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New Features in Altium Designer 10

New Features in Altium Designer 10

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Altium Designer 10 の新機能
Altium Designer 10 新功能介绍

Additional Resources

Altium Designer mini-site
AltiumLive

Departing from seasonally-themed release naming and instead utilizing a streamlined, no-fuss numbering format, the latest release of Altium Designer – Altium Designer 10, or AD10 – continues the process of keeping you plugged into a continuous stream of new features and technologies, designed to make it easier for you to create your next generation electronics designs. Altium's unified design architecture is renowned for bringing together hardware, software and programmable hardware into a single application, giving you the freedom to explore new design ideas across not only a project, but across an entire team – everyone has a single view of the design across the entire design process.
Once in a while during the development of a software solution, an evolutionary jump is experienced, a jump that raises the bar for that solution, in terms of what it can do and offer its users, to the next level. The arrival of Release 10 heralds such an evolutionary jump for Altium Designer – a generational shift in the software and its capabilities if you will, on a scale not seen since the DXP platform was unveiled and the design experience delivered as a single, unified model. This quantum leap is marked with an impressive and comprehensive collection of new technologies aimed at not only revolutionizing the way in which you manage your design information, but also automating the board design release process.

AD10, along with an Altium Vault Server – a partner solution from Altium – provides a Design Data Management System that effectively identifies and solves many of the problems that conspire to slow-down the design, release and manufacturing processes. Smart data management without stifling creativity and innovation.

Forming part of this data management solution is a system for component management that offers true lifecycle tracking and dependency checking of parts, as well as a high-integrity board design release process that validates and packages your design and manufacturing data – at the touch-of-a-button and with no error-prone manual interaction.

With AD10, you are firmly in the driving seat, with the power to develop and manage your electronic products through their entire lifecycle – from concept and design, through prototype and production, to deprecation and obsolescence – with complete confidence and assurance.

We're excited about these inspired new technologies, in addition to a host of other new features developed for this release and we're sure that you'll be excited too! And with a new installation and content delivery system in place, jumping on board with Altium Subscription gives you access to new cool features and updates as and when they leave development. Delivered as optional plugins, you no longer have to wait for a major (or minor) release. Instead, a constant stream of updates and functionality can get the technologies and solutions you need in to your hands in a far more expedient time-frame – a content stream if you will.

Altium Designer 10 – It all starts here.

Design Data and Release Management

Design Data Management System
Altium Designer's unified platform – with a single unified data model representing the system being designed – has been harnessed to effectively and efficiently tackle the problem of providing the highest data integrity, while ensuring that the demand for product enhancement and innovation can continue to be satisfied with unparalleled freedom. The result is the implementation of a design data management model that allows for the creation and management of design-reusable Items – released data entities for use in the actual designs themselves – and a formal definition of the links between the design world and the supply chain that is ultimately responsible for building the actual products. A model that maps the design data to specific production Items (blank and assembled boards) that the supply chain is actually going to build.
With this model in place, and with a range of supporting features and technologies, the software enables you to design in a controlled way without loss of design freedom, with the assurance that you are using revisions of components and schematic sheets that are managed and approved for design use. Subsequently, once the design is ready for release, you can pass data from the design domain to the production domain in a pain-free, streamlined, and automated fashion – generating data output of the highest integrity, literally at the touch-of-a-button!
System in-depth   Next Generation Component Management
Plus...
Choosing the Variant in an Output Job File  (...)
Defining Validation Reports in an Output Job File
Enhanced Output Path Definition in Output Job Files  (...)
Driving Fabrication Outputs using a Variant
Release Information on Generated Outputs

Board Implementation

Export to Ansoft HFSS?
For those demanding RF and multi-gigabit digital PCB designs, you can now export your PCB document directly from the PCB editor to an Ansoft Neutral file format, which can then be directly imported and used with Ansys' ANSOFT HFSS? 3D Full-wave Electromagnetic Field Simulation software. Ansoft have partnered with Altium to provide a high-quality interoperability between the PCB design and it's electromagnetic field analyses.
Feature in-depth...
Export to SiSoft Quantum-SI?
Altium Designer's PCB editor now supports saving the PCB design - including detailed layer stack-up and via and pad geometries - to CSV files for use in SiSoft's Quantum-SI family of signal integrity analysis software tools. SiSoft have partnered with Altium to provide an optimal import format available in Quantum-SI specifically for Altium Designer users.
Feature in-depth...

