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Embedded thumbnail for Polygon Connect Styles
Working with Polygons
Polygon Connect Styles

Define how vias and pads connect to polygons with a design rule. Customize the thermal relief width, number, and rotation as well as the air gap width.

Capacitive load termination
Blog
How to Impedance Match and Terminate Capacitive Loads

The idea of a purely capacitive load is something of a fallacy. Yes, capacitors exist, but all capacitors are non-ideal, and it is this deviation from a theoretical capacitance that determines how to impedance match a load that exhibits capacitive behavior. Let’s take a look at this important aspect of interconnect design and see what it really means to terminate a capacitive load.

Embedded thumbnail for Tools for Easily Selecting Objects in the PCB
How to work with Selection
Tools for Easily Selecting Objects in the PCB

Explore more than basic mouse movements by taking a look at the tools that Altium Designer has to offer for making selecting and moving objects in the PCB an easy task. This will increase your productivity and allow you to spend more time designing

Embedded thumbnail for Remove Unused Pad Shapes
Working with Polygons
Remove Unused Pad Shapes

Unused pad shapes create holes in your copper geometries. You can quickly examine all pads in the design to remove unused pad shapes and restore previously removed pads. 

Using Altium 365 Over Your Vanilla Version Control System
Blog
Using Altium 365 Over Your Vanilla Version Control System

There are all sorts of version control systems out there that people have been using with their PCB design software. As discussed in Why Use a Version Control System, we looked at different options ranging for local hard drive storage to sophisticated online revisioning systems. In this article we will be reviewing the differences between a standard VCS and Altium 365.

Why Use a Version Control System in PCB Design
Blog
Why Use a Version Control System in PCB Design

Version Control Systems (VCS) have been around for many decades within the software world but can be surprisingly new to some folks in the electronics design industry. This article will cover what a VCS is, what it does, and why you should be using one for your PCB design projects.

IPC 6012 Class 3 Annular Ring
Blog
Meeting Standards: IPC 6012 Class 3 Annular Ring

Designers often conflate leftover annular ring and pad sizes - they need to place a sufficiently large pad size on the surface layer to ensure that the annular ring that is leftover during fabrication will be large enough. As long as the annular ring is sufficiently large, the drill hit will not be considered defective and the board will have passed inspection. In this article, I'll discuss the limits on IPC-6012 Class 3 annular rings as these are a standard fabrication requirement for high-reliability rigid PCBs.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Work with The Polygon Manager
Working with Polygons
How to Work with The Polygon Manager

It is important to have a high-level view of all polygons on the PCB design. The Polygon Manager lets you rename polygons, set their pour order, perform re-pouring or disable pouring on selected polygons, add/scope the polygon connection style and clearance design rules, and add polygon classes for selected polygons.

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 Assigning Impedance Profiles for Differential Pairs
How to Work with Differential Pairs
Assigning Impedance Profiles for Differential Pairs

When you assign an impedance profile to a differential pair you open up several options for control over your routes. We'll show you how to do just that, as well as how to fix errors that may pop up and how to create classes for differential pairs based on assigned impedance profiles.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Highlight or Select Net Connections in the PCB
How-To's
How to Highlight or Select Net Connections in the PCB

We’ll show you how to highlight net selections so you can easily track where connections are made. We’ll show you how to hide and show nets, and how to use the view configuration and PCB panels to view and highlight nets across your design, and how to assign net colors in both the PCB and the schematic.

HDI PCB design and HDI PCB manufacturing process
Blog
Design Basics for HDI and the HDI PCB Manufacturing Process

As the world of technology has evolved, so has the need to pack more capabilities into smaller packages. PCBs designed using high-density interconnect techniques tend to be smaller as more components are packed in a smaller space. An HDI PCB uses blind, buried, and micro vias, vias in pads, and very thin traces to pack more components into a smaller area. We’ll show you the design basics for HDI and how Altium Designer® can help you create a powerful HDI PCB.

Embedded thumbnail for Remove Unused Via Pads
How to Design a BGA
Remove Unused Via Pads

The Remove Unused Pad Shapes tool in Altium Designer gives you control over the via pads in your design. We’ll show you how to use it to increase the usable area of power and ground polygons, increase the density of conductors between hole rows, and fixing incorrect connections.

All About PCB Test Points
Blog
Is It Printed or a Component? All About PCB Test Points

Test points in your electronic assembly will give you a location to access components and take important measurements to verify functionality. If you’ve never used a test point or you’re not sure if you need test points, keep reading to see what options you have for test point usage in your PCB layout.

