Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Altium Designer 14.2

Today the release of Altium Designer 14.2.

This update continues the focus on fixes, enhancements and performance to our core technologies. Approaching 100 fixes/enhancements in total, and addressing 30 popular issues raised in our BugCrunch system.

Some highlights of this release

  • Polygon Pour Speed Improvements
  • Enhancements to the PCB Drill Table
  • Enhanced Indication of Disabled PCB Design Rules
  • Schematic Support for Vector Graphics
  • Schematic Enhancements in Support of GOST
  • Support for Global Bookmarks in Smart PDF
  • Support for Subversion 1.8

See the What's New and Release Notes for a complete listing of all the fixes and enhancements.

Accessing the Update

To download this update you can use the new update system:

- Make sure you are signed-in and have chosen a license with valid subscription

- Goto DXP » Extensions and Updates, you should see the Update is available download link on the Updates page.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Advanced Setting of the Width Rule - Check Physically Connected Copper



In this Design Secret we show you a little-known, yet very powerful Width rule setting from Altium Designer - the ability to check the min/max width for physically connected copper. Let’s assume you have done all the routing on your Board and now all that's left is a final Design Rule Check. Running the DRC flags no violations on the board. However after an additional manual check - which is always recommended - some rather awkward routing connections are discovered (see picture). With the use of this setting in the Width rule you can detect such connections and mark them as violations. This increases the reliability of your PCB, and reduces production-related or stress-related failures.


Altium headed to Santa Clara for DesignCon

As per usual at the end of every January, we loaded up the wagons and headed to Santa Clara for DesignCon to take our show on the road. As we made the annual pilgrimage this year, we were armed with a brand new trade show display, brand new graphics, a new release of Altium Designer, and 18 months experience working with our new corporate direction.

At the last DesignCon, we talked about this shift in strategy; refocusing of Altium’s core competency - PCB design, putting significant development efforts directly on improving our PCB design system, while opening up our design environment to 3rd parties. More importantly however, we committed to all of you that our customers themselves would also play a greater role in guiding our development tracks through the implementation of an active feedback loop.

I am happy to report all of you that this strategy is working!

Altium Designer 14 was released in November of 2013 and is a direct reflection of our new focus. In my opinion this was the most balanced release in recent memory. We managed to retain all of the practical and forward looking innovation Altium is known for, but focused it squarely on the PCB market that got us to where we are today, the fastest growing PCB tool vendor in the world.

It is because of your loyalty and feedback over the course of 2013 that Altium Designer 14 was named the winner of UBM’s DesignVision Award for the most innovative PCB tools category at DesignCon.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

EEVblog #527 - Altium Entry Level PCB Tool Rant

Altium have announced their intention to (finally!) offer a low cost "entry level" PCB design tool.
Dave naturally has his Top 5 Tips for Altium to ensure that they don't screw up this opportunity