The Best PCB Design Software to Create Your PCB Stack Up
To get the best performance out of the printed circuit board that you design, you need the best PCB design software to create your PCB stack up.
TOPICS IN THIS SOLUTION
Strong multilayer PCB design with stronger PCB design tools.
The world of PCB manufacturing is growing at an amazing rate. New materials for printed circuit board fabrication are being introduced every day in response to the PCB technologies that are now in demand. Some of these technologies include power designs, RF designs, high density interconnect (HDI) designs, and flex designs. And of course, you still have regular mixed signal circuit boards that are being manufactured every day. The different board materials used for these PCBs need to be configured uniquely for each design that is created in order to satisfy the calculations for power, impedance, and signal integrity. No longer can a designer just default to a simple four layer board configuration out of habit, there needs to be care and forethought put into the design of the each PCB stack up.
This is where Altium Designer will really be able to help you. Altium Designer has featured advanced layer stack management tools for many years, and these tools are continually being enhanced. With these tools you will be able to pull board materials out of a library, build your stackup with different regions for different needs, perform impedance calculations based on the materials and their widths, and store those stackups for future uses. Altium Designer has many advanced tools to help you design printed circuit boards, and this enhanced layer stack manager is at the top of the list. When you need to design the best printed circuit board you don’t need to worry, because you’ve got the best design tools to help you; Altium Designer.
At one time the PCB layout designer would punch in how many routing layers and plane layers were desired, and then jump right into place and route. Those days are long gone and designers these days need to calculate impedance values according to the materials and widths used in the PCB stack up before they start laying out the board. But before you jump into designing your PCB layer stackup though, it is best to prepare yourself with a little more information on what PCB layer stackups are really all about.
No matter what layer PCB you’re designing, working through a ground plane, micro vias, power plane and maintaining board thickness and potentially tight coupling can be particularly difficult. Trust your design software to have a reference plane you can consult, to manage vias accurately, to work no matter the number of layers and to be able to plan out dielectric constant while heading towards PCB fabrication.
How Many Layers Does Your Board Really Need?
There’s more to designing a board then just designating copper layers to route on. Here is some more information that will help you to understand PCB layer stackup methodology.
- Peel back the layers in a printed circuit board with this explanation of PCB layer stackups.
- Controlled impedance routing is very important in high speed PCB design, and creating the correct layer stackup to manage the impedance is critical.
- Take a look at how to configure your PCB layer stackup with this brief tutorial on how to use the layer stack manager in Altium Designer.
Setting up the impedance profile from within Altium Designer’s layer stack manager
Armed with the knowledge of what you will need in your PCB stack up, the next step is to build it in your PCB design tools. Fortunately Altium Designer has the advanced tools that you want to create the layer stackup that you need. With the ability to pull materials from a library and add those materials into the layer stack configuration, Altium Designer is already far ahead of the competition. From there you can engage the impedance calculator so that the layer manager will determine what trace widths are needed for controlled impedance routing. Altium Designer will then forward that data directly into your design rules so that you come up with the correct trace widths for the impedance values you choose. There’s no need to spend time creating a PCB stack up with difficult to use older tools, Altium Designer has what you need for success.
Configure Your Layer Stackup the Way You Need it to Be
Altium Designer gives you the most advance layer stackup manager so that you can control the configuration of your PCB stack up with precision.
- With PCB design becoming more difficult with new technologies, Altium Designer will keep you at the forefront of the curve with enhanced features such as the new layer stack manager.
- When you create your PCB layer stack, Altium Designer gives you a library full of board materials ready to pick from for the layer stack manager.
- From within Altium Designer’s layer stack manager, you can calculate and set your impedance controlled trace width values.
The ability to accurately control the PCB stack up becomes very important in flex designs
You don’t need multiple tools from various vendors to design your circuit board any longer. Altium has created Altium Designer to service all of your PCB design needs in one powerful suite of tools. Starting with component selection that leads you into schematic capture, Altium Designer will create the circuitry you need for PCB layout. Once in layout you will find a variety of place and route tools to handle whatever PCB technology you are working on. With Altium Designer’s proven native 3D environment you will be able to work with your components to create the most optimum placement to both mechanical features and other system level board designs. All of the tools work fluently together because they are based on Altium Designer’s signature unified design environment. This environment provides you with a seamless exchange of data between tools as well as a common user interface in the tools to increase your efficiency. Altium Designer is the PCB designer’s choice for the best tools to get the job done right.
Altium Designer will Take You from Schematic Through Layout
From schematic capture and all the way through PCB layout, Altium Designer will do it all with a variety of tools, simulators and output file generators.
- Altium Designer comes equipped with multiple routing tools so that you can get your design routed to 100% more efficiently.
- With different technologies driving the configurations of the designs, you need to see immediately how your board will stack up using Altium Designer’s native 3D environment.
- The unified design environment assures you of a simplified and worry-free platform to support all of the tools at your disposal in Altium Designer.
When it’s up to you to design the latest PCB technologies you don’t have to worry how you are going to configure the board layers. With Altium Designer’s advance PCB stack up technology, you’ve got all the power you need at your command.