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Altium Designer 18 to tackle even the most complex PCB designs

‘What originally took 3 to 4 hours to do, now takes seconds’, is the message Altium gave at Embedded World.

Using customer feedback, which identified both well-liked and disliked areas of previous products, Altium believes its latest release, Altium Designer 18, not only provides the tools sought after by designers, but will equip engineers to tackle even the most complex PCB designs.

The overall design experience has been updated with a modern user interface that is intended to improve user commonality across all design domains and developed in a way to simplify the design process.

According to Altium, although the interface has changed substantially, once familiar, is much easier to use. The theme colour has been modified to black to help with eye strain, but the next update should see a range of themes on offer for those who prefer a different colour.

Altium Designer 18 features the upgrade to 64-bit architecture, combined with multi-threaded task optimisations, which is said to enable users to design and release large, complex boards at unprecedented speeds.

This version also includes updates to ActiveRoute, a user-guided routing engine that supports length tuning and pin-swapping, which Altium claims will enable users to quickly produce high-quality routes.

It also includes tools for multi-board assembly, which Altium has said is cheaper than alternatives available. The belief of the company is that ‘if it’s easy to build, it shouldn’t be withheld or charged for separately, but included in the software’.

The ACTIVEBOM editor has also been updated and includes a BoM rule checker, which should let designers verify each BoM line item.

Altium says that users can also design and release large, complex boards ‘faster than ever before’ using the new multi-board assembly capability and real-time connection management.

Bethan Grylls

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