Welcome, Guest

Sign in to learn, create, and do more with the product you love.

News & Updates

Filters:
Tag
NEW
MOSFET Components
Blog
Should You Use Power MOSFETs in Series?

Power MOSFETs enable a huge range of electronic systems, specifically in situations where BJTs are not useful or efficient. MOSFETs can be used in high current systems in parallel arrangements, but what about their use in series? Both arrangements of MOSFETs have their pitfalls that designers should consider. Let’s look at MOSFETs in series as they are quite useful in certain systems, but be careful to design your circuits and your PCB for reliability.

NEW
Embedded thumbnail for Creating Connectivity
How to Work with Multichannel Schematic
Creating Connectivity

Multichannel connectivity can be created in a few different ways. We’ll show you how to create connectivity using ports and net labels efficiently and effectively. 

Embedded thumbnail for Hierarchical Structure for High-Speed Projects
How To Work with High-Speed Projects
Hierarchical Structure for High-Speed Projects

A Hierarchical structure can make your high speed project much easier to navigate and complete. We’ll show you some tips and tricks for creating and maintaining a high speed. Hierarchical design project.

PCB fabrication notes
Blog
Decoding PCB Fabrication Notes

Sending a board out for fabrication is an exciting and nerve-wracking moment. Why not just give your fabricator your design files and let them figure it out? There are a few reasons for this, but it means the responsibility comes back to you as the designer to produce manufacturing files and documentation for your PCB. It’s actually quite simple if you have the right design tools. We’ll look at how you can do this inside your PCB layout and how this will help you quickly generate data for your manufacturer.

Embedded thumbnail for Schematic Design Reuse Using Snippets
How to work with Snippets
Schematic Design Reuse Using Snippets

Snippets allow you to easily reuse circuitry across multiple parts of your designs. We’ll show you how create a new snippets the Schematic and how to connect and annotate it so you can easily bring your circuitry directly into your board.

MLCC controlled ESR capacitor
Blog
Controlled ESR Capacitors: Should You Use Them for Power Integrity?

I can’t think of a single product I’ve built that doesn’t require capacitors. We often talk a lot about effective series inductance (ESL) in capacitors and its effects on power integrity. What about effective series resistance (ESR)? Is there a technique you can use to determine the appropriate level of resistance, and can you use ESR to your advantage?

Embedded thumbnail for How to Define Different Clearance for Internal and External Layers
How-To's
How to Define Different Clearance for Internal and External Layers

If you need to define difference clearance values for your external and internal layers, the answer is with design rules. We’ll walk you through it in this short video. 

Embedded thumbnail for PCB Design Reuse Using Snippets
How to work with Snippets
PCB Design Reuse Using Snippets

Snippets give you easy access to reuse circuitry on your PCB. Let’s take a look at how you can create and configure snippets for the PCB, connect a component link with the schematic and update the PCB to include your snippet.

Ground Pour, Impedance and Losses
Blog
Microstrip Ground Clearance Part 2: How Clearance Affects Losses

If your goal is to hit a target impedance, and you’re worried about how nearby pour might affect impedance, you can get closer than the limits set by the 3W rule. But what are the effects on losses? If the reason for this question isn’t obvious, or if you’re not up-to-date on the finer points of transmission line design, then keep reading to see how nearby ground pour can affect losses in impedance-controlled interconnects.

Altium Designer Interface
On-Demand Webinar
What is High-Speed Design?

The primary source of high-speed problems is not due to high clock frequency but rather the fast rise and fall times of component signals. With fast edge rates, reflections may occur at the receiver side, and when the board routing is dense, crosstalk may become a problem. During this webinar, you'll sharpen your knowledge and develop new skills that you can use to design High-Speed PCB's more efficiently and effectively. 

Choosing the Right Microphone for Embedded Applications
Blog
Choosing the Right Microphone for Embedded Applications

If you need to capture sound waves for your electrical device to process, you'll need a microphone. However, microphones these days have become very advanced, and there are so many options to choose from. They range from the relatively simple and popular condenser type microphones to state-of-the-art sound conversion solutions incorporating internal amplifiers and other electronic processing functionality. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the options available.

Embedded thumbnail for Creating Schematic Channels
How to Work with Multichannel Schematic
Creating Schematic Channels

Altium Designer makes creating single and multichannel designs effective and quick. We’ll show you how to create and annotate output and input channels in your design. 

