Altium Designer Documentation

Managing Split Planes using the PCB Panel in Altium Designer

Created: December 31, 2015 | Updated: July 13, 2021
All Contents

Parent Page: PCB Panels

The Split Plane Editor mode of the PCB panel.
The Split Plane Editor mode of the PCB panel.

Summary

The Split Plane Editor mode of the PCB panel allows designers to easily view and manage split planes. A split plane is an enclosed region on an internal plane that divides the plane into separate electrically isolated areas.

The panel is split into the following sections:

  1. Layers - This region of the panel displays all interal plane layers currently defined in the design and how many split planes exist per layer.
  2. Split Planes - This region of the panel is filled with split planes contained in a selected entry from the Layers region.
  3. Pads/Vias On Split Plane - As it's name suggestions, this region is populated with Pads and Vias from a selected entry in the Split Planes region of the panel.

Panel Access

When the PCB Editor is active, click the button at the bottom-right corner of the workspace and select  PCB from the context menu. Alternatively, you can access the panel through the View » Workspace Panels » PCB » PCB sub-menu.

Panels can be configured to be floating in the editor space or docked to sides of the screen. If the PCB panel is currently in a group of panels, use the PCB tab located at the bottom of the panels to bring it to the front.

Using the Split-Plane Editor

Nets/Layers

The Nets/Layers section of the panel fills with all internal plane layers currently defined for the design. Within that section, the Split Count column indicates how many split planes exist for the corresponding plane layer. A split count of 1 effectively means that the layer has not been split, and the layer itself is considered to be a single split.

Split Planes

After selecting an entry in the Layers section, all of the split planes on that plane layer and their assigned nets will be loaded into the Split Planes section of the panel. To view only nets associated with split planes in this section, ensure that the Show Split Plane Nets Only option is enabled on the right-click menu. For each entry, a Node Count is displayed. This value reflects the total number of pads and vias that are connected to that split plane region.

Double-click (or right-click and select Properties from the context menu) on a Net with split planes to open the Split Plane  dialog, which can be used to change which net the split plane is assigned to. Note that if the selected net has no split planes, the Edit Net dialog will open instead.

Filtering will be applied based on the entry chosen in the Layers section, the visual result of which (in the design editor window) is determined by the highlighting methods enabled (Mask/Dim/Normal, Select, Zoom). Multiple entries can be selected using standard Shift+Click and Ctrl+Click features.

Pads/Vias On Split Plane

After selecting an entry in the Split Planes section of the panel, filtering will be applied based on that entry. Again, the filtering results depend on the highlighting methods enabled and whether pads and/or vias are enabled with respect to their visibility. Multiple entries can be selected in the region. Right-clicking on Pad or Via and selecting Properties from the context menu will open the associated dialog for that primitive.

 

 

 

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