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Can You Fix a Warped PCB?
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Can You Fix a Warped PCB?

Before we get too deep into this article, I’ll give you the simple answer. You probably can’t fix warping in your PCB after it’s already been fabricated. You can prevent an unwarped board from becoming warped during assembly, but only as long as materials were selected properly and the board is put into reflow correctly. We’ll run over some of these points in this article, and I’ll examine some points that might help you recover a warped board.

Embedded thumbnail for A365 Getting Started: Gerber Compare
Getting Started with A365
A365 Getting Started: Gerber Compare

The task of comparing different versions of manufacturing files usually arises when the electrical engineer needs to check and confirm the manufacturer's edits or clarify details of changes before starting production. In Altium 365 you can perform an automatic comparison of Gerber files. 

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How to work with Multiboard
Resolving Conflicts in Multi-board Schematics

When mismatched pin names in your multi-board schematic cause disconnects and conflicts you can use Altium Designer’s tools to resolve these conflicts. We’ll show you the Connection Manager and the various solutions to solve your connection issues.

What is an Eye Diagram?
Blog
What is an Eye Diagram?

The eye diagram is a useful measurement or simulation as part of channel compliance. The measurement shows many different factors that can affect signal behavior simultaneously, ultimately allowing for qualification of errors and losses in a channel. In this article, I’ll run over some of the fundamental measurements that you could manually extract from an eye diagram and how they reveal some strategies for improving channel designs.

High-Speed Design
On-Demand Webinar
Fundamentals of High-Speed Design

This track is for the designer who is new to high-speed layout and routing practices and wants to understand how they relate to signal integrity, and how to get started designing for high-speed digital applications.

Skills for Today's PCB Designers
Blog
What Skills Are Needed to be a PCB Layout Designer?

To readers who have been working in the PCB industry for most of your career, you have probably seen a very diverse group of professionals with varied skill sets and backgrounds. Designers might get started as engineers or as technicians, and some designers learn how to create beautiful PCB layouts in university. No matter how you got into PCB design, there are some important skills to know that will take you a long way towards advancing your career.

Embedded thumbnail for A365 Getting Started: Schematic Compare
Getting Started with A365
A365 Getting Started: Schematic Compare

The schematic sheets in a project are subject to change over time, and sometimes it may be necessary to compare several different versions and detect differences between them. In Altium Designer you can easily perform an automatic comparison of any revisions of schematic documents. 

Embedded thumbnail for Draftsman Document Board Assembly View
How to Work with Draftsman
Draftsman Document Board Assembly View

The Draftsman Document can include a Board Assembly View. We’ll show you how to add it and the properties you can change to create the exact view or views you need.

How to Fix the Top PCB Design Mistakes
Blog
Beginner PCB Design Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

When starting out with PCB design, it’s common to treat the process as simply ‘connecting the dots’: as long as connections are made, it’s not particularly important how these connections are made. Having reviewed quite a number of PCBs of other PCB design engineers over the last few years, there are common, unfortunately erroneous, occurrences between a lot of them. This article aims to illustrate the top five beginner PCB design mistakes and what we can do to avoid making them. Let’s get started!

Embedded thumbnail for A365 Getting Started: Migrate to Altium 365 from other VCS
Getting Started with A365
A365 Getting Started: Migrate to Altium 365 from other VCS

The development of electronic devices always involves the release of many different types of files. And these files are not static - they change as the project progresses. Traditionally, one way to manage data is to use a version control system such as Git or SVN. Unlike other VCSs, Altium 365 is the system designed specifically for managing project data.

Top 5 Questions Regarding Stack Up
Blog
SAP (Semi-Additive PCB Process) – Top 5 Questions Regarding Stack Up

As the PCB design community embraces the benefits of this new printed circuit board fabrication technique, there are of course many questions to be answered.  Today’s blog will address some of the most commonly asked questions related to circuit layer stack up as people are introduced to this new technology.

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How to Work with Classes
How to work with Component Classes?

Modern printed circuit boards can contain a large number of components, which makes them difficult to work with. In this video we will show what component classes can be on a PCB, how to create custom component classes and how they can be useful for us. 

