Altium Designer 8.0 Summer

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by marx, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. marx

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    64
    0
    Just wondering if there are any other uses of this software? If so your impressions?

    Just started looking at in the last couple of days as I've found a lot of the other Cad/simulation programs quite limited..... even for basic circuits..... However that could be me not getting the most of them.

    I'm just going to do the evaluation period of a month first. If I like it, I'll purchase a student licence at $150NZD p/a which is fully featured, you just need to prove that you are in fact a student. At first glance this software looks like a very powerful tool.

    I see there is a similar thread to this but it is well dated.
     
  2. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    6,960
    144
    Funny you should mention it, I have just started using the evaluation version of Altium on the suggestion of a work colleague.

    At the minute I am wading through the reams of useless videos that they recommend you look at when you sign up for the evaluation license - most of it come across as marketing garb. Hopefully I will come across some useful videos shortly. One concern is that Altium appears to be all things to all people which often means it comes up short overall. Having a cohesive design flow is not a bad idea but when you just want to knock together a few PCBs like I do it can be overkill. My intention of investing time in it is because in future I may want to take advantage of the more complete set of tools.

    I would be interested if you have come across any tutorials/resources that you have come across on your travels. It would also be interesting to know what you intend using Altium for so I can pass info back your way.

    Dave
     
  3. MaxSmoke

    Active Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    35
    0
    I have been using Altium, almost every day at work for the past two years and I think it is very good. I have not had time to use all the features of this tool, but hope to make more use of it this Winter. My first project was a ten layer card which contains a BGA Xilinx FPGA wired to DDR2 memory, along with an MCU subsystem, DC-DC regulators and other modules. The schematic capture works very well, the rule checking is very comprehensive too, but be careful not to switch off critial checks, other wise errors could creep in to your designs, but this applies to most CAD tools.

    I have used several other CAD tools and find Altium compares favourably. Library part generation is also very easy to use.

    Another CAD tool which looks interesting and is GPL is KICAD
     
  4. peranders

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2007
    87
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    Altium is in many senses a wet dream for a cad pro.
     
  5. marx

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    64
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    I'm very new to Electrical Engineering as I've only just started the shift from Civil. I'm fairly efficient with Auto-Cad but Cad programs for Electrical Engineering are a lot more involved and require many different aspects for complete design......

    So for that reason Altium seems like the perfect package, one stop shop, but I get the feeling that for it to reach its full potential every sector of the electronics industry will have to get insync with Altium Designer...... which I guess will lead to Cad market domination?????

    Anyway the point I'm trying to make is that I since I'm new to Electronics Cad and looking at a career as an Electrical Engineering (Back to University next year) I might as well start with software that is or is going to be a major player in the Cad-soft market.......

    And the question I'm asking is, is that software Altium Designer?

    I'll probably check with the University first and see what software they are using before I purchase any licence.
     
  6. peranders

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2007
    87
    0
    The two big elephants are Mentor and Cadence but they are extremely expensive and only a very few really need this software. Both Mentor and Candence have their roots in the 80's and they look like 1992. Altium looks like 2009 and acts like 2009. If you are about to learn you can also start with Eagle. Eagle is also a bit ancient but is cheap and rather capable after all.
     
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