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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.

NEW
PCB Layout for an BGA
Blog
How to Start an FPGA PCB Layout For Your Embedded System

FPGAs come in quad or BGA packages that can be difficult to floorplan, especially with the high number of I/Os often implemented in these components. FPGAs offer a lot of advantages in terms of their reconfigurability, but they can require a lot of effort to layout and route without headaches. If you’ve never worked with an FPGA in your PCB layout, we have some guidelines that can help you get started.

NEW
Embedded thumbnail for How to Create a Copper Board Report
How-To's
How to Create a Copper Board Report

This video will show how to create a copper board report in your PCB which can be useful for copper balance in DFM process

Embedded thumbnail for Stackup Creation and editing
How to work with Layer Stack Manager
Stackup Creation and editing

This video shows how to view and edit the PCB Layer Stack, select materials and add new layers

2-port VNA on a 3-port Network
Blog
How to Get 3-port S-parameters From a 2-port VNA Measurement

S-parameters are fundamental quantities in signal integrity, and an ability to understand them from measurement or analysis is very important. If you have a 3-port network, like a power divider or circulator, it may appear that you must use a 3-port VNA to measure these S-parameters. It is always acceptable to measure between two ports, but you need to know what exactly it is you are measuring. In this article, we’ll look at the relationship between the true 3-port S-parameters with a 2-port measurement.

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How to create a PCB Footprint
Configuring Your PCB Library

It is important to have accurate footprints to manufacture your PCB. Learn how to configure your PCB library to facilitate footprint creation.

Fab and Assembly Crash Course
Blog
A Day in the Life of the PCB Manufacturing Process

Before implementing design for manufacturing, it is important to understand the underlying process behind producing a physical PCB. Regardless of the various technologies present in each facility, a large majority of industry-leading manufacturers follow a specific set of steps to turn your design from a drawing in a CAD application into a physical board. In this article, we'll cover the basics that designers need to know as part of our crash course series on PCB manufacturing.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Validate Links Between Components and Footprints
How-To's
How to Validate Links Between Components and Footprints

Before importing or updating data from the circuit to the board, you must first verify that all components of the circuit are associated with Footprint. Watch this video to learn how to validate the links between your schematic components and footprints.

Embedded thumbnail for How to use Copy Room Format
How to work with Rooms
How to use Copy Room Format

Rooms allow you to use rules on specific areas of your design. This helps immensely with properly defining trace widths and hole sizes for specific components. We’ll show you how easy it is to assign rules to specific rooms in the PCB.

What Are the Main Skew Sources in a PCB?
Blog
Addressing Skew Sources in High Speed PCBs

If you compile a list of skew sources, you'll see that fiber weave-induced skew is only one entry on a long list of skew sources. We'll look at this list of possible skew sources below, and we'll see how they affect the operation of your PCB. From the list below, we'll see that some of these issues with skew are not simply solved by paying attention to the fiber weave construction in a PCB substrate.

Advanced Topics in High-Speed Design
On-Demand Webinar
Advanced Topics in High-Speed Design

This track is for the engineer who understands high-speed design requirements and wants to learn design practices to help ensure signal integrity and EMC with fast digital protocols, mixed-signal boards, and high layer counts.

Ground Below SMPS Inductors
Blog
Should Ground Be Placed Below Inductors in Switching Regulators?

We love answering questions from our readers and YouTube viewers, and one of the recent questions we received relates to EMI from switching elements in a switching regulator is "Should a cutout be placed below the inductor in a switching regulator circuit?". Despite the variations in inductors and their magnetic behavior, there are some general principles that can be used to judge the effects of placing ground near inductors in switching regulator circuits. We’ll look at some of these principles in this article

Embedded thumbnail for How To Do Versioning And Releases by Robert Feranec and Michal Faruga
Discovering Altium 365
How To Do Versioning And Releases by Robert Feranec and Michal Faruga

Meet Robert Feranec in an educational video on version control, project history, comments, comparison and other features in Altium Designer 

Alternative Pins
Blog
Altium Designer 22.6 Update

We are happy to announce that the Altium Designer 22.6 update is now available. Altium Designer 22.6 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!

