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What is OrCAD X?

OrCAD X is…

OrCAD X is an enhanced version of OrCAD designed to support the next generation of PCB design challenges. OrCAD X builds on the existing OrCAD infrastructure to enhance and improve the entire PCB design flow for users, providing a scalable PCB design platform that grows with you.

Sounds good, but what does that mean? Let’s look at how OrCAD X will help you solve your design challenges for today AND tomorrow.

End-to-End Design Platform

OrCAD X is built as a full design platform. This means that it is enabled to help engineers automate and streamline as much of the entire design process as possible, from part selection through release to manufacturing and PLM/ERP integration (as well as the PCB design part in-between). As PCB design becomes more complex and electronic product development becomes more interrelated, design teams need a holistic approach to design. This is where OrCAD X shines.

OrCAD X helps with these issues by enabling the following:

Supply Chain Intelligence

Supply chain volatility is not going away, and at the end of the day, it falls on the engineering team to adjust their designs to respond to part changes due to supply chain availability. This is a time-consuming and often disruptive process. OrCAD X provides access to live supply chain insights directly inside the Capture application so engineers can make supply chain-ready part decisions easily and early, preventing late-stage re-design problems.

LiveBOM UI inside OrCAD X

Automated RTM & Documentation

Getting your design instructions to manufacturing is a critical step in the process. All the hard work to create a solid manufacturable board can be lost if the manufacturing files and data are not accurate or can be misinterpreted. OrCAD X provides automation to help engineers ensure manufacturing output directly matches the design intent with:

  • RTM Packager: Automate your RTM package generation to quickly create all the files your manufacturer needs with a click of a button. This also provides the ability to create multiple export profiles depending on your needs.
  • LiveDoc: A new user-friendly, templated approach to manufacturing documentation that automatically updates your PCB documentation based on your design. Integrated directly into the Presto Design environment, save yourself tons of time and headaches with LiveDoc.

Cloud Enabled

For users looking to reduce infrastructure setup and management, seamlessly leverage the Cadence OnCloud infrastructure to easily store and share your design files and libraries. OrCAD X includes the option to store and manage your design data in the Cadence cloud at no charge (just need to be current on support). As more companies look to leverage the cloud, this gives design teams another option for a quick, maintenance-free deployment of your CAD software.

Collaborative Design

Design is often a team effort, not typically done in a vacuum. OrCAD X provides new technologies to help teams work together efficiently and effectively.

  • Symphony: A true, real-time PCB co-design right to the engineer’s desktop. With this technology, two designs can work simultaneously in the same design together while being able to see each other’s progress and work. This is a great way for different design specialists to collaborate in real-time and help shorten the overall design process.
  • Review & Markup: Tracking comments and changes to the design is often done externally and ad hoc. Review & Markup enables design teams to track these comments and discussions directly in the design file itself, so you have an easy record of communication. This will help take design reviews and peer feedback to another level.

Next Generation UX

The new Presto UIX for PCB layout is a big part of OrCAD X. This is a reimagined UI for PCB layout built for ease of use, maximum efficiency, and speed while still maintaining the power and performance of the underlying Allegro routing technology. The goal is to make PCB layout & routing easy and intuitive for all users.

Correct by Construction Design

Everyone wants to get their design right the first time. Often, it is the unanticipated issues that create problems for us in the end. OrCAD X provides the most comprehensive constraint management environment available in OrCAD yet and built-in simulation capabilities to help you ensure your designs meet requirements and will pass final signoff with flying colors.


Collaboration between ECAD and MCAD is no longer optional for many. The constraints and schedules are too tight and intertwined to work otherwise. With OrCAD X, every user gets access to powerful ECAD-MCAD collaboration capabilities built right into the tool for fast, effective co-design. This is combined with an entirely new 3D engine that is blazing fast and provides new levels of integration to view and interrogate your design in 3D right within the OrCAD canvas.

Take Advantage of OrCAD X At Your Pace

There is a lot in OrCAD X, and we recognize that not everyone can adopt all these new functions at once. Cadence has ensured that OrCAD X is fully compatible with previous releases and can be adopted without impacting your current process and flows. You are able to leverage the new technology at your pace, be that all at once or over time in a managed upgrade. It’s your choice.

Cloud Enabled Not Required

While many are finding ways to leverage the cloud to improve performance and efficiency, it is not for all users and use cases. While OrCAD X enables cloud capabilities, it is by no means required. Users can choose the best method for their needs, whether cloud or on-premises. No compromise is required, just more choice.

Fully Compatible with Previous Releases

While there are a lot of new capabilities to explore in OrCAD X the Cadence team made sure that you could maintain interoperability with previous versions and users who have not made the jump yet. In fact, OrCAD X includes access to the standard PCB Editor UI as well, so you can easily switch between the new UI and the previous one as needed. Updating CAD flows can take time and planning; this interoperability allows you to take a measured approach as needed (or you can jump right in if that’s preferred).

Just Getting Started

While this is one of the most feature-packed OrCAD releases, the team is just getting started. The roadmap is robust as Cadence continues to build out its next-generation PCB design platforms. Stay tuned for additional info around generative AI, more cloud connectors, continuous UX improvements, and more coming in early 2024 and beyond.

How Can I Get OrCAD X?

OrCAD X is available now for new users and will be rolled out to current OrCAD customers starting in late January 2024. If you have any questions or would like to get a demo, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Resources to help you learn more:


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