PCB 3D Video
To offer more engaging, more useful documentation of your board, Altium Designer 10 provides the ability to generate PCB 3D Video documentation. Donning your Director's hat, the content of a PCB 3D Video is simply a sequential set of snapshots of your board (in 3D) – referred to as Key Frames. For each subsequent key frame in the sequence, you can adjust zoom-level, pan and rotation – all relative to the settings for the previous key frame. In terms of output, a frame sequence is exported in video format using the configurable Video Output Container – part of the set of containers into which output from an Output Job file can be generated – and added to AD10 solely for generation of PCB 3D Video. The result is a sequence of frames that smoothly interpolates the key frame sequence.
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...
Unified Cursor-Snap System
Altium Designer's PCB Editor already has a well-defined grid system – with visible grids, snap grid, component grid, and electrical grid all working to help you efficiently place your design objects on the PCB document. With Altium Designer 10, this system has been overhauled and taken to the next level, with the arrival of the Unified Cursor-Snap System. This system brings together three different sub-systems to collectively drive the way that the cursor snaps onto given sets of preferred coordinates: User-Definable Grids, available in both Cartesian and polar flavors; Snap Guides, that can be freely placed and provide a handy visual cue for object alignment; and enhanced object Snap-Points, enabling placed objects to pull the cursor into position based on cursor proximity to an object's hotspot(s). Use a combination of these features as you see fit, ensuring placement and alignment of your objects in the PCB workspace is a snap!
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...

Class Structure in the PCB
Altium Designer already provides high-quality, robust support for generation of classes (Component and Net) when transferring the design from the Schematic to PCB. Altium Designer 10 takes this support to the next level, with the ability to define the generation of a hierarchical structure of classes in the PCB document. Essentially, this enables you to group together, at the sheet-level, classes of components and/or nets into a parent class generated from that sheet, which itself can be a child of the parent class above, all the way up to the top-level sheet in your design, which in essence is the source for the top-level generated parent class (or 'super class') --- the head of the class structure hierarchy. Each of these generated parent classes is referred to as a Structure Class. Structure Classes not only allow for the reproduction of the schematic document structure within the PCB domain, for advanced navigation, but can also be used in logical queries, for example when scoping design rules, or filtering.
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...
Collaborative PCB Design
Like the idea of collaborative PCB design, where multiple designers can work on the same board at the same time, and bring their results together? Altium Designer 10 brings true collaboration to the PCB design process. Through the new Collaborate, Compare and Merge panel you're informed about the status of your board, compared to your fellow collaborators. Click on a command in the panel to Show the Differences, then use the Difference Map to get a high-level view of who has done what on the board. Click in the Map to zoom to an area of interest, then use right-click commands in the workspace to keep your changes, or pull the changes made by others into your board. There's even an Auto command, that automatically integrates all changes that do not conflict with your version of the board, making it a snap to bring in a large amount of routing from another designer. When you're ready, the updates can be saved and committed back into the repository. Each designer can also define Work Regions, ensuring that everyone knows where they can work, and where they should not.
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...

Support for Atmel Touch Controls
Pick up any of the latest electronic gadgets today, and you'll probably find a cool user interface – complete with touch-sensitive controls such as buttons, sliders and wheels. To accommodate the use of such controls in your electronic products, Altium Designer 10 provides support for creating planar capacitive sensor patterns on your PCB, for use with the range of Atmel?  QTouch? and QMatrix? sensor controllers.
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...
Enhanced Polygon Pour Manager
The Polygon Pour Manager dialog delivers further productivity-enhancements in Altium Designer 10, providing additional functionality with which to manage all polygon pours for your board. Additional abilities such as creation of a new polygon pour, access to associated properties dialog and polygon pour deletion, can all now be utilized from within this one location --- collectively enriching the environment and taking polygon pour management to a whole new level!
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...