Embedded thumbnail for Using Rooms in Rules
How to work with Rooms
Using Rooms in Rules

Rooms allow you to use rules on specific areas of your design. This helps immensely with properly defining trace widths and hole sizes for specific components. We’ll show you how easy it is to assign rules to specific rooms in the PCB.

What’s New in Altium 365
On-Demand Webinar
What’s New in Altium 365

Now you can assess your library’s health at a glance with the Library Health dashboard, view and share your bill of materials (BOM) and view and download PDF documents, all in your web browser. We improved the existing diff and compare features, and released a new version of MCAD CoDesigner. Register for the webinar to learn more!

Embedded thumbnail for Creating a Schematic Symbol: Dealing with Power Pins
How to create a Schematic Symbol
Creating a Schematic Symbol: Dealing with Power Pins

Multiple schematic symbols often require the use of multiple power and ground pins. We’ll show you the difference between hidden and visible power pins, and the various methods you can use to use them in your design however it works best for you.

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

This Semi-Additive Process is an additional tool in the PCB fabricators' toolbox that enables them to provide feature sizes for trace width and spacing that are 25 microns, (1 mil) and below depending on the fabricators' imaging equipment. This provides much more flexibility to breakout out tight BGA areas and the ability to shrink overall circuit size and/ or reduce the number of circuit layers in the design. 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.

Embedded thumbnail for Allowing Permanent Display of Some Layers
How-To's
Allowing Permanent Display of Some Layers

This video demonstrates how to permanently display some layers in the PCB using the View configuration panel.

Tag
NEW
PCB Layout for an BGA
Blog
How to Start an FPGA PCB Layout For Your Embedded System

FPGAs come in quad or BGA packages that can be difficult to floorplan, especially with the high number of I/Os often implemented in these components. FPGAs offer a lot of advantages in terms of their reconfigurability, but they can require a lot of effort to layout and route without headaches. If you’ve never worked with an FPGA in your PCB layout, we have some guidelines that can help you get started.

2-port VNA on a 3-port Network
Blog
How to Get 3-port S-parameters From a 2-port VNA Measurement

S-parameters are fundamental quantities in signal integrity, and an ability to understand them from measurement or analysis is very important. If you have a 3-port network, like a power divider or circulator, it may appear that you must use a 3-port VNA to measure these S-parameters. It is always acceptable to measure between two ports, but you need to know what exactly it is you are measuring. In this article, we’ll look at the relationship between the true 3-port S-parameters with a 2-port measurement.

Fab and Assembly Crash Course
Blog
A Day in the Life of the PCB Manufacturing Process

Before implementing design for manufacturing, it is important to understand the underlying process behind producing a physical PCB. Regardless of the various technologies present in each facility, a large majority of industry-leading manufacturers follow a specific set of steps to turn your design from a drawing in a CAD application into a physical board. In this article, we'll cover the basics that designers need to know as part of our crash course series on PCB manufacturing.

What Are the Main Skew Sources in a PCB?
Blog
Addressing Skew Sources in High Speed PCBs

If you compile a list of skew sources, you'll see that fiber weave-induced skew is only one entry on a long list of skew sources. We'll look at this list of possible skew sources below, and we'll see how they affect the operation of your PCB. From the list below, we'll see that some of these issues with skew are not simply solved by paying attention to the fiber weave construction in a PCB substrate.

Ground Below SMPS Inductors
Blog
Should Ground Be Placed Below Inductors in Switching Regulators?

We love answering questions from our readers and YouTube viewers, and one of the recent questions we received relates to EMI from switching elements in a switching regulator is "Should a cutout be placed below the inductor in a switching regulator circuit?". Despite the variations in inductors and their magnetic behavior, there are some general principles that can be used to judge the effects of placing ground near inductors in switching regulator circuits. We’ll look at some of these principles in this article

Alternative Pins
Blog
Altium Designer 22.6 Update

We are happy to announce that the Altium Designer 22.6 update is now available. Altium Designer 22.6 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!

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

This Semi-Additive Process is an additional tool in the PCB fabricators' toolbox that enables them to provide feature sizes for trace width and spacing that are 25 microns, (1 mil) and below depending on the fabricators' imaging equipment. This provides much more flexibility to breakout out tight BGA areas and the ability to shrink overall circuit size and/ or reduce the number of circuit layers in the design. 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.

