"Advances in technology are forcing the convergence of hardware, software & programmable hardware, and design systems must become unified at all levels to support this," said Nick Martin, Founder and CEO, Altium Limited. "Getting electronic products to market within an acceptable time frame requires not only effective collaboration between the electronics designers themselves, but also between electronics design and the rest of the stakeholders in the process. This is particularly important with mechanical design and manufacturing, where good data interchange can lead to significant time savings. The latest updates to Altium Designer are all about facilitating this process and unifying the development of electronic products at all levels."
One more STEP towards ECAD-MCAD unity
Altium Designer 6.6 expands the recently introduced STEP support (The ISO 10303 Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data) to include direct import of 3D component data, helping designers access and share precise mechanical data to enhance the flow of information throughout the wider development lifecycle. Altium Designer customers can now import 3D STEP models into PCB library files and associate them with components. This makes it possible to create accurate representations of PCB boards that can be easily transferred to MCAD applications.
By providing accurate 3D representations of boards directly from the electronic design system, Altium Designer allows mechanical designers to start mechanical design earlier and proceed in parallel with electronics design. It also greatly simplifies the mechanical design process and shortens the time needed to generate accurate mechanical board data. This means design teams can work more closely together and achieve greater efficiencies over the entire electronic product development process.
Variations on successful manufacture
Altium Designer 6.6 also features a number of enhancements designed to bring greater unification between electronics design and manufacture. The system's Assembly Variant Management tool has been upgraded to help users better manage the step from design to commercial production and speed the design of PCBs used across multiple end products. Altium Designer 6.6 now has the ability to vary parameter values by updating from a library, as well as having new options for handling schematic and PCB variant printing and BOM generation. Also new to 6.6 is the ability to clone variants, making the creation and management of variants faster and easier. These new features save time by eliminating potential duplicated work in creating different board variations at the production stage, effectively bringing design and production processes closer together.
A new IPC Footprint Wizard in Altium Designer 6.6 enables users to create a much wider range of IPC-compliant component footprints directly within the application. Rather than working from footprint dimensions, the IPC Footprint Wizard uses dimensional information from the component itself in accordance with the standards released by the IPC. This makes it easier for engineers to create standards-compliant footprints directly from device manufacturer data and ensure the manufacturability of their designs.
"Our commitment to R&D is part of Altium's dedication to serving the needs of the majority of electronics engineers, designers and developers," said Nick Martin. "These engineers need tools that help them take advantage of new electronics technologies in order to create smarter products and get them to market faster. Our regular updates to Altium Designer help to ensure that they have access to the latest in electronics design technologies and receive real returns on their design tool investment. This is what sets Altium apart."
Altium Designer 6.6 release highlights
-- New STEP 3D component model import -- New IPC footprint wizard -- New adjustable rounded rectangular pad shapes -- Improved variant support -- Improved drill drawing symbol table -- Improved bill of material (BOM) report -- New signal integrity exampleAvailability
The Altium Designer 6.6 release is free for all Altium Designer 6 license holders and is now available for immediate download from http://www.altium.com/Community/Support/SoftwareUpdates/ via their SUPPORTcenter account. For developers wanting to evaluate Altium Designer go to http://www.altium.com/Evaluate/. For more information on Altium or the latest release of Altium Designer visit www.altium.com. For contact details of your local Altium sales and support center go to http://www.altium.com/Contacts/.
About Altium Designer
Altium Designer is the industry's only electronics product development system that removes the barriers imposed by disparate design flows and unifies the different design disciplines involved in electronics product development -- the design of the hardware, the programmable hardware and the embedded software. Altium Designer's unified design environment means users can harness the potential of the latest electronics technologies, and move to a 'soft' design methodology without the need to acquire specialist programmable device expertise. This provides companies with increased design flexibility, reduced production costs and speeds time to market. Altium Designer also delivers the freedom to move between any device, from any vendor, at any time and lowers total cost of ownership by eliminating the need to integrate extra-cost add-ons to increase functionality, or make up a complete solution. For more information, please visit http://www.altium.com/Products/AltiumDesigner/.
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