Free Trials

Download a free trial to find out which Altium software best suits your needs

How to Buy

Contact your local sales office to get started on improving your design environment


Download the latest in PCB design and EDA software

  • Altium Designer

    Complete Environment for Schematic + Layout

  • CircuitStudio

    Entry Level, Professional PCB Design Tool

  • CircuitMaker

    Community Based PCB Design Tool


    Agile PCB Design For Teams

  • Altium 365

    Connecting PCB Design to the Manufacturing Floor

  • Altium Concord Pro

    Complete Solution for Library Management

  • Octopart

    Extensive, Easy-to-Use Component Database

  • PDN Analyzer

    Natural and Effortless Power Distribution Network Analysis

  • See All Extensions

    World-Renowned Technology for Embedded Systems Development

  • Live Courses

    Learn best practices with instructional training available worldwide

  • On-Demand Courses

    Gain comprehensive knowledge without leaving your home or office

  • Altium 365 Viewer

    View & Share electronic designs in your browser

  • Altium Designer 20

    The most powerful, modern and easy-to-use PCB design tool for professional use


    Annual PCB Design Summit

    • Forum

      Where Altium users and enthusiasts can interact with each other

    • Blog

      Our blog about things that interest us and hopefully you too

    • Ideas

      Submit ideas and vote for new features you want in Altium tools

    • Bug Crunch

      Help make the software better by submitting bugs and voting on what's important

    • Wall

      A stream of events on AltiumLive you follow by participating in or subscribing to

    • Beta Program

      Information about participating in our Beta program and getting early access to Altium tools

    All Resources

    Explore the latest content from blog posts to social media and technical white papers gathered together for your convenience


    Take a look at what download options are available to best suit your needs

    How to Buy

    Contact your local sales office to get started improving your design environment

    • Documentation

      The documentation area is where you can find extensive, versioned information about our software online, for free.

    • Training & Events

      View the schedule and register for training events all around the world and online

    • Design Content

      Browse our vast library of free design content including components, templates and reference designs

    • Webinars

      Attend a live webinar online or get instant access to our on demand series of webinars

    • Support

      Get your questions answered with our variety of direct support and self-service options

    • Technical Papers

      Stay up to date with the latest technology and industry trends with our complete collection of technical white papers.

    • Video Library

      Quick and to-the-point video tutorials to get you started with Altium Designer

    IOT Security Modules: Modular Hardware for Software Engineers

    June 29, 2018

    PCB design in Altium

    From PCB designed in Altium  to Zymbit finished product

    The Internet of Things - Big Promise or Big Problem ?

    By 2023 the Internet of Things promises to be 50 billion devices strong, transacting $8 Trillion of economic value!

    That’s orders of magnitude bigger and much more complex than anything we have seen before, and current models of development, deployment, device management and security don’t easily translate to this new world disorder. New products, new tools and new ways of developing are required.

    This challenge is particularly true in the area of IoT device security which, if not executed correctly, can have significant negative impact on economies, lives, national security, political outcomes and more.

    Zymbit security module

    Zymbit security modules designed in Altium 

    Designing 50 billion Devices

    Unlike mobile phones or personal computers which are designed for high volume production in the billions of units, the IoT is built from a constantly evolving universe of devices with each addressing a unique application or need, with specific combinations of CPU, I/O, communications, power, enclosure and more.

    Designing, developing, compliance testing and manufacturing all these different devices is an enormous task that is likely to extend over the next decade, perpetuated by ever-evolving business models, technologies and supply chains. What’s needed is a more agile and efficient development process, particularly for hardware, which as we all know is hard.

    More Modular Designs Ahead

    The logical way to deal with this high mix of requirements is to use modular designs that can be efficiently mass-customized by system engineers and integrators without the need for specialized knowledge of the underlying modules.   

    The first wave of IoT projects have been fueled by modular hardware and software ecosystems centered around low-cost single-board computers. As projects transition from proof of concepts to pilot trials, and then to mass deployments, many solutions will remain loose integrations of standard modules, while some will transition to more tightly integrated custom boards and system on modules (SOMs). Having design tools that can support these transitions is key to participating in the fast paced development of IoT devices. And more importantly such tools must be easy to use by non-power users; integrators, system engineers,  and very importantly, software engineers.