Embedded thumbnail for Calculating Impedance in Altium Designer
Impedance calculation
Calculating Impedance in Altium Designer

This video covers how to calculate impedance in Altium Designer. This is especially important when dealing with high-speed designs. You want to make sure impedance is matched to avoid any reflections and maintain good signal integrity.

 Computer planet with circuit grid
Blog
Composite Amplifiers and How They Give the Best of Both Worlds

There are many times where you need an amplifier with high gain, low noise, high slew rate, and broad bandwidth simultaneously. However, not all of these design goals are possible with all off-the-shelf components. Here are some points to consider when working with a composite amplifier design and how to evaluate your design with the right set of circuit simulation tools.

Embedded thumbnail for Impedance Calculations: Differential Pairs
Impedance calculation
Impedance Calculations: Differential Pairs

Altium designer makes it easy to calculate geometry when you need to calculate impedance for differential pairs. We’ll go over how differential pairs can help with a two layer and multi layer board, as well as what types you can create such as differential co-planar, and how to configure them for your specific design.

Impedance balancing power supply
Blog
Reduce Common-Mode Noise in Your Power Supply with Impedance Balancing

Simple switching regulator circuits that operate in compact spaces, like on a small PCB, can usually be deployed in noisy environments without superimposing significant noise on the output power level. As long as you lay out the board properly, you’ll probably only need a simple filter circuit to remove EMI on the inputs and outputs. As the regulator becomes larger, both physically and electrically, noise problems can become much more apparent, namely radiated EMI and conducted EMI in the PCB layout.

Embedded thumbnail for Using Snapping for Primitives and Components | Draftsman Documents
How to Work with Draftsman
Using Snapping for Primitives and Components | Draftsman Documents

Snapping using the grids and snapping tools in Altium Designer’s Draftsman Editor gives you a lot of control over how you create and annotate primitives and components. We’ll show you how easy it is to use snapping in the Draftsman Editor. 

Embedded thumbnail for How to Define an Impedance Profile for an Assymetric Stripeline
Impedance calculation
How to Define an Impedance Profile for an Assymetric Stripeline

This video shows how to define an impedance profile for an asymmetric stripline.

Embedded thumbnail for Impedance Calculation Single-Ended Transmission Lines
Impedance calculation
Impedance Calculation Single-Ended Transmission Lines

Transmission lines help preserve signal integrity and reduce EMI in high speed designs. We’ll show you you to define your single ended transmission lines in Altium Designer and automatically calculate impedance on a two layer and multi-layer board.

Part 1: Why Your PCB Design Review Process Is Obsolete and What You Can Do About It
Blog
Part 1: Why Your PCB Design Review Process Is Obsolete and What You Can Do About It

A PCB design review is a practice to review the design of a board for possible errors and issues at various stages of product development. It can range from a formal checklist with official sign-offs to a more free-form inspection of schematic drawings and PCB layouts. For this article, we will not delve into what to check during a design review process but rather look at how a review process itself usually unfolds and how to optimize it to get the most out of your time.

Tag
NEW
MOSFET Components
Blog
Should You Use Power MOSFETs in Series?

Power MOSFETs enable a huge range of electronic systems, specifically in situations where BJTs are not useful or efficient. MOSFETs can be used in high current systems in parallel arrangements, but what about their use in series? Both arrangements of MOSFETs have their pitfalls that designers should consider. Let’s look at MOSFETs in series as they are quite useful in certain systems, but be careful to design your circuits and your PCB for reliability.

PCB fabrication notes
Blog
Decoding PCB Fabrication Notes

Sending a board out for fabrication is an exciting and nerve-wracking moment. Why not just give your fabricator your design files and let them figure it out? There are a few reasons for this, but it means the responsibility comes back to you as the designer to produce manufacturing files and documentation for your PCB. It’s actually quite simple if you have the right design tools. We’ll look at how you can do this inside your PCB layout and how this will help you quickly generate data for your manufacturer.

MLCC controlled ESR capacitor
Blog
Controlled ESR Capacitors: Should You Use Them for Power Integrity?

