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KONEKT 'ELECTRA' AUTOROUTER

Computamation are Dealers for the Konekt 'Electra' advanced autorouter, which is available as a third-party enhancement to the core Vutrax router modules.
Electra is currently only available for Windows based systems

 

ELECTRA Product Description

  • Adaptive Shape-Based Autorouting technology
  • Multi-pass conflict reduction algorithm
  • SPECCTRA format support
  • Advanced Rules constraints
  • Configurations available from about 325 UK Pounds

Shape-based Technology

ELECTRA is a new generation of Shape-Based Autorouting software for PC boards. By contrast with traditional gridded maze autorouters, a shape-based approach allows for more efficient use of routing area and is more suited to handle complex design rules requirements of high density SMD or through holes boards.

Adaptive Autorouting

ELECTRA uses a multi-pass cost-based conflict reduction algorithm to find a routing solution adapting to the natural flow of the nets. Its adaptive routing algorithm is the only proven approach to reach high completion rate. ELECTRA provides immediate feedback on the routing progress and conflict reduction rate.

CAD Interface

ELECTRA supports industry standard format by reading design file (DSN). Routing results are saved into standard route file format (RTE) or session file (SES). These interfaces are available for Vutrax and the procedure is illustrated at How to Use Electra with Vutrax.

To install the necessary modules to try it out see Installing an Electra Trial with Vutrax.

 

ELECTRA FEATURES

  • Gridless routing of up to 256 layers
  • Wire and Clearance rule by layer, net class & net
  • Via rule by net class & net
  • Vias under SMD pads
  • SMD escape fanout control
  • Routes SMDs on both sides
  • Memory routing pass
  • Blind/buried/staggered vias
  • Split Plane/Ground Planes support
  • Customizable cost factors
  • Post-route cleanup optimization
  • Reads rules embedded in SPECCTRA DSN
  • Batch routing option
  • Scriptable routing strategy (DO file)

Advanced Rules Support

ELECTRA is driven by layout rules. Each net can have its own minimum clearance and wiring constraints. Net class and nets can be constrained to be routed on specific layers and use different rules for each of the layers. Different via type can be assigned to net classes, these could be used for example for power and ground current carrying requirements. The autorouter finds a solution that simultaneously respects all defined rules.

Product Configurations

ELECTRA is available and upgradable in four different configurations with unlimited number of pins:

ELECTRA 2L
for single and double sided boards
ELECTRA 4L
for designs having a maximum of four signal layers
ELECTRA 6L
for designs having a maximum of six signal layers
ELECTRA UL
for designs having a maximum of 256 layers

 

How to Use Electra with Vutrax

Vutrax Rats NestTo use the Specctra Autorouter with Vutrax prepare your rats nest and board outline as you would for any other job.

Use Vtx to Specctra from (Functions) to generate the .dsn file. You can set routing rules at this stage.
 

Electra Rats NestStart the Electra Autorouter (from the Windows Start menu or desktop icon) and import the .dsn file

Run the router.  
 

Routing Completed in ElectraThe routing can run in the background while you carry on with Vutrax or other work. The track layout you get depends on the exact positioning, routing parameters and particular issue of Electra.

When the routing is complete and you have applied any optimisations you want, export the routes to an .rte file
 

Routed Artwork back in VutraxBack in Vutrax use Specctra to Vtx from (Functions) to process the routes back into the Vutrax Rats nest, generating a standard .aut file which is then displayed.

After the recommended Optimise function you can continue with design checking, manual modification, ground and powerplanes etc.


 

Installing an Electra Trial with Vutrax

The router itself comes with some Konekt supplied rats-nests. Two trial versions are available to download from this Vutrax web site:-

    Electra Autorouter Freeware (250 pin) Installer (about 12 MBytes)
    Right Click and [Save .. As] possibly selecting the name electra_4.18_free250pin.exe to avoid conflict with other installers you have downloaded. Make sure you know which folder the file was stored in.

    Electra Autorouter Unlimited 14 day trial (about 12 MBytes)
    Right Click and [Save .. As] possibly selecting the name electra_4.18_14day.exe to avoid conflict with other installers you have downloaded. Make sure you know which folder the file was stored in.
    The full capacity in this version is only available if your Vutrax system is configured for the capacity you want.

    Electra Autorouter Web site
    Click to visit Konect web site where you can select the latest version.


    To install select Run from the Windows Start menu (or Windows Key + R) and select the choice of file you saved.

If, after a look at the Konekt samples, you would like to try your own artworks from within Vutrax proceed as follows:-

  1. Download a new Vutrax for Windows installer which includes enabling of the Specctra/Electra Autorouter interface with the 256 pin free version. To bring up the appropriate download page as a fresh window click Windows Installer Downloads
  2. Download the Specctra/Electra Autorouter Interface. To bring up the appropriate download page as a fresh window click Interface Downloads

Update your Vutrax using Install from (File -> Setup -> Configuration) selecting the 'Free Limited Capacity Vutrax' selection. When offered during installation, or afterwards, install the Specctra/Electra Autorouter Interface.
If you have an existing configured Vutrax system then you should install a second copy of Vutrax (e.g. into \VDEMO with similar group name) but using the free issue. If you subsequently have problems starting your main system, reboot and the problem will clear itself. To uninstall the demo use Explorer to remove all of \VDEMO rather than Vutrax uninstall which will discard your Vutrax preferences.

You will find the interface in the Functions section as Vtx to Specctra and Specctra to Vtx.
The Help button in the dialogues will take you to any documentation you need for the converters.
The Electra documentation can be accessed through the Electra menu bar Help item - you need Adobe Acrobat.

Pricing for the router is based on number of layers routed rather than capacity. The details are included near the end of the table section of the Detailed Price List.
The Vutrax-Electra interface software is supplied free if you purchase the router from the linked download, and buy a new Vutrax license or have a current maintenance contract.