Embedded thumbnail for Placing Connections Between Boards
How to work with Multiboard
Placing Connections Between Boards

A multi-board design requires relationships between several board designs referred to as interboard connections. We’ll show you the different types of connections and how to connect your boards using the proper connection type.

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.

Design Reuse Blocks Update
Blog
Altium Designer 22.9 Update

We are happy to announce that the Altium Designer 22.9 update is now available. Altium Designer 22.9 continues to focus on improving the user experience, as well as performance and stability of the software, based on feedback from our users. Check out the key new features in the What's New section on the left side of this window!

Dual Rail Voltage Supply
Blog
Dual Rail Voltage Supply

The highest performing operational amplifiers often need a split supply with positive and negative voltages connected to the op amps supply rails. In this project, we’re going to be building a positive/negative dual rail power supply for a differential oscilloscope probe I’m designing. I’m making the power supply a separate project, as a dual rail supply is quite useful to have, and I’m sure I’ll find multiple uses for it in the future.

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How-To's
Show the Net Connections Between Select Components

This video demonstrates how to show net-specific component connections. This is helpful when routing as you’re able to reduce clutter and focus on the connections on which you are working.

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How to Work with Draftsman
Draftsman Editor Settings

In this video we’ll go over the Draftsman editor settings and properties so you know how to set up the editor to be exactly what you need.

Library Importer Interface
Blog
Library Importer Improvements (former Library Migrator)

Importing file-based libraries from your local computer or network drive to your Altium 365 workspace can be done using the Library Importer. Altium’s Library Migrator was renamed Library Importer—the feature’s name was changed to conform more closely to the tool’s purpose. Not only is its name new, but our team has also made several user experience improvements. We have updated the documentation to reflect this change.

Blog
How to Select Copper Foil for High-Frequency PCB Design

The PCB materials industry has spent significant amounts of time developing materials that provide lowest possible signal loss for products with RF applications. For high speed and high frequency designs, losses will limit signal propagation distance and distort signals, and it will create an impedance deviation that can be seen in TDR measurements. In this article, we'll look at the balance between copper foil losses and other types of losses in a PCB, as well as some strategies that are commonly used to overcome roughness.

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NEW
IPC - Vias
Blog
IPC - Vias

Via protection is an important part of modern PCB design. It provides additional benefits in PCB manufacturing and assembly, increasing the number of acceptable products.

Power Integrity Analysis in Your PCB Design Software
Blog
Power Integrity Analysis in Your PCB Design Software

Power integrity problems can abound in modern PCBs, especially high-speed boards that run with fast edge rates. These systems require precise design of the PDN impedance to ensure stable power is always delivered throughout the system.

Schematic Compare
Blog
Schematic Compare

A design project doesn’t appear out of nowhere. The design process spreads over time, and project documents change. Schematic documents gradually become more complex, new functional blocks appear, and already finished parts can be modified and updated.

Embedded Capacitance Materials Overview
Blog
Embedded Capacitance Materials Overview

Capacitance is your friend whenever you need stable power integrity, which is why there is so much focus on decoupling capacitors. While these components are important and they can be used to provide targeted power integrity solutions to certain components, there is one specialty material used to supercharge capacitance in your PCB stackup or package substrate. 

How To Import Libraries and Manage Components With Altium 365
Blog
How To Import Libraries and Manage Components With Altium 365

The problems you can experience with components and libraries are endless. These problems are the most significant source of design issues and the biggest reason behind respins, costing companies untold amounts of lost profit annually.
If you want to have a better understanding of how to use Altium 365 to maintain a strong and centralized library that is free of problems and headaches, you may want to consider attending this lecture.

The High-Speed PCB Stackup Design Challenge
Blog
The High-Speed PCB Stackup Design Challenge

As much as we would like to build every high speed PCB perfectly, with ideal SI/PI/EMI characteristics, it isn’t always possible due to many practical constraints. Sometimes a stackup can be “good enough,” even for a high-speed PCB. This always comes from the need to balance engineering constraints, functional requirements, and the need to ensure signal and power integrity in a high-speed design, and finally to ensure compliance with EMC requirements.