I can’t think of a single product I’ve built that doesn’t require capacitors. We often talk a lot about effective series inductance (ESL) in capacitors and its effects on power integrity. What about effective series resistance (ESR)? Is there a technique you can use to determine the appropriate level of resistance, and can you use ESR to your advantage?

Ground Pour, Impedance and Losses
Blog
Microstrip Ground Clearance Part 2: How Clearance Affects Losses

If your goal is to hit a target impedance, and you’re worried about how nearby pour might affect impedance, you can get closer than the limits set by the 3W rule. But what are the effects on losses? If the reason for this question isn’t obvious, or if you’re not up-to-date on the finer points of transmission line design, then keep reading to see how nearby ground pour can affect losses in impedance-controlled interconnects.

Choosing the Right Microphone for Embedded Applications
Blog
Choosing the Right Microphone for Embedded Applications

If you need to capture sound waves for your electrical device to process, you'll need a microphone. However, microphones these days have become very advanced, and there are so many options to choose from. They range from the relatively simple and popular condenser type microphones to state-of-the-art sound conversion solutions incorporating internal amplifiers and other electronic processing functionality. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the options available.

 Computer planet with circuit grid
Blog
Composite Amplifiers and How They Give the Best of Both Worlds

There are many times where you need an amplifier with high gain, low noise, high slew rate, and broad bandwidth simultaneously. However, not all of these design goals are possible with all off-the-shelf components. Here are some points to consider when working with a composite amplifier design and how to evaluate your design with the right set of circuit simulation tools.

Impedance balancing power supply
Blog
Reduce Common-Mode Noise in Your Power Supply with Impedance Balancing

Simple switching regulator circuits that operate in compact spaces, like on a small PCB, can usually be deployed in noisy environments without superimposing significant noise on the output power level. As long as you lay out the board properly, you’ll probably only need a simple filter circuit to remove EMI on the inputs and outputs. As the regulator becomes larger, both physically and electrically, noise problems can become much more apparent, namely radiated EMI and conducted EMI in the PCB layout.

Part 1: Why Your PCB Design Review Process Is Obsolete and What You Can Do About It
Blog
Part 1: Why Your PCB Design Review Process Is Obsolete and What You Can Do About It

A PCB design review is a practice to review the design of a board for possible errors and issues at various stages of product development. It can range from a formal checklist with official sign-offs to a more free-form inspection of schematic drawings and PCB layouts. For this article, we will not delve into what to check during a design review process but rather look at how a review process itself usually unfolds and how to optimize it to get the most out of your time.

Star ground PCB
Blog
What is PCB Star Grounding and Why Would Anyone Use It?

If you look on the internet, you'll find some interesting grounding recommendations, and sometimes terminology gets thrown around and applied to a PCB without the proper context or understanding of real electrical behavior. DC recommendations get applied to AC, low current gets applied to high current, and vice versa... the list goes on. One of the more interesting grounding techniques you'll see as a recommendation, including on some popular engineering blogs within the industry, is the use of PCB star grounding.

Silkscreen on PCB
Blog
Your Guide to PCB Silkscreen

Every PCB has silkscreen on the surface layer, and you’ll see a range of alphanumeric codes, numbers, markings, and logos on PCB silkscreen. What exactly does it all mean, and what specifically should you include in your silkscreen layer? All designs are different, but there are some common pieces of information that will appear in any silkscreen in order to aid assembly, testing, debug, and traceability

Gibbs ringing
Blog
What Causes Gibbs Ringing in High-speed Channel Simulations?

Designing high-speed channels on complex boards requires simulations, measurements on test boards, or both to ensure the design operates as you intend. Gibbs ringing is one of these effects that can occur when calculating a channel’s response using band-limited network parameters. Just as is the case in measurements, Gibbs ringing can occur in channel simulations due to the fact that network parameters are typically band-limited.

Heated component on PCB
Blog
Efficient Heat Dissipation with SMD Heat Sinks Keeps You From Dropping PCBs

In electronics, there is the possibility that your PCB can get pretty hot due to power dissipation in certain components. There are many things to consider when dealing with heat in your board, and it starts with determining power dissipation in your design during schematic capture. If you happen to be operating within safe limits in a high power device, you might need an SMD heat sink on certain components. Ultimately, this could save your components, your product, and even the operator.