Three ways to manage your BOM costs
Blog
Improving Supply Chain Success with BOM Management

It’s no secret that component shortages have become more frequent this year. In fact, countries around the world are losing billions in revenue due to supply issues. Having the right components on hand is more crucial than ever as availability, obsolescence, counterfeit products and environmental non-compliance risks continue to grow. Fortunately, many shortages can be avoided by introducing proactive supply chain practices.

Length Tuning Impedance
Blog
What is the Impedance of Length-Tuning Structures?

Do length-tuning structures create an impedance discontinuity? The answer is an unequivocal “yes”, but it might not matter in your design depending on several factors. Applying a length-tuning structure is equivalent to changing the distance between the traces while meandering. Therefore, you will have a change in the odd-mode impedance of a single trace. The question then becomes: does this deviation in trace impedance in a length tuning structure matter?

Designing the Next-Generation Electronics
Blog
A-SAP™ – What do you need to know?

The continued miniaturization of both packaging and component size in next-generation electronics is becoming harder and harder to work around and presents a significant challenge for both PCB designers and PCB fabricators. To effectively navigate the constraints of the traditional subtractive-etch PCB fabrication processes, PCB designs require advanced PCB fabrication capabilities while pushing the limits of finer feature size, higher layer counts, multiple levels of stacked micro vias and increased lamination cycles.

Pin-package and Via Delay Values
Blog
Pin-Package Delay and Via Delay in High Speed Length Tuning

Take a look at the inside of some integrated circuit packages, and you’ll find a number of wires bonded to the semiconductor die and the pads at the edge of the component's package. As a signal traverses makes its way along an interconnect and into a destination circuit, signals need to travel across these bond wires and pads before they are interpreted as a logic state. As you look around the edge of an IC, these bond wires can have different lengths, and they incur different levels of delay and contribute to total jitter.

6-Layer PCB Design
Blog
6-Layer PCB Design Guidelines

Once you’ve run out of room on your 4-layer PCB, it’s time to graduate to a 6-layer board. The additional layer can give you room for more signals, an additional plane pair, or a mix of conductors. How you use these extra layers is less important than how you arrange them in the PCB stackup, as well as how you route on a 6-layer PCB. If you’ve never used a 6-layer board before, or you’ve had EMI troubles with this stackup that are difficult to solve, keep reading to see some 6-layer PCB design guidelines and best practices.

Altium Designer Interface
Blog
Altium Designer 22.5 Update

We are happy to announce that the Altium Designer 22.5 update is now available. Altium Designer 22.5 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!

Are Hybrid PCB Stackups Reliable?
Blog
How Reliable is Your Hybrid PCB Stackup?

PCB stackups often incorporate slightly dissimilar materials that could pose a reliability problem. Hybrid PCBs are one case where the PCB stackup will include different materials, typically a standard FR4 laminate and a PTFE laminate for RF PCBs. Designers who want to take the lead on material selection when designing their hybrid stackups should consider these factors that affect reliability. As with any PCB stackup, make sure you get your fabricator involved in the manufacturing process early to ensure reliability problems do not arise during production.

Monte Carlo vs Sensitivity Analysis
Blog
Monte Carlo Simulation vs. Sensitivity Analysis: What’s the Difference?

In a previous article about circuit simulation and reliability, I looked at how Monte Carlo analysis is commonly used to evaluate circuits that are subject to random variations in component values. Sensitivity analysis is a bit different and it tells you how the operating characteristics of your circuit change in a specific direction. Compared to a Monte Carlo simulation, sensitivity analysis gives you a convenient way to predict exactly how the operating characteristics will change if you were to deliberately increase or decrease the value of a component.

Tag
NEW
Embedded thumbnail for How to Create a Copper Board Report
How-To's
How to Create a Copper Board Report

This video will show how to create a copper board report in your PCB which can be useful for copper balance in DFM process

Embedded thumbnail for Stackup Creation and editing
How to work with Layer Stack Manager
Stackup Creation and editing

This video shows how to view and edit the PCB Layer Stack, select materials and add new layers

Embedded thumbnail for Configuring Your PCB Library
How to create a PCB Footprint
Configuring Your PCB Library

It is important to have accurate footprints to manufacture your PCB. Learn how to configure your PCB library to facilitate footprint creation.

