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Design practices for PCBs continue to evolve, and the tools that are used to create the best PCBs need to keep pace. Some design tools separate your critical tools into different programs, forcing you to use an inconsistent workflow. The best design software creates a unified data model based on design rules, allowing all your tools to be accessible within a single program. The unified data model in Altium Designer allows you to use multi-channel design techniques, making it easy to create and link multiple pieces of design data into a single, coherent system.
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A unified PCB design package with the best tools for designing military electronics systems.
With PCB designs becoming more complex by the day, designers need powerful tools to help them stay organized, productive, and compliant with basic design rules. With the complexities involved in schematic design for modern electronic devices, how can the professional designer keep their information organized while staying productive?
Design software that runs on a single unified data model naturally lends itself to multi-channel design. This unique and important design methodology is meant to help you keep your design data organized while ensuring that you remain productive. The unified design engine in Altium Designer allows you to access all the tools you need in a single program by creating your designs on top of a rules-driven design engine. No other program makes multi-channel design this easy.
Just like any new house, your PCB needs a foundation on which to build your device. Your schematic editor forms the bedrock for your PCB and will serve as the blueprint for your layout. At some point, a device can become so complex that it becomes near impossible to contain all aspects of your device in a single schematic without losing your sanity. How can designers stay organized while ensuring that their designs have the required functionality?
With the right PCB design software, you can easily link your schematics together into a larger, coherent structure using multi-channel and hierarchical design techniques. Hierarchical design allows you to define parent and child relationships between schematics, making it easy to embed functionality within a top-level schematic. With multi-channel design, you can easily reuse repeated portions of your schematic, making it easy to create important links between functional blocks in your system.
Reusing sections of your design as part of hierarchical schematics
Any design that features repeated circuit elements and functional blocks that are part of a hierarchy can be created quickly and easily with multi-channel design software. For example, designs with multiple audio or video interfaces, multiple signal processing units for sensor networks, and a number of embedded systems can benefit from hierarchical design software. Combining this with hierarchical design features allows you to define vertical relationships between schematics, helping you stay organized at every level of your device.
Supporting these capabilities requires an underlying design engine that is adaptable and supports all your design tools. This is something that other PCB design software platforms simply do not offer. Other design platforms separate important design tools into different programs, making it difficult to capture a multi-channel hierarchical system into a layout.
Instead of relying on separated design tools, your design software should include tools that are built on a single design engine. Better yet, your design features should be placed in a single program in order to maximize productivity. This makes it easy to transition from schematic to layout without exporting design data and switching to a different program. This also makes it easy to quickly reuse existing functional blocks and components in a new design.
Reusing circuits in multi-channel design
The industry’s best PCB design software will integrate your PCB editor features, analysis, and documentation tools into a single integrated environment. This gives you total accessibility within one program. Your schematics, layouts, and component data are accessible within a single interface that is built on top of a rules-driven design engine. Altium’s multi-channel design technology allows for easy management of updates, reuse of design data, and project releases to manufacturers.
This technology includes a complete design hierarchy that standardizes your design data and allows it to be seamlessly linked and synchronized. Updates to different portions of your design will easily pass between your schematic, layout, and component data, ensuring that your designs remain organized and consistent. No other design software offers this level of integration.
Other design platforms force you to switch between multiple programs, making multi-channel design very difficult or impossible. You’ll have to manage your data in one location, use a PCB editor in another program, and design hierarchical schematics in yet another program. This is not the case with Altium Designer. Everything you need to design PCBs and manage your design data is integrated in a single interface.
When you choose Altium Designer, you’ll always have access to the resources you need to design successfully. You’ll have instant access to the AltiumLive forum, webinars and podcasts with industry experts, feature tutorials, and a massive knowledge base with plenty of design tips. Don’t settle for other design platforms that sap your productivity and make essential design tasks difficult. It’s time to make the switch to Altium Designer.