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Altium Designer upgraded to version 15.1

Altium has released version 15.1 of its flagship tool Altium Designer. Included in the release are features intended to improve design efficiency, with expansions to productivity, documentation and high speed design.

"Altium Designer 15.1 is building upon the solid foundation we've had in place since the original release of Altium Designer 15," said Sergey Kostinsky, vp of engineering. "There's incremental improvements upon every layer in the platform for both designers and fabricators alike. This update is a win-win for everyone involved in the design process, with greater accuracy in documentation features for fabricators, to expanded productivity and high-speed enhancements for electronics designers."

New features in version 15.1 focus on improvements to the design ecosystem. High speed design configurations for length matching rules can now be performed using a wizard that automatically accounts for T-branches, components, signal pairs and groups.

PCB designs can be exported as 3D PDFs, allowing anyone with a compatible PDF viewer to view and rotate a design in 3D. Boards can be navigated with individual component selection, providing greater accuracy and design intent to fabricators.

Surface layers for rigid-flex designs can now be added with 'bikini' coverlays that are fully visible in 3D and can be configured with the designer's specific material needs. Coverlay edge clearance and expansion rules have also been added to the design rule options, providing users with precise control over coverlay applications.

A pad and via library allows users to define custom templates for pad shape and size. Templates can then be applied to specific groups of pads on a PCB for easy application, saving countless hours defining pad options individually.

Finally, the addition of a Unions panel is said to help users to better organise design data and to align Union data with other PCB objects. The panel will show a hierarchical view of union types, unions and union primitives for easy reference.

Graham Pitcher

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