Do you recall my recent column – Altium's vision for the future of electronic design – in which I said:
"The full realization of Altium's 'ecosystem of devices' vision is likely to be two to five years out, but progress toward that vision will be made over time, and I think we can expect to see announcements from Altium that speak to that progress in the not-so-distant future. Altium's DXP platform is a big part of this; the first step was opening it up to the web, and the next step will be an SDK for third-party DXP application developers (both EDA and non-EDA) and content providers."
Well, you can only imagine my surprise to see today's news that the folks at Altium – who are, as we know, providers of solutions for 3D PCB design (Altium Designer) and embedded software development (TASKING) – have just announced the release of Altium Designer 2013.
The folks at Altium say that this is a significant turning point in their history. This is because Altium Designer 2013 not only delivers new and enhanced features, it also opens up Altium’s design platform to its key partners. This creates a range of opportunities for users, partners and system integrators and represents a quantum leap for the industry.
As part of Altium’s continuous content delivery model, Altium Subscription customers have already benefited from the many enhancements that have been delivered since Release 12. Altium Designer 2013 further improves the design environment for users by delivering several new PCB features and updates to the core PCB and Schematic tools.
Key features of Altium Designer 2013 include:
- PCB object and Layer transparency settings - New PCB object and Layer transparency settings have been added to the View Configurations dialog.
- Silk to Solder Mask design rule - A new rule with new checking modes (to exposed copper and to solder mask openings) has been added.
- Outline vertices editor for PCB Polygon Pours - New outline vertices editor for Polygon Pour, Polygon Cutout and Solid Region objects.
- Polygon Blankets - Ability to define polygonal-shaped blanket directives has been added.
- Schematic Pin name/designator position, font and color customization - the pin name and designator position, font and color can now be customized individually.
- Port height and font control - Port height, border width and text font can now be individually controlled.
- Schematic Hyperlinks - Text objects in schematic documents now support hyperlinks.
- Smart PDF documents contain component parameters - Clicking on a component in a PDF file produced by SmartPDF will display the parameters of that component.
- Microchip Touch Controls support - Support for Microchip mTouch capacitive controls has been added.
- Improved DXP platform - DXP platform has been upgraded to provide a robust and open development environment.
A full overview of Altium Designer 2013 can be found at the Altium Wiki
In addition, Altium’s new Altium AppsBuilder will be available shortly, which will allow for the creation of custom applications and extend Altium’s DXP design environment even further.“The release process for Altium Designer 2013 was one of the most intense we have been through to date but the interaction and collaboration with some of our most engaged customers made it one of the most successful,”
says Matt Schwaiger, a senior member of Altium’s Product Management team. “It’s the collaboration with our users which ensures features and enhancements delivered bring the most value to our community as a whole.”
And Frank Hoschar, CMO at Altium says: “Altium Designer 2013 is a milestone release as it provides an open platform expanding Altium’s reach beyond our user community (of more than 80,000 engineers working on the DXP platform) into industry partner communities. Additionally, Altium Designer provides a number of key enhancements over Altium Designer 12, which include:
- New Via Stitching capabilities providing support for RF and high-speed designs,
- Greater flexibility for re-annotating PCB designs,
- Other PCB productivity enhancements including; improved cross-select mode, improved selection controls and easier polygon pour management,
- Improvements to the Mentor PADS PCB, PADS Logic and Expedition importers and Ansoft and Hyperlynx exporters,
- Support for ARM Cortex-M3 Discrete Processors, SEGGER J-Link and Altera Arria2GX FPGAs.”
Altium Designer 2013 is available with the following license options:
Pricing and availability
- Altium Designer 2013: This license provides users with full custom board design and manufacturing capabilities. It also has complete front-end engineering design and verification system for both board-level and programmable logic design and full 3D PCB design and editing capabilities.
- Altium Designer 2013 SE: This is the System Engineering version that provides users with complete front-end schematic design and design capture for both board-level and programmable logic design. It includes analog/digital simulation, verification and Embedded-System-on-FPGA implementation.
Altium Designer 2013 is available immediately for Altium Subscription customers as part of their subscription. Eligible customers can download the new Altium Designer 2013 installer from AltiumLive
. The price for a perpetual licence of Altium Designer 2013 is 5.395 EUR incl. 1-year subscription (updates, support, additional content and services), Altium Designer 2013 SE is available for 2.215 EUR incl. 1-year subscription.
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