Updated version of Altium Designer delivers improved support, new features

Altium Limited recently announced the latest update to its PCB design software, Altium Designer 14.3. The updates include improved support and new features that facilitate more efficient electronics design and design reuse. The update is available to all subscription users.

“We are committed to deeply engaging with our user community and responding to their needs to continually improve our software,” says Aram Mirkazemi, Altium Limited CEO. “Since the initial release of Altium Designer 14, we have released two additional updates that have incorporated the features and improvements that our customers are looking for.”

Improved Component Variant Support is one of the newest features, which enables users the ability to design the schematic and PCB for drop-in replacement and alternative parts. To better support 3D rigid-flex designs, the new version features 3D STEP Export of rigid-flex PCBs in the folded state. Previously, MCAD designers had to model rigid-flex boards as sheet metal parts, which limited the accuracy of the design. With this update, designers can open the folded model of a flexible PCB in mechanical design tools to ensure form and fit are correct.

Along with improved support for Variants and 3D STEP Export, Altium Designer 14.3 delivers improvements to schematic wire dragging, with development focused on maintaining connectivity while improving productivity. This includes improvements to the handling of overlapping wires, net labels, and junctions.

Other highlights from the 14.3 update include:

  • Productivity and speed improvements to Altium’s Interactive Routing Engine and Length Tuning tools.
  • Automatic Component Rotation on Polar Grid for circular component placements.
  • Improved via stitching and via shielding tools to reduce manual placement and editing of shielding vias.
  • Improved internal layer usage for high-density designs with automatic, unused PAD removal.
  • Updated Mentor Graphics PADS and xDX Designer Importers to make it easier to incorporate and maintain existing legacy design IP.

For more information, visit www.altium.com.