Enhanced Footprint Compare and Update
An essential tool for enabling collaboration is the ability for designers to compare their work graphically, and then merge in whatever changes are deemed appropriate to keep. But what about collaborating with library contributors? Altium Designer has had the ability to update PCBs with new versions of library parts for some time, but AD10 now includes a powerful, visual compare tool to assist the PCB designer in the update and change control process.
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...
Plus...
Visualization of Project Variants on the PCB  (...)
Arc Support for Multi-Route Tools  (...)
Improved Clearance Rule Handling for Differential Pairs  (...)
Ability to Disable Via Pushing when Interactively Routing  (...)
Loop Removal Support for Multi-Route Tools  (...)
Visualization of the Route Tool Path

Soft Design

USB 2.0 Streaming Video Support
The pervasiveness of USB is undeniable, and USB is so useful there's no good reason not to be developing embedded applications with it. USB hosting support continues to grow with Altium Designer 10, supporting USB 2.0 Streaming Media class devices. Included are several Software Platform stacks developed for easy USB connectivity, and reference designs to help get your USB video (and other) applications up and running pronto.
Watch video...
FPGA Debugging - Peripheral Register View
Altium Designer 10 introduces a new view with which to interact with a peripheral component's internal registers during the development phase of your embedded design – the Peripherals panel. Accessible during debug sessions while the processor is paused, the panel gives you access "under the bonnet" as it were – an intelligent 'window' through which to view the state of the peripheral.
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...

Accessing SPI Flash Memory Attached to a Processor
Altium Designer already supports the ability to write to parallel Flash memory attached to a processor in a design. With AD10, this particular capability has been extended to now allow programming of an SPI Flash memory device also. This enables you to empower your hardware systems with bootstrapping capabilities, confident that such capability can be implemented in a streamlined and intuitive fashion – all through Altium Designer's unified environment.
Feature in-depth...
Attaching the Debugger to a Running Application
Debugging an embedded application currently requires pausing the processor as you enter a dedicated debug session. The application stops running and you are effectively having to 'start from the beginning' of the code again. Wouldn't it be cool to enter a debug session, but leave the application running? To be able to effectively enter the debugging state at the current point of code execution – within the processor in the target FPGA design? Altium Designer 10 allows you to do just that, by giving you the ability to 'attach' a debugger to the running application.
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...

Script Access for Instruments
Altium Designer already supports the ability to control configurable Digital I/O modules (DIGITAL_IO) and configurable Memory instruments (MEMORY_INSTRUMENT) using a NanoBoard Interface instrument. This is the notion of controlled instruments (part of the Connected FPGA Scripts feature), whereby a form or procedure within the NanoBoard Interface instrument's connected script can be set to run when the 'controlled instrument' is accessed. AD10 extends the range of instruments that now have script access, and therefore can be controlled through a NanoBoard Interface instrument.
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...
Static Code Analysis – CERT C Secure Code Checking
To aid you in writing safe, quality C code, Altium Designer 10 includes the ability to perform post-compilation static code analysis, testing against rules and/or recommendations provided by the CERT C Programming Language Secure Coding Standard. The coding checks implemented by this standard give you an edge when developing your software, helping you to deliver C source code containing fewer programming errors that result in exploitable vulnerabilities. The result is code of a much higher quality and that is more secure/robust in its deployed role within the marketed electronic product.
Feature in-depth...   Watch Video

Improved Multi-Threaded Application Debugging
Altium Designer 10 brings with it a series of improvements to the support for POSIX multithreading – collectively allowing multithreaded applications to be debugged in a far more intuitive, streamlined fashion. You now have the ability to give threads meaningful names. A new Threads panel (the successor to the previous RTOS panel) provides a greater range of statistical information for each thread in your multithreaded application. In addition, the Call Stack panel has been enhanced to enable you to view the state of each thread in a multithreaded application, whenever the processor is paused.
Feature in-depth...
2G/3G Mobile Internet Support
Altium Designer 10 sees the arrival of 2G and 3G mobile internet support added through the Software Platform, and in readiness for Altium's forthcoming GSM-GPRS-GPS peripheral board – PB15 – which will be available in 2G and 3G flavors, courtesy of SIMCom SIM548C and SIM5218A communications modules respectively. You can now develop wireless applications that connect to the web and/or a mobile carrier network with much greater ease, without having to design and build your own custom hardware to do it! Mobile solutions for custom low-volume applications can be prohibitively expensive and difficult to get certified. In a world migrating to the use of ever more smart-connected devices, this welcome addition to the Software Platform enables fast and streamlined development of those devices and the applications that run on them.
Watch video...