How I Improved My Collaboration Efficiency with Altium 365
Blog
How I Improved My Collaboration Efficiency with Altium 365

Involving the whole team that will bring a product to completion early on in the development cycle is vital to efficient development. Design reviews with all the relevant parties are critical at each step of the design process, starting with high-level component selection, then through the schematic capture and PCB layout stages. 

Countersink and Counterbore
Blog
Countersink and Counterbore

Ergonomics and convenience are important issues when designing a printed circuit board and the device as a whole. A lot of Altium Designer tools are aimed at solving them. These include Countersink and Counterbore holes, which allow the use of various types of screws in the mounting holes of the board.

Migrating Data From Other Version Control Systems
Blog
Migrating Data From Other Version Control Systems

The development of electronic devices always involves the release of many different types of files. And these files are not static - they change as the project progresses. When filling a project with data, a user creates new files, modifies outdated files that have become irrelevant. Managing project data is a separate task, especially for large developments where several participants with different specializations are involved in the process.

Properties Panel Tuning
Blog
Properties Panel Tuning

High-speed PCBs often require tuning groups of tracks, both single and differential. Altium Designer includes powerful tools that allow you to solve such tasks quickly and with high quality. Study this document and achieve the desired result even faster.

Reflectionless Matching vs. Conjugate Matching: An Apparent Contradiction
Blog
Reflectionless Matching vs. Conjugate Matching: An Apparent Contradiction

There is one confusion related to impedance matching that comes up again and again, and it appears to be a fundamental confusion between reflection and power delivery. This leads to an apparent contradiction that arises when we try to generalize power delivery to wave reflection, despite the fact that the two were not meant to be related.

Properties Panel Routing
Blog
Properties Panel Routing

Routing is one of the most time-consuming stages of PCB design. Altium Designer has a large set of tools that allow you to do it as accurately and quickly as possible. This document will help you to learn how to manage your routing effectively and use it to its fullest extent.

Quarter-Wave Transformer Design For Real and Reactive Loads
Blog
Quarter-Wave Transformer Design For Real and Reactive Loads

RF systems operate with specific impedance values across entire interconnects, including on PCBs. Not all RF components are packaged in integrated circuits with defined impedances, so impedance matching circuits and line sections are needed to ensure signal transmission between different sections of an interconnect. One of these impedance matching techniques is the quarter-wave impedance transformer, which can be implemented as a printed trace with specific impedance.

Schematic
Blog
Altium Designer 22.10 Update

We are happy to announce that the Altium Designer 22.10 update is now available. Altium Designer 22.10 continues to focus on improving the user experience, as well as performance and stability of the software, based on feedback from our users. Check out the key new features in the What's New section on the left side of this window!

Component Warpage Causes in a PCB
Blog
Component Warpage Causes in a PCB

A staff member at a PCB manufacturer once explained to me that they thought we were having an issue with a package warping. Unfortunately, component warping can occur both in a PCB and in components. In this article, we'll give an overview of warpage in a PCB, specifically in the circuit board and in the components.

Link Budget Calculator
Blog
RF Signal Chain and Link Budget Basics

If you're designing a wireless IoT device, and you know how to calculate the link budget, you can reasonably estimate whether your signal will reach its destination and be read by the receiver. To calculate the link budget, the designer needs to know something about all other sources of gain and loss in the system. Once link budget is determined, the designer can judge whether some modification is needed in their RF signal chain. 

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Embedded thumbnail for Altium 365 - Design Collaboration | Tasks
Getting Started with A365
Altium 365 - Design Collaboration | Tasks

The Tasks feature brings lightweight task tracking to further enhance design collaboration in Altium 365. With Tasks, you will never lose an important action item and easily gain a high-level view of the state of your project, all without leaving your design environment. 

Embedded thumbnail for Adding Additional Views in a Draftsman Document
How to Work with Draftsman
Adding Additional Views in a Draftsman Document

If you need additional views in your documentation, Altium Designer’s Draftsman Document editor can help. We’ll show you how to add and configure different views including the component view, the section view, the detail view, the isometric view, variants, the legend for the layer stack, the board region view, and the board realistic view.

