Altium Designer: The Best Electronic Circuit Design Software

Zachariah Peterson
|  Created: November 9, 2020
Altium Designer: The Best PCB Design Software

You’ve probably already felt the pressure to get your projects done sooner and for less money. To meet these expectations, you can’t rely on anything less than the best circuit design software you can find. What you don’t need is software that isn’t helpful, underperforms, and requires additional third-party tools to finish a design.

What you need is a professional circuit design software that contains the advanced circuit board and PCB layout tools in the same unified design environment. When you use Altium Designer, you’ll have access to all these design features and more in a single application.


The best PCB design software for professional PCB designers.

You may have a simple printed circuit board or multiple complex boards to design. No matter what level of design you need to complete, you need the best professional circuit design software on the market. You don’t want complicated tools that are difficult to use, you need PCB design software that includes all your important design features in a single program. If you’re looking for the best circuit design software, take a look at Altium Designer.

It All Starts with Parts in Your Schematic Editor

Your new design starts with a schematic, and your schematic starts with choosing the correct parts. Altium Designer has a solution for you with the Manufacturer Part Search panel and an automated bill of materials management system. You can locate and import preferred vendor components into your design directly from the cloud. You also need your schematic to drive the layout with customizable design rules.

Once you’ve selected your components and created your schematic, Altium Designer’s schematic capture feature is accessible within the schematic editor. Everything happens in a single application and in an easy-to-use interface.

Altium Designer provides all the schematic design features you need alongside world-class layout tools. No matter what level of design technology you are creating, Altium Designer has the best schematic design and schematic capture tools for intricate electronics.

From Schematic Capture to Intricate Electronics Layouts

The circuit diagrams you build in Altium Designer are unique in that you have instant access to components, a powerful simulator, and control over your design rules. These features are built into Altium Designer’s unified design environment. With Altium Designer, you can quickly create and evaluate schematics for intricate electronics.

Screenshot of schematic editor in the best electronic circuit design software

Altium Designer’s powerful schematic editor helps you stay organized and efficient.

Layout Tools in the Best Circuit Design Software

Once you create your initial PCB layout with your schematic capture tool, Altium Designer has a plethora of component placement features and functionality that will help create your circuit board layout. Altium Designer has been refined over the years to help you avoid the headaches of complicated routing by giving you many different routing features. Auto routing, auto-interactive routing, trace glossing and smoothing, and a host of other functions will give you the control you need to quickly and successfully.

But there’s more to design than just component placement and routing. You need to access important analysis and simulation tools to help evaluate your circuit designs and layout. If you want your circuit board to be functional in its intended environment, you need to perform pre-layout and post-layout simulations of signal behavior in your circuit board.

Altium Designer Includes Pre and Post-Layout Simulators

Within the schematic editor, you’ll find a SPICE-based simulator to help you examine circuit design functionality and signal behavior. Once you use the schematic capture and circuit board layout features, you can run signal integrity simulations directly from your design data. You can also simulate how power is distributed around your board with the power delivery network (PDN) analyzer. You don’t need an external simulator for these tasks, you can find all these features in Altium Designer.

Centralize your design and layout assets in Altium Designer

Bring all of your intricate electronics designs into a unified platform.

Wrapping Up and Creating Design Files for Manufacturing

Your PCB layout isn’t finished until the design is fully manufacturable. The real key is to make sure the manufacturing files are in the formats your fabricator needs. They’ll need a large package of design files in order to put your board into production. The engineers at Altium know this and have created several tools in Altium Designer to help you.

You can easily create panel layouts of your designs to make sure that your job is manufactured with high yield, and you can auto-generate precise manufacturing drawings. You’ll also be able to generate Gerber files, drill files, pick-and-place files, and a complete bill of materials for your printed circuit board. You can trust that the correct files are being generated with Altium Designer’s user-configurable batch job output files.

Meet the Unified Design Environment in Altium Designer

The best circuit design software won’t force you to use multiple programs to complete a design. You’ll have all the tools you need to create an accurate circuit board layout with the world-class design features in Altium Designer. No other professional circuit design software package gives you this level of flexibility for intricate PCB design.

When you’re looking for the best PCB design software, Altium Designer is the ideal choice to create intricate electronics. You’ll have access to the resources and PCB layout tools you need to keep up with the latest technological advances. Don’t settle for other design platforms that fragment important design features, use the best circuit design software on the market and make the switch to Altium Designer.

Altium Designer on Altium 365 delivers an unprecedented amount of integration to the electronics industry until now relegated to the world of software development, allowing designers to work from home and reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. No other program in an electronic design software comparison can claim to reach Altium Designer's level of functionality.

We have only scratched the surface of what is possible to do with Altium Designer on Altium 365. You can check the product page for a more in-depth feature description or one of the On-Demand Webinars.

About Author

About Author

Zachariah Peterson has an extensive technical background in academia and industry. He currently provides research, design, and marketing services to companies in the electronics industry. Prior to working in the PCB industry, he taught at Portland State University and conducted research on random laser theory, materials, and stability. His background in scientific research spans topics in nanoparticle lasers, electronic and optoelectronic semiconductor devices, environmental sensors, and stochastics. His work has been published in over a dozen peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and he has written 1000+ technical blogs on PCB design for a number of companies. He is a member of IEEE Photonics Society, IEEE Electronics Packaging Society, American Physical Society, and the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA), and he previously served on the INCITS Quantum Computing Technical Advisory Committee.

Recent Articles

Back to Home