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Altium adds publishing, version control for design tool

Posted: 23 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:project management? design data publishing? electronic design?

It seems like the folks at Altium have something new to proclaim on a weekly basis. Today, for example, they've just announced that they've added a wealth of new project management and design data publishing capabilities to their unified electronic design solution. They say that these capabilities significantly help electronics designers manage the complexity of today's multi-faceted design projects.

Altium's unified solution, Altium Designer, is based on a single data model that lets designers synchronize data across all the electronics design stages, allowing changes in one domain to be reflected throughout the design, from schematic capture, PCB layout and FPGA design through to embedded software development. In addition, it enables designers to easily navigate all design data, of all types, within a project, manage design changes between document versions, and publish design data in all the forms necessary for manufacture, documentation, packaging, and maintenance of the final design.

Altium Designer's unified design environment, which brings together hardware, software and programmable hardware design within a single design application, allows effective collaboration within design teams and across organizations. Design data can be managed and published from within a single, unified design interface, providing an 'out of the box' solution to electronic design data management and collaboration, without the need for a company to deploy and integrate third-party, add-on management applications.

? Browse designs across an entire project: The latest release of Altium Designer incorporates new 'Design Insight' features targeted at helping designers browse documents and design information across an entire project. Intelligent and interactive pop-up document previews provide a fast and easy way to find and navigate to specific documents within a project, and to trace connectivity through multiple source files.

  • Version control across both electrical and graphical files: The folks at Altium say they pioneered the effective use of version control for electronics design by incorporating into Altium Designer native support for standard version control systems and introducing the ability to compare both electrical and spatial differences between graphical design files such as schematics and PCB layouts. In the latest release of Altium Designer, version control support has been enhanced and streamlined to allow common operations such as file comparisons and updates to happen in the background, providing minimal disruption to work flows.

  • Publishing that is easier and quicker: A new publishing feature that enables the consolidation of selected documents into a single set targeted at a particular media type such as print or PDF will make it easier for designers to manage the propagation of design information to manufacturers, procurement, documentation and other teams that require specific input. Using this new feature, designers can easily publish the required information for each group in the most suitable form: electronic, web-based or hard copy. The definition of media output is saved as part of the design project, so information can be easily republished at any time.

    As more functionality is moved from discrete components and consolidated within the 'soft' environment of programmable devices, unifying the various design processes involved becomes crucial. These new and enhanced capabilities within Altium Designer let electronics designers manage the increasingly complex design data and documents required to bring a product successfully to market.

    Nick Martin, CEO of Altium, has some rather definite views on Altium Designer and these new capabilities. As Nick says: "Electronics design companies are looking for new ways to innovate and sustain differentiation, and companies are recognizing the benefits of a unified design solution. This makes it easier for organizations to innovate and focus on the parts of the design that differentiate them from their competition. For example, this unified environment embraces centralized data management and version capabilities around the single data model. Designers can synchronize all aspects of the design process and project into and across the one system. And they can manage the design process in a different way, with design data management at the center the design system."

    "Simply incrementally improving on design processes that have gone before is not enough. We need to change how design is done at a fundamental level," he added. "Altium Designer allows this to happen, and the strengthened design data management and publishing capabilities of Altium Designer demonstrate what's possible when you think beyond traditional design silos and take a unified approach to developing the next generation of electronic products."

    - Clive Maxfield
    Programmable Logic DesignLine

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