    Modular Hardware for Software Engineers

    Modular Single Board Computers

    On February 29, 2012 the Raspberry Pi single board computer, based upon a Broadcom CPU, was launched as an educational computer, with an initial sales volume target of 10,000 pieces.  Six years later, over 15 Million have been sold into all sorts of professional applications ranging from industrial controls, digital signage, security forensic tools and much more. The strong Pi ecosystem of modular software and hardware accessories has grown to serve  developers on a global scale; this includes single board computers sporting alternate CPUs from vendors like Rockchip, Intel and Samsung, and with high degrees of electrical and mechanical compatibility to the Pi family.

    Alternative ecosystems from Beaglebone, Qualcomm, Odroid, Asus and Arduino ensure a vibrant marketplace in which IoT developers have a wide choice a  of modular components.

    Modular Security for IoT Devices

    Security is often the last thing software developers attend to before deploying a pilot system in the field. This makes the task of integrating chip-level crypto authentication solutions painful at best, and often impossible without a redesign of hardware and software.

    Zymbit saw the need for a security module that both software and hardware developers could integrate late in the design cycle, that would work with leading single board computers and software services, and would deliver complete cyber and physical security of intellectual property, data and credentials.  

    Zymbit Security Modules

    Zymbit’s new security modules deliver both cyber (digital) and physical security to IoT devices, making them hard to penetrate in the real world beyond the security of a firewall. They work with a range of single board computers and are supported by developer kits (also designed in Altium ) and secure enclosures (designed in SolidWorks).

    security modules easy to integrate framework diagram

    Zymbit security modules are easy to integrate - hard to penetrate

    A Streamlined Workflow - from PCB design to first product in less than 6 weeks.

    Zymbit engineers used the DRC and 3D modelling capabilities of Altium to get first pass prototypes that were functional and close to production ready.   

    Zymbit module

    Zymbit used Altium to design a new class of IoT security modules that are easy to integrate and hard to penetrate.

    Easy Mechanical Integration - exporting STEP files from to SolidWorks

    A key feature of Zymbit security modules is their resistance to physical tampering. Achieving this required custom packaging with detailed features and tight tolerances. Being able to export Zymbit components from as .STEP files made it simple to exchange information with our mechanical designers who used SolidWorks to design custom mechanical components, model and visualize their overall assembly in 3D.


    created in Altium and exported at .STEP files

    Zymbit components created in Altium, exported at .STEP files

    Creating Custom Components – an easy way to share modules between design teams and customers  

    Zymbit security modules are integrated with other third party modules to form complete IoT devices. Being able to handle security modules as a component makes the integration process much more efficient and consistent and easily scalable across design teams in different locations. allows components to include the footprint, electrical and 3D mechanical attributes that can be shared without exposing any of the underlying design details.

    Complete System Integration – System on Modules !

    Bringing together Zymbit components with third party electrical and mechanical components is the final step in creating secure and functional products. After all, it’s not much of a system without everything getting to be placed together.

    Altium components, integrated with custom mechanical and third party system components

    Zymbit-created Altium components, integrated with custom mechanical and third party system components.

    Multiple modules in one coherent and secure system

    Multiple modules integrated into one coherent and secure system

    Making Things Secure – made easy with Zymbit security Modules and Altium design tools

    New technology and processes always feel large and daunting at first. Fortunately, as tools and ecosystems evolve the task of product design and integration becomes easier and faster; with Zymbit’s security modules and Altium’s design tools, you can now reliably make things secure and ready for action in the real world.

    With intuitive, easy-to-use tools for modular designs you’ll be able to work through any custom component and module creation with confidence. Zymbit and Altium will make it easy for mechanical and systems designers to collaborate through SolidWorks and to seamlessly transition projects to professional Altium Designer teams around the globe.   

    If you’re interested in trying out Zymbit’s modular security designs today, then check out

    Thank you to Phil Strong and the team at Zymbit for this contributed article.

    most recent articles

    Back to Home