Original CAD code in the wild?

Rick Bensene rickb at bensene.com
Thu May 24 11:09:41 CDT 2018

Many moons ago, at Tektronix, I did a stint working in the Scientific Computer Center's Computer-Aided Design Development group.
There was a software package, written in FORTRAN (77, I believe) on Tek's Control Data Cyber 73 system running KRONOS, called PIRATE.
It was an automated circuit board placer/router.  It would take in netlist information, along with information about board geometry and locations of fixed components, along with a library of component information (e.g., IC pinouts and packaging geometry), and generate Gerber photoplotter output, and NC drill tapes.

The timeframe I was in the group was around 1977 to 1981 or so. 

I don't have any of that old code, sadly.   But, I figured I'd mention it here, as perhaps maybe somewhere, someone has it.
I remember that the first name of the guy that wrote it was Roger, but for the life of me, I can't remember his last name.
I recall that Roger was brilliant, and was constantly tweaking the placement and maze-router algorithms to improve the placement and routing performance.     It could do complex multi-layer boards, with internal vias, ground planes and power planes, etc.   

It would be cool if it could be found and archived.

Rick Bensene
The Old Calculator Museum

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