Altium accelerates move towards continuous updates

29th July 2009
ES Admin
Altium continues to provide new features in Altium Designer, its electronics design software, to help electronics designers stay continuously updated on new technology and trends. “We think the days of an industry model that somehow forces users to wait for significant new releases and features, that appear only once every few years, are numbered,” says Nick Martin, CEO of Altium.
Leading the latest new features are web-based software license management and access options, to make it easier for electronics designers to manage design teams, workloads and projects.

Other new features in Altium Designer include custom FPGA logic development for board-level designers, with no HDL skills required; a doubling of mechanical layers; high-level software development using C++; and USB device support.

Altium’s new software license options mean that designers and managers are no longer compelled to match specific licenses to individual users. Instead, designers can “book out” a license for use on any computer. Once the work, project, task or shift is completed, the license is “released” back to Altium’s server for use by other designers.

Designers and their managers can schedule work flexibly across different regions and time zones, or have designers work at home or in discrete design groups, without being compelled to purchase one license per user or per computer. They are simply plugged into all the new features and enhancements. Altium has also retained the option for designers to have stand-alone licenses if design or security protocols demand this.

“What electronics designers need is the best of both worlds: significant new features and developments which continuously keep track with technology developments, as soon as they are ready,” said Nick Martin. “This reflects the way the designers’ world is changing. New competitors, new opportunities, and connected ecosystems of products and networks all point to having to design new types of electronic products using the latest technology, in new ways. Electronics designers cannot afford to wait years for new functionality to appear in their design tools.

“These new features and enhancements are the latest in a series of updates that we continue to introduce to Altium Designer. Users who have subscription relationships with us will always have immediate access to the latest from Altium. Our new pricing and subscription model, which we announced in April, make this very affordable.”

Altium has also extended live links within Altium Designer to component supplier databases (first introduced in December 2008 with Digi-Key), adding Premier Farnell. Live links put all the crucial information about a component at designers' fingertips, right at the start of the design process.

“We felt it was important to expand the live links available to component supplier databases from within Altium Designer as quickly as we could. So it’s great to add Premier Farnell just six months after first announcing the feature,” said Nick Martin. “Designers should not have to break out of that design mode to check suppliers’ web sites, or make design decisions they then need to change because a component is no longer available. Every time a designer opens a design in Altium Designer, he can see what components are available, along with all their details, in real-time. Design frustrations dwindle, and design insight improves.”

Randall Restle, Director of Global Technical Marketing for Premier Farnell, said, “We are very pleased that Altium is extending its live links functionality to include Premier Farnell's DesignLink web service environment. This will allow design engineers to search local Premier Farnell company stores to check availability and pricing of the right parts, and the latest ones, for their designs without leaving Altium's design environment.”

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