What is Auto Router

By Bester PCBA

Last Updated: 2023-08-20

Table of Contents

What is Auto Router

An auto router is a feature or tool found in PCB CAD (Computer-Aided Design) systems that automates the process of routing traces or connections on a PCB layout. It is designed to save time and effort by automatically determining the most efficient paths for electrical connections between components on the board.

Auto routers come in various variations, each offering specific functionalities to meet different routing needs. These variations include area routers, single net routers, bus routers, high-speed tuning routers, scribble routers, batch routers, and auto-interactive routers.

Area routers allow designers to confine their routing within a specific area or layer of the board, ensuring precise control over the routing process. Single net routers are specifically designed for point-to-point connections, simplifying the routing of individual nets. Bus routers, on the other hand, are used for efficiently routing groups of similar nets, such as memory data connections.

High-speed tuning routers are particularly useful for high-speed signal routing, as they add timing features to traces to increase their length and match them with other traces, ensuring proper timing and impedance matching. Scribble routers provide a more intuitive and flexible way of defining the routing path, allowing designers to simply sketch the desired path and letting the auto router handle the rest.

Batch routers are capable of automatically routing the entire PCB design, connecting every net on the board. While they may not offer the same level of precision as other variations, they provide a quick and convenient way to connect all the components on the board. Lastly, auto-interactive routers combine the benefits of auto routing with interactive control for designers. They allow designers to organize nets into bundles, swap pins, assign board routing layers, and add net properties to achieve the desired routing patterns while still benefiting from the speed and precision of traditional auto routers.

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