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News & Updates
We are happy to announce that the Altium Designer 22.8 update is now available. Altium Designer 22.8 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!
In this article, we’ll look at beamforming implementation in an advanced method combining analog and digital techniques, known as hybrid beamforming. This method blends both digital and analog techniques to create multiple beams and thus reach multiple users with varying intensities. In the case of an RF imaging system or a radar system, hybrid beamforming in a MIMO technique also allows tracking of multiple targets with adjustable resolution.
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.
The problem with every via impedance calculator that I have seen is simple: they are incomplete or totally wrong. The “incomplete” part refers to a lack of context; these calculators can roughly reproduce a well-known estimate from a legend like Howard Johnson in his Digital Design textbooks. However, these calculators never provide insight into what they are actually calculating, or where the calculated via impedance is accurate. Keep reading to see why these calculators get it so wrong, as well as the context surrounding via impedance.
When designing high power circuits (usually very high voltage and/or current), you’ll need to create a regulator from scratch and place it in your PCB layout. It's also the case that you may want to model a real component using discretes in a simulation in order to qualify the system's expected operating regime. As part of buck converter design, you can easily run a buck converter simulation directly in Altium Designer’s schematic editor. Here’s how you can access these features in the newest version of Altium Designer.
Just as you get used to PCIe 5.0, they decide to release another standard! The newest iteration of PCIe is Gen6, or PCIe 6.0. PCIe 6.0 brings a doubling of channel bandwidth through introduction of PAM-4 as the signaling method in high-speed differential channels. This signaling method is a first for PCIe, and it’s an important enabler of the doubled data rate we see in the current standard. In this article, I’ll run over the important points in the standard and what PCB designers can expect when designing these channels.
One of the common implementations of SPI and I2C in a PCB layout is as a protocol for reading and writing to an external Flash memory. Flash chips are a very common component in embedded systems and can offer high capacities of non-volatile memory up to Gb values. When choosing a memory chip, you'll want to match the application requirements and functionality with the bus speed you need for read and write operations in your memory chip. There is also the matter of the type of Flash memory you'll need to access (NOR vs. NAND).
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.
There is no SPI trace impedance requirement? The reality is that SPI lines only start to need impedance control when the length of the interconnect becomes very long. And because there is no specific impedance requirement in the bus, you have some freedom in channel design and termination. So what exactly qualifies as “very long” and when is some termination method needed? We’ll break it down in this article.
During this year's AltiumLive CONNECT event, I recall receiving an interesting question about the skin effect and the distribution of current due to the presence of ground in coplanar transmission lines. In this article, we'll look at the electric field around a transmission line carrying a signal, and how this might be impacted by the skin effect.
When you get your PCBA back from an assembler, you’ll notice the packaging materials used to pack and ship the PCBA. Those materials are specific to electronics, and if you build products on behalf of clients, it’s important to know the packaging materials used for packing and shipping electronics. In this article I’ll show the main set of materials and equipment used to package electronics assemblies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.