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Updated Altium PCB design system include new technologies

Posted: 03 Dec 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:altium? p-cad 2004? pcb design system? pcb? layout?

A new PCB design system for layout professionals was recently released by Altium Ltd.

Offering over 50 new and enhanced features, the P-CAD 2004 offers upgraded technologies for layout and automatic and interactive routing, improved support for CAM file editing and circuit simulation, as well as a host of enhancements designed to give greater power and control over the PCB design process, according to Altium.

The press release also said that the new version introduces a host of new technologies that build on the strengths of previous versions. One of which is a powerful new interactive Advanced Route tool that enhances the interactive routing process and allows users to automatically plow around board objects. This new tool enables designers to start routing from any net object, regardless of grid or connection line position. Designers can choose to hug the routing around existing objects, plow around copper pours, board edges, cutouts and keepouts, as well as move existing traces and vias. Designers also have complete control over all interactive routing features, including the level of 'glossing' or trace cleanup the tool attempts during interactive routing, added the company.

Altium's second-generation Situs Topological Autorouter integrates seamlessly with the P-CAD PCB editor and features topological path mapping to improve completion rates on complex boards. The Situs Topical Autorouter also offers native routing support for nonorthogonal geometries, such as those found with high-density BGA devices and rotated components. Unlike traditional shape-based routers, said the company, Situs searches directly for routing paths in non-orthogonal directions. The router then chooses paths more intelligently, and makes better use of routing real estate on dense board designs, it added.

Other key features of the P-CAD 2004 release is the inclusion, as standard, of Altium's CAMtastic 2004 CAM file editor, which provides complete editing of manufacturing file data prior to sending the board for fabrication, as well as enhanced SPICE 3f5 / XSpice mixed-signal circuit simulation.

"This new P-CAD release offers significant benefits to both current and new P-CAD customers," commented P-CAD Product Manager Noko-Latrise McKinney. "The new interactive routing and autorouter features, combined with strengthed CAM file editing, simulation, board layout and editing, cement PCAD's position as a leading tool for PCB professionals and further demonstrates Altium's commitment to ongoing development of the P-CAD design system."

P-CAD's supplied board-level component libraries have also been overhauled for the new release. The libraries have been updated by the company's Library Development Center in compliance with the ISO 9001:2000 standard, increasing the reliability and consistency of the component libraries. Approximately 40,000 new components have been added, including over 600 connectors and around 4,000 passives. Additionally, this release introduces 19 new manufacturers.

P-CAD 2004 is available for purchase immediately and full suite new licenses are priced at $9,995. Upgrade pricing for the full suite starts at $2,995 for P-CAD 2002 users. Other configurations are available starting from $1,695.

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