Thursday, February 28, 2013

Announcement: Altium Designer 13.1

First update since the release of Altium Designer 2013. You can choose to update your existing installation or use the updated Installer (download from here).

With this update we have paid particular attention to stability and performance issues. See the release notes for a complete listing of all the fixes and enhancements. The Altium Installer has also been greatly improved to work with anti-virus software.

Accessing the Update

To update your Altium Designer installation, first ensure you are using a license with valid Subscription. Proceed to the Plug-in page (DXP >> Plug-ins and Updates) and select “Update All”. If you don’t see the update, use the “Refresh” link in the top right hand corner of the Plugins page. If you have issues with patching make sure you check your antivirus program.

Note: If you are using a Private Server license or Standalone license and you have renewed your Subscription since activation, you will be required to reactivate your license to obtain this and future updates.

For those who installed directly from DVD, you can access the updates by changing a setting in preferences: System >> Installation Manager, change the Remote Repository Location to

If you are wanting to install a new build containing this update, the Installer and Uninstaller can be downloaded from the Software page in AltiumLive - download the latest Installer/Uninstaller.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Microchip - now available in the Altium Vault and Content Store

The Altium Content Team is pleased to announce a catalog-wide update of board-level components from Microchip - now available in the Altium Vault and Content Store.

Our Microchip collection of libraries has been updated to include over 1500 new parts including 5 new families. The majority of Microchip parts should now be accessible for your board-level design needs. Significant updates to dsPIC33F and the addition of dsPIC33E are among the highlights which also include 120 new parts in PIC24F, 96 parts in PIC32 and 98 parts in SPI Serial EEPROM. Other new libraries include mTouch AR1000 Controllers, 87000 series Power MOSFETs, SST Serial & Parallel Flash and Motor Drivers.

- dsPIC33E (148 new parts)

- Touch Screen Controller (26 new parts)

- SST Flash (282 parts)

- Motor Driver (8 new parts)

- Power Management Power MOSFET (8 new parts)

The updates span across a further 22 families which I’ll list below for your reference. You can browse through the updated content directly in the vault within Altium Designer - where you will also find fresh and up-to-date supply chain data. Alternatively you can check out and download libraries from the Content Store - note that integrated libraries for these families now include supply chain parameters which will be visible in the libraries panel in AD.

- dsPIC30F (16)

- dsPIC33F (180)

- I2C Serial EEPROM (57)

- Interface (33)

- Linear (34)

- Microwire Serial EEPROM (47)

- Mixed Signal (17)

- PIC24E (76)

- PIC24F (120)

- PIC24H (1)

- PIC32 (96)

- PM Battery Management (7)

- PM CPU-System Supervisor (16)

- PM Line Regulator (103)

- PM MOSFET Driver (45)

- PM Switching Regulator (36)

- PM Voltage Detector (6)

- Serial SRAM (17)

- SPI Serial EEPROM (98)

- Thermal Management (19)

- UNIO Serial EEPROM (19)

- Wireless (16)

Monday, February 4, 2013

VMWare Fusion users please note

Hi Everyone,

We have been getting an increasing number of users wanting to install and run Altium Designer on MAC computers.

This is supported in the sense that these machines are Intel based and will run Windows XP Pro or Windows 7 on them. I wanted to point out some issues relating to VMWare for running Windows virtually within the MAC OS.

Just to be really clear - this is NOT officially supported. We do not test our software on VMWare. And, from Fusion V5.0 the graphics in PCB do not display properly - the workaround to this is to disable DirectX because the bug is in VMWare 5.0's DirectX translation.

BTW - we also don't recommend a virtual machine approach right now because it's excessively slow so:

1) Users who run on a MAC can dual-boot Windows 7 / MAC OS using Boot Camp, Grub or EFI. Install AD in the native Windows installation - this will work correctly and we can support Altium Designer in this setup (and, some members of our development team actually work on macs with dual boot setup just like this).

2) This is also not officially supported, but you can use Parallels instead. Parallels does not seem to have the problem with DirectX, but it's slower than VMWare (or so I'm told).

On that last note - another user had responded to a thread I found on the VMWare support forums, and stated that VMWare DID release a bug fix for this: VMWare Fusion 5.0.3 - in the release notes, states that a DirectX display bug was fixed that was previously affecting Solidworks, AutoCAD 123D and Altium Designer.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Altium Development team is pleased to announce the release of Altium Designer 2013

Altium Designer 2013 further improves your design environment by delivering several new PCB features and updates to the core PCB and Schematic tools. With the reengineering and opening up of our widely used DXP platform, Altium Designer 2013 underpins our focus on our core technologies, customers and partners.

The key highlights of this release:

- Component parameters in SmartPDF output
- Ability to define polygonal-shaped blanket directives
- Enhanced customization of schematic pins and ports
- Hyperlink text support in schematic documents
- Schematic annotation based on part location
- PCB object and layer transparency
- Silk To Solder Mask clearance design rule
- Outline vertices editor for polygon pours and regions
- Predefined views for PCB in 3D
- Project document previews
- Support for Microchip mTouch controls
- Additional data management enhancements
- Vault-defined supply chain information in BOM
- Preferred suppliers choice for part choices

To find out about all the key highlights of this release visit the video website and wiki.

Full details of this update including bug fixes can be found in the release notes.

All customers with valid Altium Designer subscription will be receiving an email shortly with installation and license activation details.