Embedded thumbnail for Tent Vias under BGA
How to Design a BGA
Tent Vias under BGA

When via are located close to component pads some soldering issues can arise, but this can be fixed with Tented vias. We’ll show you how to manually tent vias and how to tent vias through the Design Rules.

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How to Work with 3D Mode
3D View Control

Learn how to use the 3D display mode of the PCB and learn to control the camera in this mode in this video

How to Design to a Differential Impedance Specification
Blog
How to Design to a Differential Impedance Specification

The concept and implementation of differential impedance are both sometimes misunderstood. In addition, the design of a channel to reach a specific differential impedance is often done in a haphazard way. The very concept of differential impedance is something of a mathematical construct that doesn’t fully capture the behavior of each signal in a differential trace. Keep reading to see a bit more depth on how to design to a differential impedance spec and exactly what it means for your design.

Embedded thumbnail for Via-in-Pad for BGA
How to Design a BGA
Via-in-Pad for BGA

We’ll teach you how to use Via-in-pad to reduce inductance, improve signal integrity, and improve power distribution system performance in BGA designs.

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How to Work with 3D Mode
Using 3D Component Body Features for Precise Component Creation

Learn to quickly and accurately place 3D models of components on their footprints

Tag
Pad and via sizing
Blog
PCB Via Size and Pad Size Guidelines

There are some aspects of PCB design and layout that seem deceptively simple, and yet they have a complex answer that is related to many important aspects of manufacturing. One of these design aspects is the match between PCB via size and pad size. Obviously, these two points are related; all vias have a landing pad that supports the via and provides a place to route traces into a via pad. However, there are some important sizing guidelines to follow when the matching pad and via sizes, and this match is an important element of DFM and reliability.

Differential Microstrip Impedance
Blog
Differential Microstrip Impedance Calculator

Are you looking for a free tool that you can use to calculate the impedance of differential microstrips? We created a simple tool you can use to calculate differential microstrip impedance for a given geometry and dielectric constant. If you’ve been looking for an accurate differential microstrip impedance calculator, then the calculator below is certainly one of the best free tools you’ll find on the internet before you start using field solvers to determine differential pair impedance.

PCB DFM Check
Blog
Getting Through a PCB DFM Check

In this article, we’ll discuss the key design features to implement, and steps to take prior to fabrication that will help prevent some common DFM problems. I’ll also provide examples of where I commonly see these PCB DFM problems in signal integrity circuits.

Spreading Inductance
Blog
What is Spreading Inductance?

If you’re working with a high-speed digital component, there are some simple power integrity rules that should be followed. However, there is one quantity that is sometimes ignored when building a PDN impedance simulation: the spreading inductance of your plane pair. Here are some points designers should know about the spreading inductance of a plane pair.

PCB Design Basics for New Designers
Blog
PCB Design Basics for New Designers

In this article, I’ll present some design basics that every new designer should follow to help ensure their design process is successful. Some of these points may challenge the conventional view of how circuit boards are constructed, but they are intended to help balance low noise signaling, manufacturability, and ease of solving a layout.

Selecting Materials for High Voltage PCB Design and Layout
Blog
Selecting Materials for High Voltage PCB Design and Layout

High voltage PCBs are subject to certain safety and reliability concerns that you won’t find in most other boards. If your fabrication house specializes in high voltage PCBs and keeps materials in stock, they can likely recommend a material set, as well as a standard stackup you might use for certain voltage ranges and frequencies. If you need to choose your own materials, follow the tips below to help you narrow down to the right material set.

Via tenting in PCB Layout
Blog
When to Use Tented Vias in Your PCB Layout

There are some guidelines I see many designers implement as a standard practice, often without thinking about it. Some of these practices are misunderstood or implemented without best practices. Others are implemented without thinking about the potential problems. One of these is the use of tented vias, which is sometimes implemented in a PCB layout by default. Is this always the right practice?

Capacitive load termination
Blog
How to Impedance Match and Terminate Capacitive Loads

The idea of a purely capacitive load is something of a fallacy. Yes, capacitors exist, but all capacitors are non-ideal, and it is this deviation from a theoretical capacitance that determines how to impedance match a load that exhibits capacitive behavior. Let’s take a look at this important aspect of interconnect design and see what it really means to terminate a capacitive load.

