Altium updates Designer PCB tool; v15.1 adds to high-speed design features

February 26, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Expanded features in Altium Designer aim to improve design productivity to meet the increasing complexity of today’s electronic designs

Altium has issued a preview of its plans for Altium Designer release 15.1, will introduce features for improved design productivity, documentation outputs, and high-speed design efficiency. The new features in Altium Designer 15.1 are adding to an existing foundation set in place with the initial release of Altium Designer 15, which focused on improvements to the high-speed design process. Altium Designer 15.1 is adding:

Improved support for xSignals

The release of Altium Designer 15.0 provided a set of features to address the growing complexity of high-speed design. To enhance the productivity of the high-speed design process even further, a wizard for xSignals that helps save time on configuring length-matching rules has been added.

Expanded rigid-flex support

The addition of “bikini” coverlay support for rigid-flex designs allows users to add support layers to flexible designs that can be viewed in 3D and configured with user-specific materials. The package allows a rigid-flex model to be viewed in 3D with its flexing and folding behaviour fully modelled to show the full space it occupies in all positions.

The introduction of 3D PDF output documentation in Altium Designer 15.1 makes it easy for anyone on the team, designer or not, to view a PCB design in 3D from any compatible PDF viewer.

Additional design re-use tools are being added for increased productivity when managing pads and vias as reusable libraries in PCB designs. Padstacks will allow a user to define templates for different sized pads and vias in specific groups being used on a board, saving designers time by no longer having to define pad and via sizes individually.

Further productivity, documentation, and high-speed design features are being added in Altium Designer 15.1, the company promises; a full listing of all the new features in 15.1 will be released in the coming weeks. Version 15.1 is scheduled for public availability in April and will be free for Altium Subscription customers; new users can download