Electronics distributor Digi-Key Corp. has teamed up with electronic design software solutions company Mentor Graphics to create an affordable Computer Aided Design (CAD) software program for engineers at all levels. The companies announced a beta launch of the new Designer Schematic tool this month, with the full release slated for June.

The tool gives beginning engineers and established professionals alike greater access to a high-quality electronic design automation (EDA) program at an entry-level price point, according to the companies. Designer Schematic is available for less than $300 and allows easy migration to Mentor Graphics’ existing high-end product family that includes DX Designer (for schematics) and PADS (for PCB layout) industry standard packages, Digi-Key executives said.

“Innovators around the world should have access to professional-class PCB design tools. Mentor Graphics’ partnership with Digi-Key provides an opportunity to deliver our proven design technologies to individual engineers at very attractive price points,” said Henry Potts, Board System Design Division vice president and general manager for Mentor Graphics.

 “Innovators require real-time access to the latest design components and easy, error-free access to Design Service Providers and PCB Fabrication and Manufacturing Services. Working with Digi-Key, we have been able to develop web-based sales, licensing, and delivery of a new product focused on meeting the needs of innovators. We are pleased to be working with Digi-Key, their suppliers, and interested design service and PCB manufacturing suppliers to accelerate designs from concept to prototype."

“Mentor Graphics’ software represents the pinnacle of design tools. We’re pleased to be able to offer our customers a high-value CAD software solution that will take them to the next level of product design and prototyping without breaking the bank,” said Randy Restle, director of application engineering for Digi-Key.

Designers can get early access to the beta test of Designer Schematic by visiting the Designer Schematic landing page on the Digi-Key website and clicking the Get Started Now button at the bottom. Questions, comments, or suggestions can be posted to the Designer Schematic group on TechXchange