Compare Altium Designer® vs. Autodesk EAGLE®
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Provides advanced product design, collaboration, and PCB design tools required by large teams or professionals designing complex devices, yet easy to use for new designers and students.
Schematic sheet limits
Hierarchical schematic capture with integrated analog mixed-signal simulation
Built-in SPICE simulator with model library and migration support for LTSpice/PSpice
Board size limits
100 in. by 100 in.
Standard: Up to 160 cm2
Basic: Up to 80 cm2
Signal and plane layer limits
32 signal + 16 plane + unlimited mechanical
16 signal or plane layers, 52 total layers
Rules-driven design for modern PCB (HDI, Rigid-flex, and Multiboard)
Advanced interactive routing features with built-in signal integrity tools
High speed design and rigid-flex design features included in standard license
Variant management tools for complex projects
Realistic layer stacks and a modern field solver for accurate impedances
Parts placement and routing in 3D
Photo-realistic 3D viewer with real-time clearance checking
Visual DC power distribution analysis in the PCB layout
Requires additional Power Analyzer license
Library Management & Sourcing
Built-in BOM management with real-time supply chain
Unified libraries with symbols, footprints, simulation models, and distributor links
Access to models, parameters, and lifecycle data for millions of components
Requires PartQuest, may require additional license
Management of lifecycles, in-design validation, templates, and where-used for libraries
Advanced component data from IHS Markit®
Library health dashboard to monitor validity, quality, and risk issues
Outputs & Manufacturing
Built-in fabrication and assembly drawing generation tools
Intuitive interface for manufacturing output creation
Quickly generate ECOs, reports, and documentation
Customizable document templates for drawings
Centralized management for manufacturing packages and communications
Share and view Gerbers, ODB++ files, and assembly steps in a browser
Support for multi-board systems and assemblies
Multi-board 3D product viewer from any web browser
Multi-board mechanical integration for SOLIDWORKS® 2020, 2021, and 2022
Built-in harness design tools
View and share renders of design files on any device with a web browser
These features may only be offered through Fusion 360.
Version control, templates, and component libraries stored in the cloud
Built-in task management and commenting for design files and BOMs
Managed design reuse for schematics, layer stacks, and design templates
Project history for every change made to a design
Integration with MCAD applications including SOLIDWORKS®, PTC Creo® Parametric™, Autodesk Inventor®, Autodesk® Fusion 360™, and Siemens NX
Fusion 360 Only
Advanced integration with SOLIDWORKS® for MCAD component placement, copper geometry, enclosure exchange, and multi-board/rigid-flex sync
PLM integration with Arena® PLM, PTC Windchill, Aras PLM, Oracle Agile PLM, and Teamcenter®
Multiple importer utilities to convert files from other ECAD platforms
Workflows & Processes
Configurable lifecycle management for design data and components
Managed workflows for part requests, design reviews, project creation/release, and lifecycle approvals
User, role, and group management with support for Single Sign-On (SSO)
Change notifications and change conflict prevention for design documents
Centralized control over design environments, document templates, and output files for every team member
Maintenance & Support
Monthly releases since Nov 2021 (active since 2000, formerly Protel 1985-2000)
9.6.2 (Released February 2022, active since 1988)
Backwards compatible with files from all previous releases
On-demand training courses, knowledge base, and community forums
Live chat and support tickets
Support tickets only, no live chat
Dedicated customer success manager check-ins and onboarding
Windows 10 and newer
MacOS 10.15 and newer
Starting at USD 355 / month
All new subscriptions are bundled with Fusion 360 Electronics:
$1,635/paid every 3 years
Perpetual License options
Multiple Subscription options
Altium Has Been Enabling Engineers
To Unify Their Design Environment Since 1985
- Unify your entire PCB design environment via one platform
- Interact and collaborate with mechanical designers like never before
- Enjoy the #1 PCB design solution in the world
- Route it your way, faster than ever
- Altium Designer includes all the critical design features hobbyists and professional designers need.
- It’s easy to convert projects from other software into Altium’s file format.
- Altium Designer sees the highest demand by employers and industry leaders.
- A complete toolset helps users take products from concept to high-volume production.
- Altium’s design features are the most intuitive and easiest-to-use.
- Individual engineers and large enterprises look to Altium to help them stay at the cutting edge of technology.
Trusted by over 20,000 companies, including
Since 1985, we have been developing, creating and selling award-winning electronic design tools (software and hardware) that help electronics designers harness the latest devices and technologies, manage their projects across broad design ‘ecosystems’, and create connected, intelligent designs.
Which is better: Altium Designer or Eagle?
There are many reasons Altium Designer is a better choice than Autodesk Eagle. Altium Designer’s integrated set of PCB design and layout features is ideal for electronics engineers and PCB designers of any experience level. Some of the most important features that help Altium Designer rise above EAGLE in comparisons are found in the powerful routing, layout, and signal integrity tools:
- Altium Designer’s PCB layout features are easier to use than EAGLE’s layout and CAD utilities
- Auto-interactive routing features in Altium Designer keep users more productive than Eagle users
- Altium users can access real-time supply chain data for components, while EAGLE users must manually create and update component databases
- High-quality PCB fabrication and assembly drawings are easier to generate in Altium Designer vs. Autodesk Eagle thanks to Altium Designer’s built-in Draftsman utility
- Altium Designer users can more easily automate many design reuse tasks using templates, reusable circuit blocks, and project management features
- Altium’s Layer Stack Manager provides highly accurate real-time solver-based impedance calculations using a built-in Finite Element Analysis engine, while EAGLE users have to use an external program
Underneath the design features in Altium Designer is a design rules engine that unifies all of Altium’s PCB design, layout, and trace routing features into a single program. Unlike Autodesk’s Eagle users, Altium Designer users have everything needed to take an advanced design from concept to PCB fabrication for an assembled electronics product.
Switching from Eagle to Altium Designer?
Switching to Altium Designer from Eagle might seem like a huge leap. If you're an existing EAGLE user, it's easy to make the switch and start designing from Day 1. Altium Designer includes conversion tools for importing your old libraries and projects into Altium’s file format with minimal effort. All Altium Designer users can take advantage of free online resources to learn more about Altium's leading-edge design tools, basic principles, advanced techniques, new capabilities, and everything in-between. Don’t fear the unknown; Altium is the only solution built by PCB designers for PCB designers.
* Autodesk EAGLE® and EAGLE® are registered trademarks owned by Autodesk Inc.
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#1 in Electronics Design