  • Feasibility studies with advanced fan-out/fan-in and autorouting features to optimize package layer count
  • 2.5/3D stacking structures handled in any configuration: stacked, adjacent, interposers, with wire bond and flip chip packages


An intuitive, integrated environment for designing single and multi-die packages

With the Design Force native 3D platform, designers can easily implement and manage dense interconnects for wire bond or flip chip packages, and incorporate embedded component technology for advanced packaging and module design

  • A solution for high I/O count designs

Flip-chip methodology is commonly used for high I/O count designs. This methodology greatly reduces inductance, allows high-speed signals, and possesses better heat conductivity properties.

  • Redistribution Layer Design

An RDL (redistribution layer) is used to connect I/O pads to solder bumps. RDL congestion issues arise when a single layer in spite of manual routing is not enough to complete the routing for a sizable design due to sub-optimal I/O placement. Hence, in multiple die packaged systems for flip-chips, RDL routing is the key to packaging tradeoffs.

  • Feasibility analysis

To achieve a high performance and low cost chip-package-board system, early feasibility analysis is a must to allow physical constraints to be coupled to electrical requirements. The physical constraints are used to minimize total wire-length of the RDL routes, whereas the electrical requirements are used to ensure accurate signal-power ratio, low power consumption, reduced inductance and lower thermal effects.

  • Fan-in/fan-out routing

Designers can leverage a broad range interactive and automatic routing tools to reduce effort conducting fan-in/fan-out routing, automatic ball assignments on the package, and routing of the complete package.

  • Interface to best-in-class CAE tools

Design Force supports integrations to best-in-class tools from partners such as ANSYS, AWR, Agilent and Synopsys for RF, Full Wave FD/TD, power integrity, and thermal extraction and analysis. Design Force also contains native EMI, signal and power integrity analysis for eliminating design errors.

  • Utilities and wizards

Design Force includes an array of utilities and wizards to accurately define wire-bond profiles, bond pad placement, multi-die or bond-pad connections, managing the stacking of ICs with online design and manufacturing rule checks.


5. DFM Center

PCB Design for Manufacturing

Comprehensive manufacturing preparation and output solution

DFM Center enables designers to handle the increasing complexity and diversity of today’s PCBs, while ensuring high final product quality, and accurate outputs for the manufacturing processes. With a robust set of features for data preparation and embedded verification to ensure manufacturing specifications are met, DFM Center addresses the challenges of the manufacturing process.

  • Prepare and verify manufacturing data
  • Perform fabrication and assembly checks
  • Optimize manufacturability with powerful post-processing functionality
  • Create comprehensive manufacturing documentation with automatic drill table generation


PCB Manufacturing

DFM Center enables designers to handle the increasing complexity and diversity of today’s PCBs, while ensuring high final product quality, and accurate outputs for the manufacturing processes. With a robust set of features for data preparation and embedded verification to ensure manufacturing specifications are met, DFM Center addresses the challenges of the manufacturing process.

Product Features

Find out more about our manufacturing preparation software

  • Manufacturing preparation

Prepare and verify manufacturing data by paneling up a single or combination of PCBs with real-time manufacturing DRCs.

  • Fabrication and assembly checks

Additional fabrication and assembly checks are applied dynamically based on any manufacturer’s specifications. This allows you to design-anywhere-manufacture-anywhere.

  • Powerful post-processing functionality

With powerful post-processing functionality, designers apply the necessary additions and modifications to the design, such as automatic copper flooding of the complete panel.

  • Design-anywhere-manufacture-anywhere

Additional fabrication and assembly checks are applied dynamically based on any manufacturer’s specifications. This allows you to design-anywhere-manufacture-anywhere.


6. DS-CR

PCB Library and Data Management

Managing work-in-progress data and workflow information within a discipline-specific environment

Design data, change and configuration management

Zuken’s engineering data management platform DS-CR has been created to support the specific demands of PCB design data management. It combines multi-site library, design data and configuration management into a unified engineering environment.

  • Define and track component versions through the library’s lifecycle
  • Track component versions through the component lifecycle
  • Manage design data, related documents, simulation data, enclosures, parts lists and CAM data
  • Create comprehensive design information and documents to ensure a controlled change process


Zuken's advanced library and design data management solutions

  • Single source of Information

DS-CR is an Engineering Data Management (EDM) environment that has been designed to support the specific requirements of PCB and multi-board design. DS-CR is built on an object-oriented industry standard database and runs on Windows® based clients. It is directly embedded into the user interface in Zuken’s CR-8000 PCB Design environment, within the Design Gateway and Design Force authoring tools.

  • Version and revision management

DS-CR’s component version and revision management functionality provides definition and tracking of versions of components and design data throughout the product lifecycle. Only valid component changes are distributed, preventing invalid or incomplete changes from being deployed.

  • Design data and BOM management

DS-CR provides a central source of information by unifying all engineering data into one environment, and controlling synchronization to local or geographically-distributed development teams. DS-CR also supports the creation of modular circuit block libraries that can be retrieved and re-used in new designs, saving valuable engineering time and money. If single components need be updated because of sourcing issues, all instances will be automatically identified in “where used” analyses.

  • Change management

A built-in change management process provides a detailed documentation of each design or document change, such as modifications to the specification, customer change, and obsolescence.

  • Supporting multiple locations

By unifying all engineering data into one environment and controlling synchronization to local or international development teams, DS-2 provides a single source of truth in a global environment.

  • PDM/PLM Integration

DS-CR has been designed to enhance existing PLM systems – not to replace them. DS-CR can integrate with all major PLM and ERP systems and provides SOA-based “plug & play” connectors; in addition, generic integration APIs are available for other third party systems.

The integration between DS-CR and third party PLM environments is bi-directional and includes the synchronization of material data, the bill-of-materials information and related documents.


DS-CR Use Cases - how DS-CR handles…

  • Component Analysis

DS-CR provides analysis of where components are used and what second sources are defined. The engineer also has access to criteria available to rate second source components for their order of usage.

  • Library Analysis

DS-CR provides in-depth analysis to maintain the best possible quality of library information before reusing libraries or its individual objects.

  • Where-used Analysis

DS-CR provides a where-used search capability that shows where a component is being used, whether it is used by other assemblies, which revision of the assembly it is in, etc.

  • Second Source Analysis

DS-CR offers a flexible way to rank components based on a customer’s matrix, to ensure valid methods for engineers to bridge the gap between engineering suppliers.

  • Supplier Analysis

By combining the supplier information with technology, quality and source rating information, you can make an informed decision, considering all variables, to guarantee the right component is selected to deliver the best business results.

  • BOM Analysis

DS-CR provides BOM analysis based on a broad range of criteria, e.g. preferred vendor/supplier analysis; component technology analysis; component lifecycle analysis; price analysis; quality analysis; stock amount analysis; development and manufacturing approval analysis.

  • Variant and Destination Analysis

DS-CR is ideally suited to help with variant and destination management, while ensuring high levels of quality and reliability.

  • Four Point Comparison

To guarantee permanent synchronization between component lists, material master and related schematic and layout files, DS-CR provides a four point comparison method to cover all changes of related information, within a single comparison result window.

  • Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)

DS-CR helps engineers to evaluate the recommended stress criteria of FMEA when de-rating electronic parts or components, and to define the maximum application stress values.

  • Preferred Parts Lists

Preferred Parts Lists include components pre-approved for use within a company, division or a given project. A PPL actively promotes approved parts and supports accurate part selection and type reduction.

  • Design Data Analysis

DS-CR supports the definition of data management analysis and design reuse plans for any given scenario: design data analysis and reuse; design data; archiving of verified design data for regulatory audits; design data access to allow users to work from any computer around the world.

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