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

Downloads

Download the latest in PCB design and EDA software

  • PCB DESIGN SOFTWARE
  • Altium Designer

    Complete Environment for Schematic + Layout

  • CircuitStudio

    Entry Level, Professional PCB Design Tool

  • CircuitMaker

    Community Based PCB Design Tool

  • NEXUS

    Agile PCB Design For Teams

  • CLOUD PLATFORM
  • Altium 365

    Connecting PCB Design to the Manufacturing Floor

  • COMPONENT MANAGEMENT
  • Altium Concord Pro

    Complete Solution for Library Management

  • Octopart

    Extensive, Easy-to-Use Component Database

  • PRODUCT EXTENSIONS
  • PDN Analyzer

    Natural and Effortless Power Distribution Network Analysis

  • See All Extensions
  • EMBEDDED
  • TASKING

    World-Renowned Technology for Embedded Systems Development

  • TRAININGS
  • Live Courses

    Learn best practices with instructional training available worldwide

  • On-Demand Courses

    Gain comprehensive knowledge without leaving your home or office

  • ONLINE VIEWER
  • 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

    ALTIUMLIVE

    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

    Downloads

    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

    Putting managed content to the test

    Ben Jordan
    |  April 12, 2016

    The release of Altium Live along with the Shanghai and Hobart managed content services marks a significant shift in the way electronic product development should be done.

    The concept of managed content services using cloud publishing is new to our industry - I mean, it has been sort-of tried before by others but never successfully executed. I believe we now have the right solution.

    At this time, as more and more users connect to AltiumLive and start gazing into these managed vaults, it is imperative that we demonstrate the quality of the data within these services. To that end I have just completed a new reference design for a PCI-Express 4-port RS-485 interface adapter, for this purpose.

    Why a 4-port serial interface? The irony, of course! Those of you who have worked with our front-line support in years past would have at some point seen the "old" 4-port serial interface example - based on the ancient 8-bit ISA bus. It comforts some of us to know that we have officially banned our applications engineers from using the old ISA bus 4-port serial interface example in webinars and demos! But it’s still there!

    This 4-port RS-485 serial interface design, being PCIe-based, is intended to be a little humorous. However it is in fact a legitimate design, with real industrial applications.

    Shortly, I'll be spinning this into a mini-webinar video to walk Altium Designer® users through the process of designing with managed sheets and components from the Altium content services. I have to say that ,for me, this process has been an absolute pleasure.

    Because I was using managed content throughout:

    • there were several sections of the design I did not have to "re-engineer" because they had been manufactured before (on the NB3000) and I knew they worked.
    • every component had a valid footprint and 3D model, and synchronized from schematic to PCB every time without any hassle.
    • the template from the Shanghai made the PCB setup just minutes instead of days, not to mention that I did not have to spend hours poring over the PCI-SIG PCIe physical specifications.
    • I was able to use items from three vaults for the one design (Shanghai, Hobart and the Altium Hardware Development Team vault) - all links to all items were retained, and whether working at home or in the office, the links were there; I was able to update my design as Dave Read's team in Shanghai made a revision to the templates, and as I made new items for a few new components used within the design in the Hardware Dev. Team vault.

    In all, this whole design went very smoothly and I'm almost ready to make prototypes. I believe strongly in Altium staff using the content we have produced as much as possible, and showing customers and subscribers that the content is good and trustworthy. Nothing does that better than a real bit of hardware that is operational.

    As the Altium Hardware Development Team makes the transition from the legacy system to using the Hardware Team Vault we will see more value and a huge amount of credible, re-usable design content added. At this time the transition is under way, and soon design elements from our own products - the NB2, NB3000 and many new circuits in the pipeline - will be available to our subscribers for rapid product development.

    To our content development team leaders - Dave Read, Rowland Washington, Jason Hingston and Steve Howell - thanks so much for the effort you and your teams have been putting into this content.

    To our subscribers - do not hesitate to contact me directly, or better - post your questions on the AltiumLive Forums, if you have any, relating to accessing and using managed content from the managed vaults.

    About Author

    About Author

    Ben is a Computer Systems and PCB Engineer with over 20 years of experience in embedded systems, FPGA, and PCB design. He is an avid tinkerer and is passionate about the creation of electronic devices of all kinds. Ben holds a Bachelor of Engineering (CompSysEng) with First Class Honors from the University of Southern Queensland and is currently Director of Community Tools and Content.

    most recent articles

    Back to Home