Global parameters
What's New in 22.6
Quick Browsing of Parameters for a Board

Parametric information for your board is now conveniently available from the Properties panel. A single, convenient location with which to browse system, calculated and user-defined parameters, and place as needed in the form of special strings.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Validate Links Between Components and Footprints
How-To's
How to Validate Links Between Components and Footprints

Before importing or updating data from the circuit to the board, you must first verify that all components of the circuit are associated with Footprint. Watch this video to learn how to validate the links between your schematic components and footprints.

Embedded thumbnail for How to use Copy Room Format
How to work with Rooms
How to use Copy Room Format

Rooms allow you to use rules on specific areas of your design. This helps immensely with properly defining trace widths and hole sizes for specific components. We’ll show you how easy it is to assign rules to specific rooms in the PCB.

Embedded thumbnail for How To Do Versioning And Releases by Robert Feranec and Michal Faruga
Discovering Altium 365
How To Do Versioning And Releases by Robert Feranec and Michal Faruga

Meet Robert Feranec in an educational video on version control, project history, comments, comparison and other features in Altium Designer 

Active Links in Text
What's New in 22.6
Active Links in Text

You can now specify active links to components and nets within a text frame object on a schematic. This handy navigation aid makes it much easier not only to read the document, but also to work with it.

Multifunctional Pins
What's New in 22.6
Multifunctional pins

You will often see that modern ICs consist of multi-functional pins. In this latest version of Altium Designer it has become far easier and much more convenient to work with such components.

Embedded thumbnail for Using Rooms in Rules
How to work with Rooms
Using Rooms in Rules

Rooms allow you to use rules on specific areas of your design. This helps immensely with properly defining trace widths and hole sizes for specific components. We’ll show you how easy it is to assign rules to specific rooms in the PCB.

Embedded thumbnail for Creating a Schematic Symbol: Dealing with Power Pins
How to create a Schematic Symbol
Creating a Schematic Symbol: Dealing with Power Pins

Multiple schematic symbols often require the use of multiple power and ground pins. We’ll show you the difference between hidden and visible power pins, and the various methods you can use to use them in your design however it works best for you.

Embedded thumbnail for Allowing Permanent Display of Some Layers
How-To's
Allowing Permanent Display of Some Layers

This video demonstrates how to permanently display some layers in the PCB using the View configuration panel.

Embedded thumbnail for Creating Rooms in the PCB
How to work with Rooms
Creating Rooms in the PCB

If you want to create a room manually in the PCB or have them generated for the Schematic, Altium Designer allows you to create custom rooms. We’ll show you how to hand draw different rooms, how to create rooms by defining them through the room definition, and how to have them generated for the schematic and pushed through to the PCB by the Engineering Change Order.

Embedded thumbnail for Creating a Schematic Symbol - Placing Designators and Comments
How to create a Schematic Symbol
Creating a Schematic Symbol - Placing Designators and Comments

Placing your designator or comments can be done automatically, but that doesn’t mean they’re visible. We’ll walk you through how to make them visible and position them correctly no matter what orientation your symbol is with automatic positioning.

Embedded thumbnail for Creating a Schematic Symbol: Adding Additional Parts
How to create a Schematic Symbol
Creating a Schematic Symbol: Adding Additional Parts

Altium Designer makes it easy to add additional parts to your schematic library. We’ll show you how through copying and configuring your new components through the Pin Editor and the properties panel.

Embedded thumbnail for Component Placement Control Using Rooms
How to work with Rooms
Component Placement Control Using Rooms

Rooms give you more control over how and where your components are placed in your PCB. We’ll show you how to use room properties to limit what is allowed in and out of a room using the room definition and custom queries.

Tag
NEW
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.

Advanced Topics in High-Speed Design
On-Demand Webinar
Advanced Topics in High-Speed Design

This track is for the engineer who understands high-speed design requirements and wants to learn design practices to help ensure signal integrity and EMC with fast digital protocols, mixed-signal boards, and high layer counts.