Using Altium 365 Over Your Vanilla Version Control System
Blog
Using Altium 365 Over Your Vanilla Version Control System

There are all sorts of version control systems out there that people have been using with their PCB design software. As discussed in Why Use a Version Control System, we looked at different options ranging for local hard drive storage to sophisticated online revisioning systems. In this article we will be reviewing the differences between a standard VCS and Altium 365.

Why Use a Version Control System in PCB Design
Blog
Why Use a Version Control System in PCB Design

Version Control Systems (VCS) have been around for many decades within the software world but can be surprisingly new to some folks in the electronics design industry. This article will cover what a VCS is, what it does, and why you should be using one for your PCB design projects.

IPC 6012 Class 3 Annular Ring
Blog
Meeting Standards: IPC 6012 Class 3 Annular Ring

Designers often conflate leftover annular ring and pad sizes - they need to place a sufficiently large pad size on the surface layer to ensure that the annular ring that is leftover during fabrication will be large enough. As long as the annular ring is sufficiently large, the drill hit will not be considered defective and the board will have passed inspection. In this article, I'll discuss the limits on IPC-6012 Class 3 annular rings as these are a standard fabrication requirement for high-reliability rigid PCBs.

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.

HDI PCB design and HDI PCB manufacturing process
Blog
Design Basics for HDI and the HDI PCB Manufacturing Process

As the world of technology has evolved, so has the need to pack more capabilities into smaller packages. PCBs designed using high-density interconnect techniques tend to be smaller as more components are packed in a smaller space. An HDI PCB uses blind, buried, and micro vias, vias in pads, and very thin traces to pack more components into a smaller area. We’ll show you the design basics for HDI and how Altium Designer® can help you create a powerful HDI PCB.

All About PCB Test Points
Blog
Is It Printed or a Component? All About PCB Test Points

Test points in your electronic assembly will give you a location to access components and take important measurements to verify functionality. If you’ve never used a test point or you’re not sure if you need test points, keep reading to see what options you have for test point usage in your PCB layout.

How to Design to a Differential Impedance Specification
Blog
How to Design to a Differential Impedance Specification

The concept and implementation of differential impedance are both sometimes misunderstood. In addition, the design of a channel to reach a specific differential impedance is often done in a haphazard way. The very concept of differential impedance is something of a mathematical construct that doesn’t fully capture the behavior of each signal in a differential trace. Keep reading to see a bit more depth on how to design to a differential impedance spec and exactly what it means for your design.

Tag
NEW
Embedded thumbnail for Design RF PCB: routing (any angle, arc)
RF PCB Design
Design RF PCB: routing (any angle, arc)

It is worth taking a responsible approach to the shape and size of the RF signal conductors. In this video we will cover some practical aspects of working with routing such nets in Altium Designer.

NEW
Embedded thumbnail for Component Placement in Rigid-flex PCB
Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
Component Placement in Rigid-flex PCB

With the MCAD CoDesigner you can quickly add and move components from your MCAD tool and update the design automatically in Altium Designer. We’ll show you how to add a new component, move components, change a component’s region in MCAD, and update your design in Altium Designer.

Embedded thumbnail for Transmission lines (coplanar)
RF PCB Design
Transmission lines (coplanar)

The boards use transmission lines to carry high-frequency signals. In addition to microstrip lines, coplanar transmission lines with a ground reference polygon are often found on boards. Coplanar transmission lines propagate the same wave type as microstrip transmission lines, but the electromagnetic field is more concentrated near the conductor, so coplanar lines have lower losses at high frequencies, less dispersion, and less interference to adjacent circuits.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Reuse Board Shapes in MCAD
Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
How to Reuse Board Shapes in MCAD

You can use the MCAD Co-designer panel to reuse your board shape or geometry in your PCB. We’ll show you how to use the MCAD Co-designer panel in Altium Designer and how to copy your board shape and geometry from your MCAD tool to Altium Designer.

Embedded thumbnail for Selection filter - Panel Properties and PCB
How to work with Selection
Selection filter - Panel Properties and PCB

Learn how to configure the types of selected objects using the Selection Filter. In addition, you will learn about the Post Selection Filter and its features.

Embedded thumbnail for PCB Origins During the ECAD MCAD Exchange
Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
PCB Origins During the ECAD MCAD Exchange

Origins can vary from your MCAD tool and Altium Designer. With the MCAD Co-Designer panel Altium Designer can keep track of your origin point and make sure your design changes are exchanged correctly.

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 Shaping the PCB in MCAD
Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
Shaping the PCB in MCAD

Through the MCAD Co-designer in Altium Designer, you can collaborate with a mechanical engineer to shape the PCB in your MCAD tool and keep it updated in Altium Designer. We’ll show you how in Altium Designer and in your MCAD tool.

