Circuit Board Layout Datasheet
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
- Visually and easily manage your PCB copper pours
- Peace of mind PCB layout with constraint driven design
- Save manufacturing costs by simple to use panelization
- Streamline PCB pre-routing setup with dynamic smart object placement
- Define multiple stackups, rigid and flex, to facilitate PCB construction
Altium Designer® board layout tools addresses the challenges you encounter when laying out even a dense large-component- count designs. It makes shaping your board, organizing and placing components simple and easy, whether it is rigid or flex. With the ability to place and drag components that push, avoid, and snap-to alignment with other objects and pads on your printed-circuit board layout, your boards are always efficiently prepared for routing with minimal clicks and keystrokes.
Printed Circuit Board Layout Design
Without any design limitation to the board size, number of layers, or the complexity of your vias, rest assured your high density interconnect (HDI) or high speed printed circuit board requirements will always be met. Furthermore, your signal integrity disturbances are reduced on high-speed PCBs with complete control over every drill hole with hole tolerances and back drilling capabilities.
Copper polygon pours are used to create a solid or hatched (lattice) areas on a PCB layer, using either Region objects, or a combination of Track and Arc objects. They are commonly used to create power planes and signal planes to connect to components and can be used to help with heat distribution. PCB designers generally use filled copper regions to cover the remaining area outside those tracks, pads, and stand-off regions.
In Altium Designer, areas of copper can be defined using three different design objects: Fills, Solid Regions and Polygon Pours. You can interactively place a polygon, or it can be created from a set of existing track and arc objects that define a closed shape. The advantage of a polygon pour is that it automatically creates stand-off regions to copper objects that belong to another net based on design rules. Furthermore, it can fill irregularly shaped areas of a printed circuit board as they automatically pour around existing objects, connecting only to objects on the same net as the polygon pour.
Powerful Easy to Use Polygon Management
Panelization, also known as step-and-repeat, is the method of placing two or more PCBs onto one panel, which allows boards to be secured during manufacturing, shipping, and assembly. Since your PCB is priced per panel, your cost will be directly impacted by how many PCBs can be fabricated on a panel. Altium Designer panelization feature makes it easy to define a panel, of the same or different board designs. And with the source boards being linked rather than copied, any design change made on the source board, is immediately reflected across the entire panel.
Powerful Easy to Use Management
When designing a printed circuit board (PCB), you need to use a variety of objects. Most objects placed in a circuit board layout datasheet will define copper areas or voids. Altium Designer gives you control over two types of objects to work with: Primitive Objects and Group Objects. Primitive objects are the most basic elements, and include: tracks, pads, vias, fills, arcs, and strings. Anything that is made up of primitives and identified as a design object is a group object. Examples of group objects include: components, dimensions, coordinates, and polygon pours.
Altium Designer makes placing any object the easy and identical, regardless of the object being placed. Simply select an object and use the mouse to define the location of where you want it placed, and right click (or
Clear Green Indicators Help you Align Components for Optimum Placement
Altium Designer also streamlines placing components with its smart component placement. It makes the tedious effort to align objects easy by dynamically aligning them as they are being dragged. Clear green indicators lines appear when the component is aligned, either with adjacent components or with the pads of adjacent components. Designers can cycle through multiple modes to ensure the component placement process is efficient: Ignore Obstacles, Push Obstacles, and Avoid Obstacles.
Altium Designer also incorporates rooms, keepouts, and polygon regions to aid you when designing. Rooms are regions that assist in the placement of components by grouping them inside the designated area. On the other hand, keepout regions act as an ‘interference’ object that prevent other copper objects from intersecting its area, as specified by the global clearance rule. Lastly, polygons act as regions in the board schematic to dictate allowable copper pour areas, as well as defining copper pour order.
Altium Designer’s PCB editor uses design rules to define the requirements of a design. These rules collectively cover every aspect of the design, and form an instruction set for the PCB editor to follow. They cover routing widths, clearances, plane connection styles, routing via styles, and so on. Many of these rules can be monitored in real-time by the online design rule checker (DRC). Altium Designer rules are not attributes of the objects, but rather they are defined independently of the objects, with each rule having a scope that defines which objects it must target.
Altium Designer rules are applied in a hierarchical fashion, For example, the highest-order rule would be a clearance rule for the entire board, then perhaps a clearance rule for a class of nets, then perhaps another for one for the pads in a class. Using the rule priority and the scope, the PCB editor can determine which rule applies to each object in the design. With this flexibility, you can define various design rule sets with varying stringent design requirements, and save them into templates. Taking the time to set up these templates will enable you, and your colleagues, to effectively get on with the job of designing safely, knowing that the rules system is working hard to ensure you are designing against a set of approved requirements.
Layer stack management allows you to define the material composition and specialized regions on the board schematic. For flex circuitry and rigid-flex PCB designs, you can control the entire stackup, including all rigid and flex portions with bending angles and individual layer definitions. Use 3D capabilities to visualize layer stacks anywhere from 2 to 32 layers using subsets of materials used in the primary layer stack. Each layer has an individual definition and corresponding parametric data.
Rigid-Flex Layer Stack Management
Complex boards with multiple stackups can be defined side-by-side to facilitate board construction. You define and manage all of the layer stackups in a central location to facilitate tracking of layer stack details and minimizing errors and miscommunication on layer details.
Looking for more information about PCB Design and Board Layout? Reach out to our support team, or call our toll free phone number at 1-800-488-0681 today.