Download a free trial to find out which Altium software best suits your needs
Contact your local sales office to get started on improving your design environment
Download the latest in PCB design and EDA software
Complete Environment for Schematic + Layout
Entry Level, Professional PCB Design Tool
Community Based PCB Design Tool
Agile PCB Design For Teams
Connecting PCB Design to the Manufacturing Floor
Complete Solution for Library Management
Extensive, Easy-to-Use Component Database
Natural and Effortless Power Distribution Network Analysis
World-Renowned Technology for Embedded Systems Development
Learn best practices with instructional training available worldwide
Gain comprehensive knowledge without leaving your home or office
The easiest way to visualize your electronic designs online
Annual PCB Design Summit
Where Altium users and enthusiasts can interact with each other
Our blog about things that interest us and hopefully you too
Submit ideas and vote for new features you want in Altium tools
Help make the software better by submitting bugs and voting on what's important
A stream of events on AltiumLive you follow by participating in or subscribing to
Information about participating in our Beta program and getting early access to Altium tools
Explore the latest content from blog posts to social media and technical white papers gathered together for your convenience
Take a look at what download options are available to best suit your needs
Contact your local sales office to get started improving your design environment
The documentation area is where you can find extensive, versioned information about our software online, for free.
View the schedule and register for training events all around the world and online
Browse our vast library of free design content including components, templates and reference designs
Attend a live webinar online or get instant access to our on demand series of webinars
Get your questions answered with our variety of direct support and self-service options
Stay up to date with the latest technology and industry trends with our complete collection of technical white papers.
Quick and to-the-point video tutorials to get you started with Altium Designer
Altium is led by a team of highly passionate industry experts
Announcements to the ASX market from the preceding 3 years
Our customers can be found changing every industry; see how
Without volatile memory, your computer would require constant reading and writing to non-volatile memory like hard drives or Flash. Non-volatile memory is one of the things that makes modern computers so powerful and gives them the adaptability required for advanced tasks. Although DDR3 is now obsolete, DDR-based memory is here to stay and will continue to play a central role in modern computer architecture. With the right design tools, you can design to the newest generation of DDR-based memory and beyond. Come see what Altium Designer can do for you.
TOPICS IN THIS SOLUTION
The industry standard in electronics design for high performance PCBs and memory architecture.
Double data rate three (DDR3) is a type of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) that succeeds earlier generations of DDR. These memories have clock speeds reaching 1066 MHz and support up to 24 GB of memory. This high clock speed and large storage capacity ensured DDR3 remained a mainstay in modern computing, but it was eventually improved to DDR4. Each new generation continues to push the limits of data rates and clock speeds in high speed PCBs, and DDR-based memories are not likely to be replaced with a new architecture anytime soon.
With this in mind, memory designers need to make themselves aware of the various PCB design rules for DDR-based memories and how these rules are being pushed to the limits with DDR4. Designers should also stay aware of different routing topologies for PCBs as implementations of new topologies have improved the functionality of DDR-based memories, including DDR3.
Working with a great PCB design package like Altium Designer allows design engineers to implement the best routing topology for advancing the performance of DDR3, DDR4, and future memory generations. Altium Designer includes the design, interactive routing, power delivery analysis, and simulation tools you need to ensure your DDR-based designs operate at peak performance.
DDR3 uses fly-by topology for the differential clock, address, command, and control signals. DDR3 originally used T-Topology to connect memory banks to the controller, but higher performing DDR3 memories use fly-by topology to improve compatibility with highly capacitive loads and IC architectures.
Implementing the right architecture for DDR3 or DDR4, as well as placing interconnects with DDR SDRAM die packages, requires adaptable routing tools that do not constrain your topology. Signal traces are routed as differential pairs and must be precisely matched within tight tolerances compared to other computer peripheral standards like PCIe.
Many of the standard design rules for ensuring signal integrity in other devices also apply to DDR3 and beyond. Higher performing memories use fly-by topology, which comes with specific requirements. Traces should be length matched to within tight tolerances, differential pairs should be tightly coupled on the same layer, and stub lengths to each memory device should be as short as possible to prevent transmission line effects and resonance in a stub. All signals within a given lane group should be routed on the same layer as this prevents propagation delay differences and skew.
In order to verify the effectiveness of your routing and layout throughout your board, you need simulation tools that directly incorporate your design data. Working within a signal integrity tool that calculates reflection waveforms and crosstalk ensures that your designs meet important performance standards on DDR3 and newer memories.
Design layout configuration for memory devices
With DDR3 memory being obsolete and replaced with DDR4, and eventually DDR5, designers can only expect the routing requirements and topology to become more complex. Signalling speeds will increase and the routing topology for memory devices on chips will impose new layout constraints. With this in mind, you need design software that is adaptable to any routing topology while still helping you satisfy important design constraints.
With any new high speed or high frequency layout, a great simulation tool can help you diagnose potential signal integrity problems throughout your board. Potential problems can crop up at any point in your layout, and the right signal integrity tools make it easy to diagnose crosstalk, determine where termination is required, and determine how parasitics are affecting your board. You can then test potential redesigns and directly compare results during each iteration.
Signal integrity as part of design in Altium Designer
Given the complex demands on DDR memories, designers need programs that ease the routing and layout phase while still ensuring their design meets the basic layout standards for DDR3, DDR4, and beyond. When your design software is built on top of a rules-driven design engine, your design features will check your layout against design standards as you build your board. Your simulation tools will build models directly from your design data, and you won’t have to move your data between multiple programs.
With Altium Designer, you’ll have access to the routing, simulation, and verification tools you need to design DDR3, DDR4, and newer memory architectures that meet or beat designs standards. Only Altium Designer places these features in a single program, while other design platforms separate these features into different environments. Everything you need for DDR design can be found in Altium Designer.
Other PCB design software platforms split these important design features into different programs. With Altium Designer, you’ll have access to the best routing and topology layout features in a single platform. Altium also provides you with resources to ensure your success. You’ll have instant access to podcasts and webinars with industry experts, the AltiumLive forum, an extensive knowledge base, and design tutorials.
Instead of getting stuck with a new version of outdated design software, try working in Altium Designer’s integrated design environment. You’ll have the access to the tools you need for DDR routing and layout within and single environment. You’ll be able to stay at the forefront of DDR design when you use Altium Designer.