Design environment puts device intelligence at the center of the design process

5th February 2008
ES Admin
Altium Limited has launched the Altium Innovation Station which combines the Altium Designer unified electronics design software with the newly-extended Altium NanoBoard range of reconfigurable hardware platforms.
The result is a complete electronics design environment that puts device intelligence at the center of the design process. This enables designers to create real and sustainable differentiation through continuous design innovation.

The Altium Innovation Station builds on Altium's leadership in unified electronics design which provides designers with capabilities beyond the traditional collection of point design tools.

Using the Altium Innovation Station, designers can design in the soft domain, without having to pre-determine the hardware platform on which the product will be delivered. Its unified environment allows them to easily exploit today’s low-cost, high-performance programmable devices to create and deliver the intelligence they need to create sustainable differentiation. They can then quickly and easily test, analyze and debug the design using the Desktop NanoBoard reconfigurable hardware development platform which is integrated with Altium Designer. The reconfigurable Innovation Station allows designers to compare the performance benefits and trade-offs of different FPGAs without changing their design.

Designers then deploy to one of a new range of deployment NanoBoards – off-the-shelf hardware options that let designers deploy their designs as physical hardware without the need to manufacture any custom hardware. This allows them to consider any number of execution possibilities for their design, with or without design intelligence, with or without physical hardware.

Using the Altium Innovation Station also provides additional advantages to the designer after the initial design and development is complete by allowing them to protect their intellectual property, retain their source documents, and in the future connect their devices to new ‘ecosystems’.

“The forces driving the electronics industry and product development in general are changing,” said Nick Martin, CEO of Altium. “And this process of change is continuing to accelerate, rather than slow down. The globalization of manufacturing, particularly the commoditization of low-cost, high quality manufacturing, has all but removed any price or time-to-market advantage. Lowest cost and first to market are no longer any guarantee of sustained success.

“To create sustainable differentiation in the future will require products that are more intelligent and intuitive, and that create long-term relationships, through the product, between the manufacturer and the customer.

“Altium has spent more than 1,000 man-years, over the past seven years, creating a new approach to electronics design by building a system that allows for the development of the intelligence of an electronic product in addition to the design of the physical board. The design of intelligence is done within one design solution.

“Altium is committed to helping every organization put device intelligence at the center of the design process. Soft aesthetics and product interfaces can be developed as the key part of the product design and delivery process. The hard aesthetics are relegated to being important in establishing the overall brand experience, rather than providing the key differentiator. After all, anything physical is easy to copy!

“Although it has served us well in the past, the old approach to designing electronic products – that puts the development of the hardware platform first with soft aspects built to this platform – must now give way to the next generation’s approach.

“This new approach puts the design of the soft elements of an electronic system first and at the center of the whole design process.”

The Altium Innovation Station, including the latest release of Altium Designer, the desktop development NanoBoard, and a preview of the new deployment NanoBoards, is being launched worldwide this month.

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