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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
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. 

NEW
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Blog
Altium Designer 22.8 Update

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!

What is Hybrid Beamforming?
Blog
What is Hybrid Beamforming?

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.

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.

Tag
NEW
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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Blog
Altium Designer 22.8 Update

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!

What is Hybrid Beamforming?
Blog
What is Hybrid Beamforming?

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.

Is your via impedance calculator accurate?
Blog
Why Most Via Impedance Calculators Are Inaccurate

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.

Blog
Buck Converter Simulation in Altium Designer

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. 

PCIe 6.0 Overview
Blog
Overview of the PCIe 6.0 Standard

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.

SPI vs. I2C For Memory Access
Blog
SPI vs. I2C: How to Choose the Best Protocol for Your Memory Chips

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).

Blog
Is There an SPI Trace Impedance Requirement?

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.

The Skin Effect and EM Fields
Blog
The Skin Effect, Current Density, and the Electromagnetic Field

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.

Packaging for your PCBAs
Blog
What You Need for PCB Packaging and Shipping

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.

Tag
Further Enhancements to Sheet Cross-referencing
What's New in
Schematic Capture Improvement

Adding cross-references to the project allows you to easily follow the connective flow of nets between the schematic sheets in a project. 

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. 

NEW
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.

Embedded thumbnail for Adding Project Modules to a Multi-board Schematic
How to work with Multiboard
Adding Project Modules to a Multi-board Schematic

If you’re using multiple PCBs in your Multi-board design, Altium Designer allows you to add existing projects directly to your schematic with modules. We’ll show you how to quickly and efficiently add these projects to your Multi-board design.

Embedded thumbnail for Checking for Creepage in High Voltage Designs
How-To's
Checking for Creepage in High Voltage Designs

High voltage devices have leakage currents that propage over the surface of the board. In such devices, it's important to consider not only the standard gap between the two topological elements, but also the shortest possible path between them, taking into account cut-outs and holes. With Altium Designer 20, you can check for creepage using the new creepage distance rule.

Embedded thumbnail for Creating BGA Footprints with the Footprint Wizard
How to create a PCB Footprint
Creating BGA Footprints with the Footprint Wizard

Altium Designer makes it easy to create a BGA footprint using our IPC compliant footprint wizard. We'll show you how easily you can create and modify a BGA footprint using the footprint wizard.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Remove Unused Pad Shapes
How-To's
How to Remove Unused Pad Shapes

Unused pad shapes can cause distortion among other problems so it is best to exclude them from your designs. This video shows how to remove unused pad shapes.

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.

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.

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.

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
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.

Component composition
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. Altium Designer® has several tools to help you manage the components in your libraries and designs.

PCB Comparison
On-Demand Webinar
Getting Started With File Comparison

One major benefit of using a version control system is the ability to compare PCB design revisions against one another. If you are comparing PCB designs, you need a version control system that is electrically intelligent. It’s important to know who made a change, and when they made it. Altium Designer® and Altium 365® make file comparison easy.

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.