Cadence OrCAD Migration Guide

Created: April 11, 2022
Updated: January 31, 2024
cadence orcad migration guide altium designer

This guide is intended for users switching from OrCAD/Allegro PCB Designer to Altium Designer. Even if you have never used Altium Designer, this guide will allow you to speed up learning the basic features significantly. Highly experienced experts wrote this guide for OrCAD/Allegro PCB Designer and Altium Designer with years of experience. With your experience, you can easily switch to Altium Designer, which has significant advantages over other solutions. The guide is built that way. You can compare OrCAD and Altium at all stages of the design process – from creating a project and libraries to generating manufacturing data. The guide covers the following topics:

  • Altium Designer user interface
  • Basic settings
  • Creating component libraries
  • Creating footprint libraries
  • Integrated library compilation
  • Schematic capture
  • Schematic post-processing
  • PCB template configuration
  • Placement and routing
  • Design rule check
  • Manufacturing data generation

Each section considers Altium Designer and OrCAD PCB Designer tools together. Also covered are Bill of Materials report generation, Annotation, Search and Navigation, and more. The main advantage of Altium Designer over other design tools is its unified design environment, which allows any design editor you need to be launched within the same user environment. The software implements a common approach to managing schematics and layout design objects. This fundamental difference from other design software such as Cadence OrCAD/Allegro or Mentor PADS helps you quickly master Altium Designer tools and move to practice. Handy controls, such as Active Bar and the Properties panel, implemented in SCH and PCB editors, make Altium Designer an incredibly convenient and intuitive PCB design software.

Today, Altium Designer is the modern, powerful, and easy-to-use PCB design software that can be afforded by organizations of any level and individual designers. Altium Designer has all the features required for designs of any complexity. Even if you have been working for a long time in other software solutions, you can easily migrate your work to Altium Designer with excellent importers built into Altium Designer. Added to this is easy-to-use integration into electromechanical design workflow in MCAD systems. The powerful 3D environment in Altium Designer has high performance and high-quality visualization. You can even create multi-board projects where several PCBs are interconnected electrically.

So let's get started!

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