Embedded thumbnail for Draftsman Document Views - Fabrication and Drill Drawings
How to Work with Draftsman
Draftsman Document Views - Fabrication and Drill Drawings

The Draftsman Document Editor allows you to add a fabrication view and a drill drawing view to your outjob files. We’ll show you how to get them set up and details you can control from the properties panel.

Embedded thumbnail for Altium 365 - Version Control | Project History
Getting Started with A365
Altium 365 - Version Control | Project History

Project History in a Nutshell: - Presents events in a chronological timeline (Creation, Commits, Releases, Clones, and MCAD Exchanges) - Auto-generates Differences Summary to view the differing entities (e.g., replaced components) - Even a non-expert can act on a revision (Download, View, Revert)

Embedded thumbnail for A365 Getting Started: Gerber Compare
Getting Started with A365
A365 Getting Started: Gerber Compare

The task of comparing different versions of manufacturing files usually arises when the electrical engineer needs to check and confirm the manufacturer's edits or clarify details of changes before starting production. In Altium 365 you can perform an automatic comparison of Gerber files. 

Embedded thumbnail for Resolving Conflicts in Multi-board Schematics
How to work with Multiboard
Resolving Conflicts in Multi-board Schematics

When mismatched pin names in your multi-board schematic cause disconnects and conflicts you can use Altium Designer’s tools to resolve these conflicts. We’ll show you the Connection Manager and the various solutions to solve your connection issues.

Embedded thumbnail for A365 Getting Started: Schematic Compare
Getting Started with A365
A365 Getting Started: Schematic Compare

The schematic sheets in a project are subject to change over time, and sometimes it may be necessary to compare several different versions and detect differences between them. In Altium Designer you can easily perform an automatic comparison of any revisions of schematic documents. 

Embedded thumbnail for Draftsman Document Board Assembly View
How to Work with Draftsman
Draftsman Document Board Assembly View

The Draftsman Document can include a Board Assembly View. We’ll show you how to add it and the properties you can change to create the exact view or views you need.

Embedded thumbnail for A365 Getting Started: Migrate to Altium 365 from other VCS
Getting Started with A365
A365 Getting Started: Migrate to Altium 365 from other VCS

The development of electronic devices always involves the release of many different types of files. And these files are not static - they change as the project progresses. Traditionally, one way to manage data is to use a version control system such as Git or SVN. Unlike other VCSs, Altium 365 is the system designed specifically for managing project data.

Embedded thumbnail for How to work with Component Classes?
How to Work with Classes
How to work with Component Classes?

Modern printed circuit boards can contain a large number of components, which makes them difficult to work with. In this video we will show what component classes can be on a PCB, how to create custom component classes and how they can be useful for us. 

Embedded thumbnail for Placing Connections Between Boards
How to work with Multiboard
Placing Connections Between Boards

A multi-board design requires relationships between several board designs referred to as interboard connections. We’ll show you the different types of connections and how to connect your boards using the proper connection type.

Embedded thumbnail for Show the Net Connections Between Select Components
How-To's
Show the Net Connections Between Select Components

This video demonstrates how to show net-specific component connections. This is helpful when routing as you’re able to reduce clutter and focus on the connections on which you are working.

Embedded thumbnail for Draftsman Editor Settings
How to Work with Draftsman
Draftsman Editor Settings

In this video we’ll go over the Draftsman editor settings and properties so you know how to set up the editor to be exactly what you need.

Embedded thumbnail for Assuring Your Board Is Large Enough to House All Components
How-To's
Assuring Your Board Is Large Enough to House All Components

This video covers how to make sure your board is big enough to house all your components.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Create an Interactive PDF of a Schematic Diagram
How-To's
How to Create an Interactive PDF of a Schematic Diagram

This video shows how to create an interactive PDF using the Smart PDF Wizard.

Embedded thumbnail for What is the Draftsman Document?
How to Work with Draftsman
What is the Draftsman Document?

Once your PCB layout is finished it’s time for review. This is where the Draftsman Document and Altium Designer’s Draftsman Editor comes in.

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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.

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.

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.

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.