Key Takeaways

  • Despite rumors, Eagle PCB remains a relevant tool for PCB layout and design.

  • Eagle PCB has undergone significant updates, enhancing its capabilities and user experience.

  • Cadence Design Systems’ acquisition of Altium provides long-term support for Eagle PCB.

  • While alternative tools offer different advantages, Eagle PCB remains a viable option for many users.

  • Understanding the strengths and limitations of Eagle PCB is crucial for making informed decisions.

    Is Eagle PCB Dead?

    Rumors of Eagle PCB’s demise have circulated for years, but the reality is that it remains a widely used tool for printed circuit board (PCB) layout and design. Eagle PCB has evolved significantly over the years, with Cadence Design Systems acquiring the software in 2020. This acquisition has provided long-term support and resources, ensuring Eagle PCB’s continued relevance.

    Historical Overview of Eagle PCB

    1987-1996: Origins and Early Development

    Eagle PCB was first developed by CadSoft Computer in 1987. Initially released as a DOS-based application, it quickly gained popularity due to its ease of use and affordability.

    1997-2009: Acquisition by Autodesk and Feature Enhancements

    Autodesk acquired CadSoft in 1997, bringing Eagle PCB into its software portfolio. During this period, Eagle PCB underwent significant development, adding new features and improvements.

    2010-2020: Eagle PCB as a Standalone Product

    Autodesk released Eagle PCB as a standalone product in 2010, allowing users to purchase it separately without having to invest in the full Autodesk suite. This move made Eagle PCB more accessible to a wider range of users.

    2020-Present: Acquisition by Cadence Design Systems

    Cadence Design Systems acquired Eagle PCB from Autodesk in 2020, marking a new chapter in its development. Cadence has invested heavily in Eagle PCB, releasing regular updates and enhancements.

    Reasons for Eagle PCB’s Continued Relevance

    1. User-friendly Interface and Intuitive Workflow

    Eagle PCB’s user interface is widely recognized for its simplicity and intuitiveness. Users can quickly learn the software’s functions and navigate its layout options.

    2. Extensive Library of Components and Symbols

    Eagle PCB boasts a comprehensive library of electronic components and symbols. This extensive database allows users to easily find and incorporate the necessary elements into their designs.

    3. Compatibility with Various Operating Systems

    Eagle PCB is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, providing flexibility and convenience for users.

    4. Regular Updates and Enhancements

    Cadence Design Systems regularly releases updates for Eagle PCB, introducing new features and addressing user feedback. These updates ensure that the software remains up-to-date with the latest industry standards and best practices.

    5. Long-Term Support

    Cadence Design Systems has committed to providing long-term support for Eagle PCB, ensuring that users can rely on the software for years to come.

    Alternatives to Eagle PCB

    While Eagle PCB remains a popular choice, there are several alternative tools available. These include:

    • Altium Designer: A high-end PCB layout tool with advanced features for complex designs.

    • KiCad: An open-source PCB layout tool with a growing user base and community.

    • OrCAD: A venerable PCB layout tool known for its schematic capture capabilities.

    • DipTrace: A low-cost PCB layout tool with a focus on ease of use for hobbyists.

    • DesignSpark PCB: A free PCB layout tool with limited features but suitable for basic designs.

      Choosing the Right PCB Layout Tool

      The best PCB layout tool for you depends on your specific needs and requirements. Factors to consider include:

      • Complexity of your design

      • Required features and functionality

      • Budget and licensing considerations

      • Availability of support and documentation

        If you value ease of use, an extensive component library, and long-term support, Eagle PCB is a strong contender. However, if you need advanced features, open-source software, or a low budget, alternative tools may be more suitable.


        Eagle PCB is not dead and continues to be a viable PCB layout tool for many users. Its simplicity, extensive component library, and regular updates contribute to its enduring popularity. While alternative tools offer different advantages, Eagle PCB remains a solid choice for designers seeking a user-friendly and reliable PCB layout solution.

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