Aldec HDL OEM Simulation Engine
Altium has partnered with Aldec to take Altium Designer's HDL simulation capabilities to a whole new level in AD10. Aldec's Advanced VHDL and Verilog Simulation Engine is seamlessly incorporated into Altium Designer as an OEM technology. Where once you were limited to VHDL-based simulation only, you now have the option to use either VHDL or Verilog.
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...
USB 2.0 WiFi Adapter Support
Altium Designer 10 sees the arrival of USB 2.0 WiFi adapter support added through the Software Platform, based on a modified OpenBSD driver framework. Current driver support includes the OpenBSD Ralink chipset drivers run and rum. Utilizing this new WiFi support, and with a USB WiFi Adapter plugged into one of its USB Hub ports, a 3000-series NanoBoard will act as a wireless station (same as a Windows PC) running in infrastructure mode.
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...

Support for High-Capacity SD Cards
Altium Designer currently has an SD card controller for communications with standard SD cards over an SPI-based interface. In AD10, support for communications with high-capacity SD cards has been added, courtesy of a second, more powerful controller – the Wishbone SDHC Controller (WB_SDHC). This peripheral provides an interface that enables a host processor to efficiently communicate with a Secure Digital (SD) or Secure Digital High-Capacity (SDHC) storage device --- resident outside of the physical FPGA device to which the design is targeted. Communication is over a 4-bit parallel data bus, with control implemented using a single-bit command bus.
Feature in-depth...

Plus...
Setting Processor Internal Memory Size to any Value
Fine-Grained Software Locate Control  (...)
Software Platform Wrapper  (...)
MP3 Decoder
Improved SDRAM Controllers
Enhanced WB_UART8_V2 Peripheral
Enhanced WB_PRTIO Peripheral
Additional FPGA-Specific Timing Constraints

System-Level

Installation and Content Management
Altium Designer 10 provides a fast, efficient Installation and Content Management System – a system that not only expedites the initial installation process, but lets you handcraft the features available to the software at any time after installation.
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...
Managing Altium Designer Preferences
The ability to manage your preference settings sees a significant upgrade in Altium Designer 10, with the ability to choose a subset of settings to load. Along with more control, AD10 introduces the ability to import preferences from any previous build of the software that you have installed. The first time you run the new release, Altium Designer will attempt to import your settings from your last version – ensuring the new release opens with the same look and feel you developed in the previous release, even down to the last opened workspace and panel positioning!
Feature in-depth...

Cloud Preferences
Altium Designer 10 introduces the ability to access your settings through the cloud. Wherever you design, at home, in the office or at a different site, you can work in your preferred environment using the cloud preferences. If you modify a setting in the preferences dialog, change the layout of your panels or create a new custom shortcut for a command, your new settings will be stored and available the next time you sign in.
Feature in-depth...   Watch video...
Plus...
New suppliers supported in Live Links to Supplier Data
Support for Running Altium Designer on Windows 7  (...)
Performance Improvements
Ability to send a Crash Report
Accessing System Resources
Video Output Container
In support of PCB 3D Video output, Altium Designer 10 sees the addition of a new Video output container. Used solely for the generation of PCB 3D Video output, configuration of the container is simplicity itself. All that's required is to specify a file name for the generated video, the required format and associated export settings. The key frame sequence of the PCB 3D Video enabled for output is taken and seamlessly interpolated to produce a high-quality video.
Feature in-depth...

In the Altium Labs...

Documentation for features in the Altium Labs will be added and updated over time.

Visual Designer for Embedded GUI
Create an interactive graphical user interface for your embedded design, using easy-to-use, drag and drop form design features.
Feature in-depth...
Mentor Expedition Importer
Import a PCB or a PCB library from Mentor Expedition into Altium Designer.
Feature in-depth...

3D Body Object Conversion to Generic STEP Model
Need to tilt or rotate that 3D Body object in the component model you're creating? You can, by converting it to a STEP model.
Feature in-depth...

Plus...
Extended C-to-Hardware Features
Automatic Route to Mouse Modes

See Also

Release notes for Altium Designer 10 (Platform Build 10.391.22084)
Altium Designer What's New - Previous Releases

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