RF PCB
Blog
RF Power Supply Design and Layout Guide

One thing is certain: power supply designs can get much more complex than simply routing DC power lines to your components. RF power supply designs require special care to ensure they will function without transferring excessive noise between portions of the system, something that is made more difficult due to the high power levels involved. In addition to careful layout, circuitry needs to be designed such that the system provides highly efficient power conversion and delivery to each subsection of the system.

Prevent Overvoltage, Overcurrent and Heat logo
Blog
Methods to Protect your Circuit

Overvoltage, overcurrent, and heat are the three most likely events that can destroy our expensive silicon-based components or reduce our product’s life expectancy. The effects are often quite instant, but our product might survive several months of chronic overstress before giving up the ghost in some cases. Without adequate protection, our circuit can be vulnerable to damage, so what should we do? Or do we need to do anything?

SUBCKT sharing
Blog
SUBCKT Sharing: The Fastest Ways to Share SPICE Models Online

Today’s PCB designers and layout engineers often need to put on their simulation hat to learn more about the products they build. When you need to perform simulations, you need models for components, and simulation models often need to be shared with other team members at the project level or component level. What’s the best way for Altium Designer users to share this data? Read this article to learn more about sharing your models with other design participants. 

Tag
Embedded thumbnail for Working with Annotation Tools
How to Work with Draftsman
Working with Annotation Tools

Draftsman Documents provide annotation tools to convey physical properties such as tolerances and surface finish

Embedded thumbnail for How to Route High-Speed Designs | High-Speed Design
How To Work with High-Speed Projects
How to Route High-Speed Designs | High-Speed Design

Routing for your high-speed design can be really easy with just a little preparation. We’ll walk you through the best ways to set up your routing so you can easily route your high-speed signals. 

Embedded thumbnail for Polygon Editing
Working with Polygons
Polygon Editing

Editing existing polygons is crucial for optimizing your design. You can easily select polygons to edit, resize, combine, and more.

Embedded thumbnail for Working with Dimensions: Draftsman Documents
How to Work with Draftsman
Working with Dimensions: Draftsman Documents

Draftsman Documents provide dimensioning tools to capture and display the physical features of the product for fabrication and documentation. 

Embedded thumbnail for How to Define A Net Class on Schematic | How To Use Altium Designer
How-To's
How to Define A Net Class on Schematic | How To Use Altium Designer

Altium Designer makes it easy to define net classes in both PCB and the schematic. We’ll show you how to define a net class in the schematic for whatever classes you need. 

Embedded thumbnail for Creating Differential Pairs in the Schematic
How to Work with Differential Pairs
Creating Differential Pairs in the Schematic

Learn how to create differential pairs on the schematic side.

Embedded thumbnail for Measuring in the PCB
How-To's
Measuring in the PCB

Altium Designer gives you fine grained control over how you measure object distances in the PCB. When spacing is such a critical aspect of board layout, this control is absolutely necessary. We'll show you how to utilize the measure distance command and measure selected objects, as well as how to measure tracks and faces of 3D bodies.

Embedded thumbnail for Precise Selection with PCB Filter
How to work with Selection
Precise Selection with PCB Filter

Narrowing down a precise and accurate selection of objects can be difficult on a crowded board. Learn about the PCB Filter panel, how to use it to create queries to select objects on the PCB, and how to create design rules from these queries.

Embedded thumbnail for Polygon Types and Parameters
Working with Polygons
Polygon Types and Parameters

Each board requires different copper geometries. Polygon types make sure you can create the perfect copper geometry for every need.

Embedded thumbnail for Polygon Creation
Working with Polygons
Polygon Creation

Learn how to create polygon pours to ensure proper copper distribution on your board.

Embedded thumbnail for Global Editing Using Find Similar Objects
How to work with Selection
Global Editing Using Find Similar Objects

Editing multiple objects one by one can be a very time consuming process. Altium Designer makes this easy and efficient with the Find Similar Objects tool, which allows you to globally select and edit multiple objects at once.

Embedded thumbnail for Stackup Presets and Templates
How to work with Layer Stack Manager
Stackup Presets and Templates

In this video, we will learn how to apply predefined layer stacks to the board, as well as how to save the layer stack file as a template.

Embedded thumbnail for Using Back Drills in your Stackup
How to work with Layer Stack Manager
Using Back Drills in your Stackup

In this video, we will learn about Back Drilling technology, how to set up back drilling using the layer stack manager, and how to set up the Stub Length sizes for back drilling by specifying applicable nets using the Design Rules Editor.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Create and Use Impedance Profiles
How to work with Layer Stack Manager
How to Create and Use Impedance Profiles

Using the Altium Designer Layer Stack Manager, we will show how to create impedance profiles for transmission lines and how to apply them to the circuit board using the PCB Rules and Constraints Editor.

Embedded thumbnail for Quantel Laser | MCAD and ECAD Designers Collaborate with Altium
Discovering Altium 365
Quantel Laser | MCAD and ECAD Designers Collaborate with Altium

In this video, Quantel’s engineers - Jeremie Waller (Senior Electrical Engineer) is using Altium Designer for ECAD and Laine McNeil (Senior Mechanical Engineer) is using Solidworks for MCAD. They are both in an Altium 365 workspace that allows them to closely collaborate while staying in their own familiar design environment.

Embedded thumbnail for Using Free (Any) Angle Routing
How-To's
Using Free (Any) Angle Routing

In this video, you will see how Altium Designer now makes it extremely easy to create curved corners in your designs. Previously, arc-in-corner routing was only supported during interactive routing, but not in Push&Shove mode or during track sliding. The new Push&Shove engine solves this by adding arcs during push and shove and also during track sliding, which is done by switching to any angle corner mode to perform snake routing.

Tag
Altium Designer Interface
On-Demand Webinar
What is High-Speed Design?

The primary source of high-speed problems is not due to high clock frequency but rather the fast rise and fall times of component signals. With fast edge rates, reflections may occur at the receiver side, and when the board routing is dense, crosstalk may become a problem. During this webinar, you'll sharpen your knowledge and develop new skills that you can use to design High-Speed PCB's more efficiently and effectively. 

Simple Simulation in Altium Designer
On-Demand Webinar
SPICE Simulation Made Simple

SPICE simulation saves you critical time in the prototyping phase. Understanding your simulation interface makes it simple to analyze how your circuits work in different scenarios. Altium Designer provides an intuitive, dedicated interface to support your simulation verification, setup, and analysis directly in your schematic environment. You also benefit from growing support for popular model formats, as well as generic models, simplifying circuit definition and simulation.

Webinar slides
On-Demand Webinar
Designing PCBs 5x Faster Despite the Pandemic | Customer Success | Kinetic Vision

Kinetic Vision, a Cincinnati-based design, engineering, and development firm, is an innovator’s one-stop shop for transforming even the wildest ideas into real products. The company’s design approach keeps everything in-house, including industrial design, mechanical, and electrical design, as well as, engineering, hardware/software development, machine learning, and sometimes even short-run production. Watch this webinar to learn how Kinetic Vision uses the Altium 365 platform to enable a connected and frictionless PCB design experience, increasing their productivity 5 times even in the mid

Altium Designer interface
On-Demand Webinar
One-Stop Design Team Configuration

A heavy focus is usually put on managing your design data, but what about managing your design team? A mismanaged design team can lead to a disorganized and inaccurate design library and data. Watch this webinar to see how Altium 365 can help you to organize users into access restricted groups, manage design and designer access rights, avoid design conflicts when multiple members are working on the same design, and standardize your entire project using templates

SolidWorks interface
On-Demand Webinar
ECAD MCAD Capabilities For Today’s Most Demanding Designs

Working between the Electronic and Mechanical design domains brings unique challenges. ECAD and MCAD tools have different design objectives and have evolved down different paths, and so have the way they store and manage their design and project data. To successfully design these products, the designers must fluidly pass design changes back and forth between the ECAD and MCAD domains beyond outdated file exchanges.

Altium Designer Constraints Editor
On-Demand Webinar
Getting Started with Design Rules and Constraints

Getting started with design rules can sometimes be a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. Altium Designer has added a new design rules user interface along with a new way to define rules, while not compromising past methods. Now, rules and constraints have a design-centric view rather than a rules-centric view which allows for easier visualization and is less prone to error. Watch this video to learn how you can best utilize the improved Rules 2.0 design rule interface.

