Flex-PCB design featured in Altium Designer release 14

October 18, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Altium has released a new version of Altium Designer, focused on core PCB design technology, and extending features for 3D PCB design

Altium Designer 14 concentrates on core PCB design technologies, and now has support for flex and rigid-flex design, including schematic capture, 3D PCB layout, analysis and programmable design – all in a single, unified solution.

With its native 3D visual support of this technology, Altium Designer 14 opens the door for new innovations in electronic design by allowing for increased processing and communication within a smaller, more fluid space. The enhanced platform allows for smaller packaging of electronic designs.

Flex and Rigid Flex PCB design support in this release includes the ability to handle advanced layer stack management. Support for embedded PCB components allows greater design miniaturisation opportunities by placing standard components on an inner layer of the circuit board during fabrication. Other upgrades include;

- comprehensive high speed PCB design capabilities with easier definition of rules and constraints

- Simplification of high speed design rules, including automated and guided adjustment of differential pair width-gap settings ensuring pair impedance is maintained.

- Via-stitching improvements: The capabilities of the PCB Editor’s via-stitching have been enhanced to include the ability to constrain the via-stitching pattern to a user defined area.

New wizards improve interoperability with popular ECAD and MCAD formats;

CadSoft Eagle Importer – With the understanding that not all design work is done in Altium Designer, Altium has introduced an importer for CadSoft Eagle so customers can use design files in other formats.

Autodesk AutoCAD Import / Export – up-to-date support for transfer of designs to and from AutoCAD *.DWG and *.DXF formats. The importer/exporter interfaces have been upgraded to support the latest versions of AutoCAD and a wider range of object types.

Direct use of IBIS models for IC pins facilitate signal integrity analysis with Altium Designer.

Altium Designer is available in three license options;

Altium Designer 14
Full custom board design and manufacturing capabilities. Native 3D PCB design and editing. Complete front-end engineering design system for both board-level and