This page details the improvements included in the initial release of Altium Designer 22, as well as those added in subsequent updates. Along with delivering a range of improvements that develop and mature the existing technologies, each update also incorporates a large number of fixes and enhancements across the software based on feedback raised by customers through the AltiumLive Community's BugCrunch system, helping you continue to create cutting-edge electronics technology.
Released: 20 January 2022 – Version 22.1.2 (build 22)
Adding cross-references to the project allows you to easily follow the connective flow of nets between the schematic sheets in a project. In this release, the support of cross-references has been extended by adding the Jump to commands for Sheet Entry and Off Sheet Connector objects.
When cross-references are enabled for sheet entries on the Options tab of the Project Options dialog, use the Sheet Entry Actions right-click menu of a sheet entry to Jump to the matching port on the child schematic sheet.
For a flat design, when cross-references are enabled for off-sheet connectors in the Project Options dialog, use the Off Sheet Actions right-click menu of an off-sheet connector to Jump to a matching off sheet connector on a related schematic sheet.
Keepout objects placed in a PCB design can now be shown in a panelized embedded board array using the PCB as a source. Enable visibility of the Keepout layer on the Layers tab of the Properties panel when an Embedded Board Array is selected in the design space.
Note that this feature only provides a visual representation of the Keepout layer. Currently, copper objects will not respect keepouts from the source PCB when placed on the Embedded Board Array.
The Cursor Color option has been added to the PCB Editor - General page of the Preferences dialog that allows you to change the color of the crosshair cursor in the PCB editor. This gives you the freedom to customize the color in order to distinguish the cursor from grids, etc. Click the color box associated with the new option to open the Choose Color dialog, then select the desired new color for the cursor.
To improve the usability of the Pad mode of the Properties panel when editing a pad stack in Top-Middle-Bottom or Full Stack mode, the user interface of the panel's Pad Stack section has been changed. Basic information about the pad stack on different layers of the PCB design is now available for viewing and editing in tabular form. When clicking within a layer name cell, additional options become available for this layer: Corner Radius (for
Rectangular shape) and Thermal Relief (shows the current parameters of the pad's thermal relief; custom thermal relief can be set if the Relief option is enabled).
Upon validation of a PCB design project, the Components and Nets folders that list the project's components and nets are displayed in the Projects panel. To manage the visibility of these folders, the Show Components and Nets folders option has been added to the Settings pop-up of the Projects panel (appears when the icon is clicked at the top of the panel) and the General region of the System – Projects Panel page of the Preferences dialog. This option is enabled by default.
Sensitivity Analysis provides a way of determining which circuit components or factors have the most influence on the output characteristics of a circuit. With this information, you can reduce the influence of negative characteristics, or alternatively, enhance the circuit performance based on positive characteristics. Sensitivity Analysis calculates sensitivities as numeric values of given measurements related to components/model parameters of circuit components, as well as sensitivity to temperature/global parameters. The result of the analysis is a table of the ranged values of sensitivities for each measurement type.
In this release, a new Sensitivity option has been added to the Analysis Setup & Run region of the Simulation Dashboard. Once it has been enabled, the Sensitivity properties can be configured in the Advanced Analysis Settings dialog, as shown below.
The Via Type View object has been added to Draftsman documents. The object allows the illustration of a via type according to the IPC-4761 standard, Design Guide for Protection of Printed Board Via Structures. A Via Type View can be placed by choosing Place » Additional Views » Via Type View from the main menus. The view will display in the document. Select the view to access its properties.
Released: 29 December 2021 – Version 22.0.2 (build 36)
Welcome to Altium Designer 22. This update to Altium Designer continues to deliver improvements and enhancements to the software's core technologies, while also addressing many of the ideas raised by customers through the AltiumLive Community's BugCrunch system.
Adding cross-references to the project allows you to easily follow the connective flow of nets between the schematic sheets in a project. In this release, the support for automatically creating and updating cross-references has been extended for the Sheet Entry objects.
Enable the Automatic Cross References and Sheet Entries options on the Options tab of the Project Options dialog. Sheet Entries will be tagged with sheet and location coordinates of the corresponding port object on the child schematic sheet.
Cross Reference values are also displayed in the Sheet Entry mode of the Properties panel, which simplifies the task of identifying the Cross Reference that is being applied to the selected Sheet Entry.
Support of cross references has also been extended in schematic PDF outputs. If an object is related to more than one connected object (e.g., a port is connected to a sheet entry on the parent schematic sheets and ports on other sheets), clicking the object in the PDF output will show the list of sheets where the connected objects reside. Select a list item to open the corresponding page.