Altium Designer interface
On-Demand Webinar
ECAD-MCAD Collaboration for Improved Product Development

Working between the Electronic and Mechanical design domains brings unique challenges. ECAD and MCAD tools have different design objectives and have evolved down different paths, and so has the way they store and manage their design and project data. Watch this video to learn about seamless ECAD/MCAD Collaboration on the project, how to comments for other design teams and how to review, Approve or Reject design changes from your mechanical engineer.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
8 Reasons to Store Your Components in Altium 365

Working with local libraries seems like a simple solution, but we often don’t take into account the added time spent maintaining libraries and sharing them between team members. There is no good way to avoid duplicate efforts with component creation and no standardization to ensure consistent naming. Worst of all, there is no way to identify the latest component revision, and library files can be easily corrupted or misplaced. This webinar showcases the advantages of component storage in Аltium 365 to resolve the issues of local libraries and component management.

Webinar Preview
On-Demand Webinar
Group Editing Tools and Methods in Altium Designer Webinar

Do you ever have to edit a large group of objects on your design? Whether you are dealing with your schematic or PCB, this webinar will help you get acquainted with the main tools for group editing of objects in Altium Designer. You will also learn how to effectively apply group editing methods with filters and selection tools in different design scopes.

Share Designs and track changes easily
On-Demand Webinar
Using Version Control in Your PCB Project Webinar

Version control has been a staple of software development for decades, but hardware development can benefit just as much from a version control system (VCS). Traditionally, VCS has been managed locally tying you down to a workplace, but advances in cloud technology have removed that limitation. Learn how Altium 365 cloud technology enables working concurrently on designs with built-in version control and evaluate its advantages.

Webinar Preview
On-Demand Webinar
CoDesigner and MCAD Component Placement On-Demand Webinar

We design products not just PCBs requiring effective collaboration between MCAD and ECAD engineers. We need to consider how we can reduce the likelihood of errors when placing critical design components. Component placement in the context of enclosures can be easily handled in an MCAD environment while it is more difficult to achieve in the ECAD domain. Learn how to place components from the MCAD side and synchronize them with Altium Designer ECAD models, designators, and sourcing data to simplify your design process.

Simple Simulation in Altium Designer
On-Demand Webinar
SPICE Simulation Made Simple

SPICE simulation saves you critical time in the prototyping phase. Understanding your simulation interface makes it simple to analyze how your circuits work in different scenarios. Altium Designer provides an intuitive, dedicated interface to support your simulation verification, setup, and analysis directly in your schematic environment. You also benefit from growing support for popular model formats, as well as generic models, simplifying circuit definition and simulation.

On-Demand Webinar
Tips & Tricks: Board Shape Creation

Being able to design a board in your ECAD environment doesn’t mean that it is manufacturable in real life. You have to make sure your CAD representation won’t have any problems in the real world by taking some precautions. For example, there are certain areas that need to be free of components and have specified clearances like your board edge. This webinar will help you get acquainted with the creation and modification of your board shape so that you can ensure manufacturability.

Complex Design Made Easy Preview
On-Demand Webinar
Altium Designer® 21: A Better Way To Design

The design process often requires repetitive work with tedious tasks. Altium Designer 21 represents a better way to design by revitalizing long-standing functionality and improving the user experience, as well as performance and stability, based on the feedback from our users. These improvements streamline existing design tasks and empower you to complete sophisticated rigid and rigid-flex designs with realistic 3D modeling.

Printed tracks on PCB in Altium Designer
On-Demand Webinar
Printed Circuit Design in Altium Designer

Printed Electronics is emerging to become as common as 3D printing. With this fast-emerging technology, new possibilities have come into the manufacturing arena, allowing engineers and designers to develop products in markets never before realized. With the emergence of many contract manufacturers possessing this capability, the cost is competitive. Quick-turn prototypes and volume production are now all possibilities, and with Altium 365® you stay connected directly with your manufacturer throughout the design process.

Webinar preview
On-Demand Webinar
Using Output Job Files for Rapid, Repeatable PCB Manufacturing Data Generation

An OutJob is simply a pre-configured set of outputs. Each output is configured with its own settings and its own output format, for example, output to a file or to a printer. OutJobs are very flexible – they can include as many or as few outputs as required and any number of OutJobs can be included in a project. The best approach is to use one OutJob to configure all outputs required for each specific type of output being generated from the project.