Embedded thumbnail for Cross Select Mode
How to work with Selection
Cross Select Mode

Cross Select Mode is a unique tool that allows for cross-selection of objects between the schematic and PCB thanks to the Altium Unified platform. This makes it easy to look for specific components, as well as take advantage of component placement tools.

Embedded thumbnail for Polygon Pours
Working with Polygons
Polygon Pours

Polygon pours are used to create copper geometries on your board. You can prioritize polygon pour order, hide them to make it easier to work on your board, and repour them to resolve design rule conflicts.

Embedded thumbnail for Tools for Efficient Selection
How to work with Selection
Tools for Efficient Selection

Efficient selection tools can make a difference in how long and how clean your design can be. Learn how to utilize the Edit Select Menu tools in Altium Designer to take control over your layout.

Embedded thumbnail for Polygon Connect Styles
Working with Polygons
Polygon Connect Styles

Define how vias and pads connect to polygons with a design rule. Customize the thermal relief width, number, and rotation as well as the air gap width.

Embedded thumbnail for Tools for Easily Selecting Objects in the PCB
How to work with Selection
Tools for Easily Selecting Objects in the PCB

Explore more than basic mouse movements by taking a look at the tools that Altium Designer has to offer for making selecting and moving objects in the PCB an easy task. This will increase your productivity and allow you to spend more time designing

Embedded thumbnail for Remove Unused Pad Shapes
Working with Polygons
Remove Unused Pad Shapes

Unused pad shapes create holes in your copper geometries. You can quickly examine all pads in the design to remove unused pad shapes and restore previously removed pads. 

Embedded thumbnail for How to Work with The Polygon Manager
Working with Polygons
How to Work with The Polygon Manager

It is important to have a high-level view of all polygons on the PCB design. The Polygon Manager lets you rename polygons, set their pour order, perform re-pouring or disable pouring on selected polygons, add/scope the polygon connection style and clearance design rules, and add polygon classes for selected polygons.

Embedded thumbnail for Assigning Impedance Profiles for Differential Pairs
How to Work with Differential Pairs
Assigning Impedance Profiles for Differential Pairs

When you assign an impedance profile to a differential pair you open up several options for control over your routes. We'll show you how to do just that, as well as how to fix errors that may pop up and how to create classes for differential pairs based on assigned impedance profiles.

Tag
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. 

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
Best Practices: Efficient Use of Snapping in Altium Designer

Getting your PCB layout design done takes patience and precision. Complex footprint geometries, board shape, and dense component placement require accurate primitive positioning. Each stage of PCB design needs a different snapping configuration. Often your settings can be excellent for one stage and be unfavorable for another. Learn more about different snapping usage patterns and best practices of efficient snappings.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
PCB Design in Altium Designer with Differential Data Transfer

Differential data transmission lines usage can be challenging for even experienced designers. First you need to be familiar with the concepts of differential data transmission, find out why it is used, and what the potential advantage for your signal. This webinar will help you determine what part of your designs need differential pairs implementations and how to create such pairs with a given wave impedance in Altium Designer.

On-Demand Webinar
Communicating Design Intent with Manufacturing Outputs

No one wants to do a board respin because of inaccurate or incomplete manufacturing outputs confusing design intent. This webinar covers the information needed for PCB Manufacturing and Assembly, as well as, a simple way to communicate and collaborate with manufacturing.

On-Demand Webinar
Intelligent Supply Chain Webinar

Many factors can affect your supply chain. Currently, supply disruptions are being felt due to the effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic. In this webinar, learn how Concord Pro on Altium 365 can mitigate disruptions in your supply chain and help you stay on schedule and budget for your designs.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
Editing Your PCB Geometry with MCAD Tools Webinar

You need to define your PCB geometry in the context of your enclosure. If your board cannot physically be assembled into the final product, it doesn't matter how well laid out it is electrically. This webinar focuses on how the MCAD CoDesigner allows you to edit your PCB in the context of a higher-level assembly, allowing you to respect the relevant mechanical constraints.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
Editing Your PCB Geometry with MCAD Tools

You need to define your PCB geometry in the context of your enclosure. If your board cannot physically be assembled into the final product, it doesn't matter how well laid out it is electrically.

This webinar focuses on how the MCAD CoDesigner allows you to edit your PCB in the context of a higher-level assembly, allowing you to respect the relevant mechanical constraints.