Altium Releases P-CAD 2004; New Advanced Route Tool Significantly Boosts Board Design Productivity

SYDNEY, Australia—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Nov. 29, 2004— Altium Limited (ASX: ALU), a leading developer of Windows-based electronics design software, today announced the release of P-CAD(R) 2004, Altium's PCB design system for layout professionals. Offering over 50 new and enhanced features, this version offers upgraded technologies for layout and automatic and interactive routing, improved support for CAM file editing and circuit simulation, as well as a host of enhancements designed to give greater power and control over the PCB design process.

Altium's P-CAD PCB design system has a proven track record of reliability and productivity, and P-CAD 2004 introduces a host of new technologies that build on the strengths of previous versions. Most notable is a powerful new interactive Advanced Route tool that significantly enhances the interactive routing process and allows users to automatically plow around board objects. Advanced Route enables designers to start routing from any net object, regardless of grid or connection line position. Designers can choose to hug the routing around existing objects, plow around copper pours, board edges, cutouts and keepouts, as well as move existing traces and vias. Designers also have complete control over all interactive routing features, including the level of "glossing" or trace cleanup the tool attempts during interactive routing.

Altium's second-generation Situs(TM) Topological Autorouter boosts routing productivity even further. It integrates seamlessly with the P-CAD PCB editor and features topological path mapping to improve completion rates on complex boards. The Situs Topical Autorouter offers native routing support for non-orthogonal geometries, such as those found with high-density BGA devices and rotated components. Unlike traditional shape-based routers, Situs searches directly for routing paths in non-orthogonal directions. The router then chooses paths more intelligently, and makes better use of routing real estate on dense board designs.

Other key features of the P-CAD 2004 release is the inclusion, as standard, of Altium's CAMtastic(TM) 2004 CAM file editor, which provides complete editing of manufacturing file data prior to sending the board for fabrication, as well as enhanced SPICE 3f5 / XSpice mixed-signal circuit simulation.

"This new P-CAD release offers significant benefits to both current and new P-CAD customers," said Noko-Latrise McKinney, Altium's P-CAD Product Manager. "The new interactive routing and autorouter features, combined with strengthened CAM file editing, simulation, board layout and editing, cement P-CAD's position as a leading tool for PCB professionals and further demonstrates Altium's commitment to ongoing development of the P-CAD design system."

P-CAD's supplied board-level component libraries have also been overhauled for the new release. The libraries have been updated by Altium's Library Development Center in compliance with the ISO 9001:2000 standard, increasing the reliability and consistency of the component libraries. Approximately 40,000 new components have been added, including over 600 connectors and around 4,000 passives: making a total of almost 70,000 components. Additionally, this release introduces 19 new manufacturers, including libraries from Agilent, AMP, Cypress, Maxim, Molex, ON Semiconductor, Panasonic, Philips and Zilog.

What's New in P-CAD 2004?

New feature highlights in P-CAD 2004 include:

-- Advance Route interactive routing tool

-- Situs Topological Autorouter

-- CAMtastic 2004 CAM file editor

-- Enhanced SPICE 3f5 / XSpice mixed-signal simulation

-- User-defined layer pairs for more intelligent flipping of pads/vias

-- Layer Stackup manager for defining physical stacking of board layers

-- Design rule enhancements including matched net lengths and min/max net width

-- Selective unrouting of objects and nets

-- Smart rotation of component attributes

-- Automatic incrementing of RefDes when pasting circuits

-- New display modes for copper pours to speed redraws

-- Improved exporters for Gerber, PDIF, ODB++ and IDF

-- Improved printing and print preview

Pricing and Availability

P-CAD 2004 is available for purchase immediately and full suite new licenses are priced at US$9,995. Upgrade pricing for the full suite starts at US$2,995 for P-CAD 2002 users. Other configurations are available from US$1,695.

P-CAD 2002 customers who are on a valid prepaid upgrade subscription plan at the time of P-CAD 2004's release will be shipped the new version free of charge as part of their support contract.

For more product information, visit or contact your local Altium Sales and Support Center.

About Altium Limited

Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) is a global developer and supplier of electronics design software for the Microsoft Windows environment. Founded in 1985, Altium released the world's first Microsoft Windows-based printed circuit board design tool in 1991 and continues to provide advanced, easy-to-use and affordable software design tools to electronics engineers, designers, and developers worldwide. Altium's products offer tailored solutions covering a range of hardware and software design processes including the Nexar, Protel, P-CAD and TASKING brands. Altium is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and has sales and support offices in Australia, the United States, Japan, Europe and China. More information is available at

Altium, CAMtastic, CircuitStudio, Design Explorer, DXP, LiveDesign, NanoBoard, NanoTalk, Nexar, nVisage, P-CAD, Protel, Situs, TASKING, and Topological Autorouting and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Altium Limited or its subsidiaries. All other registered or unregistered trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners, and no trademark rights to the same are claimed.

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