After acquiring Cadsoft’s EAGLE schematic and PCB design tool and updating it to version 7.7, Autodesk has now entered the serious product integration phase. From now on the tool is called Autodesk Eagle and it offers many new features that will be appreciated by users who managed to get by without them until now but who jealously looked at other design suites that already had them.

EAGLE is a nice tool that helps you get the job done, but, let’s face it, being pretty old, some archaic ways of doing things have slipped in and remained. Instead of silently killing it, Autodesk has now decided to take Eagle into the 21st century of PCB design.

Some of the new features are a brand new routing engine with interactive routing capabilities like trace clean-up tools, automated loop removal, track cornering, on-the-fly via placement and backspace-controlled track segment undo. A BGA fan-out tool speeds up routing high-density BGA packages. A third major addition is the addition of modular design blocks that make the reuse of existing circuits much easier by storing them in a library of often-used circuits.

New also is the licensing scheme. Instead of buying the tool every time a major release comes along and then get some updates, users can now take out a subscription, monthly or yearly, and stay up-to-date all the time.