The Future of PADS

By paulmusto

The PADS brand has a long, rich history and many users have been loyal customers for nearly 20 years. There have been rumors that PADS is on its way out and that is far from the truth. The PADS brand products directly address the everyday challenges and needs of thousands of independent engineers.

Before I continue, I’d like to introduce myself. I am Paul Musto and I recently joined Mentor as the PADS product line director. With over 25 years of experience in PCB systems design, I am excited to move forward with you as the industry continues to evolve. I have worked in both R&D and marketing and applications engineering roles for PCB and IC packaging tools. In each role, I emphasized time interacting with customers to ensure that our products and solutions were well aligned with customer and industry requirements.

I look forward to learning more about and from the PADS community so you’ll be seeing more of me here on the PADS blog.

New PADS PCB Design Solutions

As you may have heard, PADS Standard, Standard Plus, and PADS Professional were announced in April. Each delivers compelling offerings at a competitive price.


These new product offerings were designed to align with a certain type of user. They all include both front-end (and, yes, logic is still a supported schematic capture tool!) and PCB design capabilities. But, as you go up, you gain more high-speed, thermal, and layout capabilities.

Based on these platforms, we will begin to provide a continuous flow of new functionality and capabilities targeted for that end user. Our recent release includes support for Windows 8.1 and significant improvements in our translators. We also have a release scheduled at the end of this year that will add some very big new functionality.

The best is yet to come for all our loyal users and new users, alike. To our existing users – thank you for being a part of our community. For all that are considering PADS, we look forward to the opportunity to provide you with a tool that will grow with you as your needs continue to evolve.

What do you like most about the new PADS offerings and what do you most hope to see in future releases? If you haven’t tried the new product offerings yet, I encourage you to do so today. Try PADS Standard Plus here and try PADS Professional here.


4 thoughts about “The Future of PADS
  • I’d like to take this opportunity to comment on your recent blog about the new Pads Products. I have been using Pads almost from the original release back 30 years or so ago that was created by Gene Marsh. I have seen this product go through some good times and some bad as far as product development, release updates, switch in companies etc… I thought that the Innoveda period was some of the worse years for Pads until Mentor Graphics took over. I had great hopes that they would take the product to new heights but release after release was so minimal sometimes you couldn’t tell one release from the other and all along taking our money each year for support. Now over those years I’ve paid a considerable amount of money for maintenance and upgrades only to be disappointed. Now instead of addressing and progressing Pads to a state where it can compete with Altium and a few other new kids on the block, they come out with a totally new GUI and three new version. This doesn’t give me the really warm glow feeling that the product I currently have will progress much from where it is now. This is truly a disappointment no wonder so many of my customers have switched to other software.

    A Very Disappointed User,
    Ron Renner
    DCS, Inc.

  • Hi Ron,

    Apologies for a delayed posting. My prior post got lost in the internet ether.

    It is very unfortunate that you, along with other users, feel the way you do. We understand that you have been a long time, loyal user and we sincerely appreciate your perspective. As stated above, I am new to Mentor, and PADS. I was recruited from a major competitor and needed assurance that Mentor was committed to the PADS product, market, and customers before coming. I can say that I have been overwhelmed with the level of renewed commitment that the company has towards the PADS product line. And, this commitment extends to the highest levels of the company. We are now making substantial investments in every aspect of the product to ensure its future as the best PCB environment for the markets we serve.

    One clarification I would like to make based on your comment “they come out with a totally new GUI and three new versions”. Yes, we did, in fact, just release 3 new tiers of the PADS offerings. PADS Standard and Standard Plus are both core traditional PADS technology with the same UI. We have enhanced these suites with additional capabilities to include integrated design, common constraint management, design archiving, and additional analysis capabilities. PADS Professional’s PCB layout environment is definitely a different GUI as it takes advantage of the Xpedition technology. PADS Professional is really targeted for the user that requires more power and capability for more complex designs. The point that I would like to make is that we have a roadmap that enhances the capabilities of all three tiers and includes all products supported within each of the flows…even PADS Logic. Later this year, we will be introducing a very robust 2-D/3-D co-design solution along with other new features. For 2016, we have a strong roadmap to bring new functionality to enhance our rigid-flex and high speed design capabilities. Our goal is to ensure that PADS is the best possible solution for this segment of the market. I know you may not have seen much in the past but the future will be VERY different.

    In closing, I sincerely appreciate the loyal PADS community and it is my commitment to bring a new era of PADS to the market. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you would like to talk more on this, or any topic.

    I can be reached at

    Paul Musto

  • I can only agree with Ron. We payed several years for minor updates, that may changed some icons in size, but added no real new functionality. 5 years ago we finally migrated to Altium and we are not disappointed so far.

  • Hi Sebastian, I hope you read my response to Ron and see that a lot is changing. Although I already believe PADS to be the best solution out there when you couple the benefits of Hyperlynx, Valor, and other technology, I do understand the sentiment relating to the lack of improvement with Layout and Logic. That will change very soon. I’m happy to see that you are still interested in the PADS communities after being on Altium for 5 years. Thanks much.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at