What’s New in Altium 365
On-Demand Webinar
What’s New in Altium 365

Now you can assess your library’s health at a glance with the Library Health dashboard, view and share your bill of materials (BOM) and view and download PDF documents, all in your web browser. We improved the existing diff and compare features, and released a new version of MCAD CoDesigner. Register for the webinar to learn more!

Design Reuse
On-Demand Webinar
Rapidly Creating New Designs And Reusing Existing Ones

It's no secret that software developers often use completed code fragments from other projects for quick and predictable results. The same can be done for PCB Design, there is no need to spend time rewiring schematics or laying out components on boards you’ve done before. Join us this webinar where we’ll go over how you can use your existing designs to create reusable design blocks, speeding up the design cycle for your future projects.

Component Management
On-Demand Webinar
Help Ensure The Best Designs With Component Management

There are many aspects to designing a PCB. One of the larger aspects has to do with managing your components. We all need components for our designs, but are those components in our library and designs up-to-date or even purchasable? These questions need to be answered before we can safely use them. If not, we could just be wasting our time designing with invalid components. Altium Designer® has several tools to help you manage the components in your libraries and designs. You can determine if the components you’re using in your designs are safe to send off to production.

Component Creation
On-Demand Webinar
Increase Productivity With Easy Component Creation

Component creation is a necessary evil when it comes to design, and it’s something we all need to do. But instead of spending hours creating your components and having them turn into a complete roadblock, let it be just a simple bump on the road. Altium Designer has several tools available to you in order to create the different aspects of a component, including the symbol, footprint, 3D model parametric data, supply chain information, and more

Altium Designer Interface
On-Demand Webinar
Preparing your files for Fabrication Release

When you’re done creating a new board, it’s time to send your design data to the manufacturer. Before releasing your designs, you’ll want to make sure that everything is ready and works as intended. In this informative video, we’ll review some of the must-have checks before sending your output data for fabrication. 

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.

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.

Altium Designer interface
On-Demand Webinar
Preparing your files for Fabrication Release

When you’re done creating a new board, it’s time to send your design data to the manufacturer. Before releasing your designs, you’ll want to make sure that everything is ready and works as intended. In this informative webinar, we’ll review some of the must-have checks before sending your output data for fabrication.

Stackup Manager in Altium
On-Demand Webinar
Mastering The Layer Stack Manager

What most people don’t seem to grasp is that every aspect of the PCB is critical. It all plays a significant part in the operation of the final product. The layer stack is no different. We need to keep in mind materials and the intricacies therein, including thickness, weave, dielectric constants, and more. A proper layer stack is needed for each and every design, so it's important to know how to navigate the layer stack manager and all of its features.

Part Search in Altium Designer
On-Demand Webinar
How to Overcome PCB Component Availability Problems

Supply shortages have become and continue to be a common problem, especially when it comes to the world of electronics. It's hard to get all the different components for our boards. Heck! It's even tough to get the board themselves too! When electronic components become obsolete or out of stock, design and production can suffer lengthy delays. With current supply chain delays and with an average of 15 end-of-life notices issued every day, obtaining the parts you need is a challenge.

Preparing your files for Fabrication Release
On-Demand Webinar
Preparing your files for Fabrication Release

When you’re done creating a new board, it’s time to send your design data to the manufacturer. Before releasing your designs, you’ll want to make sure that everything is ready and works as intended. In this informative video, we’ll review some of the must-have checks before sending your output data for fabrication.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
Efficient PCB Routing Using Gloss and Retrace Tools

The primary goal of your traces is to carry signals throughout your board without losses. To do this properly, you must familiarize yourself with the requirements for signals on the printed circuit board and how to optimize the topology of the board in terms of signal integrity. We will analyze the most popular routing cases applicable for using the Gloss and Retrace tools in Altium Designer to optimize your signal integrity.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
Length Matching in High Speed Buses

With ever increasing speeds in high-speed data systems comes a couple of PCB layout challenges. High-speed busses like DDR, VME, PCIe just to mention a few can all reach data transfer speeds that require strict timing with very tight tolerances, thereby leaving very little slack in the PCB layout. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn why it's imperative to match track lengths in high-speed data systems and differential signals. You’ll see how to properly define PCB length matching and time delay constraints, and how to effectively route high-speed signals in Altium Designer®.

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.