To give you greater control over the glossing process, a new Gloss And Retrace panel has been introduced for configuring options for the Route » Gloss Selected and Route » Retrace Selected commands. This new panel can be used to set the gloss and retrace parameters that work best for the selected routing that you are currently glossing or retracing in your design.
The panel can be used to control the following Gloss and Retrace Parameters:
For the following two options, you can choose between the Min, Max, or Preferred value of the corresponding rule. Choose Current to leave the existing width or gap unchanged, or type in a new value.
preferred. You can now use the drop-down to select the width to be applied when the Retrace Selected command is run.
preferred. You can use the drop-down to select the differential pair gap setting to be applied when the Retrace Selected command is run.
The Gloss and Retrace settings also can be configured in the new PCB Editor - Gloss And Retrace page of the Preferences dialog. Whenever a change is made in the panel or Preferences dialog, it is reflected in the other. The installation defaults are preset to match earlier versions.
The IPC-4761 standard, Design Guide for Protection of Printed Board Via Structures, provides information regarding methods for protecting vias on PCBs. You can now select the via type to ensure it is protected according to the IPC standard. Use the new IPC 4761 Via Type drop-down in the Via Types & Features region of the Via mode of the Properties panel or the Via Template Editor to select.
Additionally, when a via that has the via type set to IPC-4761 in its properties is placed in a PCB design, new types of mechanical layers and component layer pairs are automatically added to the design, with corresponding shapes on these layers.
New layers are available for the following outputs:
The PCB/PCBLIB List panels also now include a column titled IPC 4761 Via Type and you can add columns to a Drill Table object (titled Via Feature and Via Type) that display the IPC 4761 supported via type.
The ODB++ Setup dialog has the new mechanical layers listed under the new IPC-4761 Via Type Features layer group.
Changes made to PCB component designators did not previously update custom, designator-specific design rules. They had to be updated manually. Enabling this new feature changes references in design rules when PCB component designators are: reannotated; updated by an ECO; or manually edited on the board.
Because of their small physical dimensions, routing in and out of surface mount devices is often dense and complex. In previous versions of the software, if the SMD rules could not be observed, for example, the required 'distance to corner' was not available; the router would fail to place any track segments (as shown in the video below). To improve the pad entry and exit behavior, the following improvements are available:
Counterholes in the laminate allow room for screw heads. Countersink and counterbore holes are two types of counterholes that allow for different types of screws. This release introduces the ability to choose counterbore or countersink holes. The key difference between countersink and counterbore screws is the size and shape of the holes; counterbore holes are wider and more square to allow for the addition of washers. Countersink holes create a conical hole matching the angled shape on the underside of a flat-head screw. A countersink is a cone-shaped hole cut into the laminate. It is typically used to allow the tapered head of a screw to sit flush with the top of the laminate. By comparison, a counterbore makes a flat-bottomed hole and its sides are drilled straight down. This is usually used to fit a hex-headed cap or screw. Only one countersink or counterbore hole per pad is allowed.
Use the new options in the Pad mode of the Properties panel to choose the type of counterhole desired. A dashed line appears around the pad in 2D to define the counter hole contour on the active layer as shown in the images below. The positioning of the dashed lines is different for Top Side and Bottom Side as seen in the images. Counterholes are supported in 2D, 3D, and in Draftsman.
The counterholes display as Layers Pairs in the Properties panel modes of the Drill Table mode of the Properties panel and the Hole Size Editor mode of the PCB panel as shown below.
A 'virtual' BOM item is added to the project in the Projects panel if there is at least one component in the project. You can open, save or remove the BOM item. The basic flow of BOM generation will not be impacted by the virtual BOM item. Click +Add ActiveBOM in the panel to open the virtual BOM in preview mode. Once the new *.BomDoc has been saved it will become a standard project document. If the virtual BOM is not required, right-click in the Projects panel then select Remove from Project.
When a project document is removed or its UniqueID has changed, the comments for the document can become "detached". Those comments can still be accessed from the panel's Detached Comments collapsible region. Click on a detached comment's tile in the panel to show the comment in the design space of the currently opened document. You can restore a comment by selecting it then clicking the mouse.
An 'Override Part Number With' option was added to the Ansys EDB Export Options dialog. This new option allows you to specify which parameter should be used as a Local Part Name rather than using 'Comment' by default. Enable the option then use the associated drop-down to select the desired parameter.
A focus for this release is a number of improvements in the ability to analyze simulation measurement results. Along with additional measurement types, a number of new measurement-based features have been added. These include:
The Counter Hole View object has been added to Draftsman documents. A Counter Hole View can be placed by choosing Place » Additional Views » Counter Hole View from the main menus. The view will display in the document. Select the view to access and view and edit the properties.
The following feature has been taken out of Open Beta and has transitioned to Public in this release: