Developer, creator and seller, Altium provides PC-based electronics design software, helping designers to focus on creating new functionality and product differentiation and to build the next generation of electronic products. Altium’s flagship product, Altium Designer enables the talent and ingenuity of the designer to solve engineering problems and create the electronic devices. “These new enhancements will have profound impact on how designers approach development for cost or time sensitive products,” said Matt Schwaiger, senior product manager, EDA for Altium. “We’ve significantly improved and stabilized key aspects of Altium Designer through continuous engagement with our customer base and by remaining focused on developing our core toolset.” This update looks to improve the design environment with the newly added features.
New features of Altium Designer 13.2 include:
– Live Drill Table and PCB Design View
A WYSIWYG live drill table that dynamically updates in real-time, as hole-containing objects such as pads and vias are placed on and removed from the PCB design. Developed from customer requests, the Live Drill table is a highly customizable, real-time view of the drilling requirements of a PCB design. The PCB Design View object provides a configurable and detailed scaled view of elements in a PCB layout.
ActiveBOM is a new tool that facilitates real-time cost estimation and tracking for a board design, by giving the designer a clear picture of cost and availability of all items associated with that design. With the ActiveBOM feature, Altium Designer 13.2 elevates the Bill of Materials from a post-design output report to a living part of the design – edited and developed alongside schematics and PCB layout files.
This approach facilitates a design-to-cost style of design. When coupled with Altium Vault Server product, it gives complete visibility into component costs based on supply chain data gathered from both online vendors and an organization’s own internal component database systems.
Other Highlights of This Release
PCB Design View
A specific, scalable view that allows the designer to place a snapshot of any rectangular shaped region of the current board, or another board, anywhere within the workspace.
Define Output File names using Expressions
Support for user-defined output file names using a concatenation of special strings and user-defined project parameters.
Vault-based Simulation Models
Bringing support for defining and releasing simulation models to an Altium Vault. A simulation model is defined within a SimModel file (*.SimModel) on the design-side, and linked to a Simulation Model Item within a target vault.
Enhanced Vault Searching
The Vault search feature has been substantially upgraded, with the introduction of Grouping, Column-based filtering, and a powerful Filter panel. A new Altium Vault Server and Personal Vault installation is also required to take advantage of these improvements.
Features in the Altium Designer 13.2 update offers an organization better clarity, confidence and control over their design data and product development flow.
Key benefits include:
• Reduce overall product costs using tools that allow teams to define target costs and provide an up to date and clear picture of costs throughout a design.
• Reduce the risk of manufacturing error through design documentation tools that clearly show design intent.
• Improved confidence by understanding the cost implications of design revisions and product updates.
• Avoid production delays through better understanding of supply chain risk of component choices.
• Faster time to market by fostering a robust streamlined collaboration between design, production and procurement teams.
• Enhanced productivity from a real time view of product BOM cost, avoiding unexpected product component cost creep during design development.
• Component Parameters in Smart PDF Output
• Support for Microchip Touch Controls
• Silk To Solder Mask Clearance Design Rule
• PCB Object and Layer Transparency
• Hyperlink Text Support in Schematic Documents
• Enhanced Customization of Schematic Ports
• Enhanced Customization of Schematic Pins
The Altium Designer 13.2 update is available to Altium subscription customers through Altium Designer 13 directly using the Plug-ins and Updates tool or the Installer can be downloaded from the Downloads page in AltiumLive.
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 on the top right hand corner of the Plugins page. If you have issues with patching, make sure you check your anti-virus 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 tohttp://installation.altium.com.
If you want to download the Vaults or install a new build of Altium Designer, the Installers can be downloaded from the Downloads page.