Altium Designer 20.0.11 Build 256 X64: A Review of the Best PCB Design Software
Altium Designer 20.0.11 Build 256 X64: A Powerful and Easy-to-Use PCB Design Tool
What is Altium Designer?
Altium Designer is a comprehensive software solution for designing printed circuit boards (PCBs) and electronic systems. It combines schematic capture, PCB layout, 3D visualization, simulation, verification, documentation, and collaboration tools in a unified design environment.
Altium Designer 20.0.11 Build 256 X64
Altium Designer enables you to create high-quality, high-performance, and reliable PCBs for any application, from simple hobby projects to complex industrial systems. You can also design multi-board assemblies, rigid-flex boards, embedded systems, FPGA-based designs, and more.
Altium Designer is trusted by thousands of engineers and designers worldwide, who use it to create innovative products for various industries, such as aerospace, automotive, medical, consumer electronics, IoT, and more.
The main features and benefits of Altium Designer
Altium Designer offers a range of features and benefits that make it a powerful and easy-to-use PCB design tool. Some of them are:
A modern and intuitive user interface that simplifies your design workflow and enhances your productivity.
A native 3D engine that allows you to view your PCB design in realistic 3D mode, check for collisions and clearances, and export 3D models for mechanical integration.
An interactive routing engine that helps you route your PCB traces quickly and efficiently, with support for differential pairs, length tuning, impedance matching, pin swapping, glossing, push-and-shove, and more.
A library management system that helps you create and manage your components and libraries, with access to thousands of ready-made components from leading manufacturers and suppliers.
A design rule system that helps you ensure your PCB design meets the electrical, mechanical, manufacturing, and compliance requirements of your project.
A simulation and analysis tool that helps you verify the functionality and performance of your circuit before prototyping, with support for mixed-signal simulation, signal integrity analysis, power delivery analysis, thermal analysis, and more.
A documentation and output generation tool that helps you create professional-looking PCB documentation and output files for fabrication and assembly, with support for BOMs, Gerbers, ODB++, PDFs, 3D PDFs, drawings, reports, and more.
A collaboration and version control tool that helps you manage your design projects and share them with your team members and stakeholders, with support for cloud services, Git repositories, commenting, reviewing, comparing, and more.
The system requirements and installation process of Altium Designer
To run Altium Designer on your computer, you need to meet the following minimum system requirements:
Operating system: Windows 10 (64-bit)
Processor: Intel Core i5 or equivalent
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics card: DirectX 10 or higher compatible
Hard disk space: 10 GB free
Internet connection: Required for online services
To download Altium Designer 20.0.11 Build 256 X64, you need to visit the official website of Altium and choose the version you want from the list of available downloads. You can also access the release notes, installation guide, and other documentation from the same page.
After downloading the installer, you need to run it and follow the instructions on the screen. You can choose to install Altium Designer as a standalone application or as part of a suite of Altium products. You can also customize the installation options, such as the destination folder, the components to install, and the license type.
Once the installation is complete, you can launch Altium Designer from the Start menu or the desktop shortcut. You will be prompted to sign in with your Altium account credentials and activate your license. You can also configure your preferences, such as the user interface theme, the default units, and the keyboard shortcuts.
What's new in Altium Designer 20.0.11 Build 256 X64?
Altium Designer 20.0.11 Build 256 X64 is the second update for Altium Designer 20, which was released in December 2019. This update introduces several improvements and bug fixes for various features and functionalities of Altium Designer, such as:
Library Migrator improvements
The Library Migrator has been enhanced to provide a more automated and streamlined solution for converting file-based component libraries to server-based managed components. The new user interface allows you to select multiple source libraries and target servers, and perform batch migration with one click. The source library analysis process has also been improved to automatically detect component types and parameter content, and suggest suitable templates and models for migration.
Interactive Routing enhancements
The Interactive Routing feature has been improved to provide more control and flexibility over your PCB routing process. You can now use the new Track Glossing mode to smooth out your existing traces and optimize their length and angle. You can also use the new Corner Fillet mode to add rounded corners to your traces and reduce stress concentration. Additionally, you can use the new Push Obstacles mode to push away existing traces and vias while routing new ones, without violating design rules.
The Draftsman feature has been improved to provide more options and capabilities for creating professional-looking PCB documentation. You can now use the new Layer Stack Table object to display the layer stack information of your PCB in a tabular format. You can also use the new Assembly View object to display a 3D view of your PCB assembly with component outlines and reference designators. Furthermore, you can use the new Custom Title Block dialog to create and edit custom title blocks for your Draftsman documents.
Other new features and bug fixes
Altium Designer 20.0.11 Build 256 X64 also includes other new features and bug fixes for various aspects of Altium Designer, such as:
A new option to export PCB documents as STEP files with colors.
A new option to import PCB documents from Eagle CAD files.
A new option to synchronize schematic parameters with PCB parameters.
A new option to enable or disable snapping to pads while placing components.
A new option to show or hide component bodies in 3D mode.
A new option to set the default layer color scheme for PCB documents.
A new option to set the default font size for text objects.
A new option to set the default grid size for schematic documents.
A new option to set the default net name style for schematic documents.
A new option to set the default track width for PCB documents.
A new option to set the default via size for PCB documents.
A new option to set the default clearance rule for PCB documents.
A new option to set the default solder mask expansion rule for PCB documents.
A new option to set the default paste mask expansion rule for PCB documents.
A number of bug fixes related to stability, performance, compatibility, usability, and functionality.
How to use Altium Designer 20.0.11 Build 256 X64?
To use Altium Designer 20.0.11 Build 256 X64, you need to have a basic understanding of the PCB design process and workflow. The following steps will guide you through a simple example of designing a PCB using Altium Designer:
Creating a new project and adding schematic documents
The first step is to create a new project and add schematic documents where you will capture your circuit design. To do this:
Open Altium Designer and click on File > New > Project > PCB Project.
Enter a name and a location for your project and click OK.
Right-click on your project in the Projects panel and click on Add New to Project > Schematic.
Enter a name for your schematic document and click OK.
Repeat the last two steps to add more schematic documents if needed.
Placing components and wiring them up
The next step is to place components and wire them up according to your circuit design. To do this:
Open a schematic document and click on Place > Part.
Search for the component you want to place in the Libraries panel or the Manufacturer Part Search panel.
Select the component and click OK.
Move the cursor to the desired location on the schematic sheet and click to place the component.
Repeat the last three steps to place more components as needed.
To wire up the components, click on Place > Wire and draw a wire from one component pin to another.
To add a net label to a wire, click on Place > Net Label and enter a name for the net.
To add a power port to a wire, click on Place > Power Port and select a power symbol from the list.
To add a ground port to a wire, click on Place > Ground and select a ground symbol from the list.
To add a bus to group multiple wires, click on Place > Bus and draw a bus line over the wires.
To add a bus entry to connect a wire to a bus, click on Place > Bus Entry and draw a bus entry line from the wire to the bus.
Generating a PCB document from the schematic
The next step is to generate a PCB document from the schematic, where you will lay out your PCB design. To do this:
Right-click on your project in the Projects panel and click on Add New to Project > PCB.
Enter a name for your PCB document and click OK.
Right-click on your project in the Projects panel and click on Compile PCB Project.
If there are any errors or warnings in the Messages panel, fix them before proceeding.
Click on Design > Import Changes From <ProjectName>.PrjPCB and review the changes to be imported from the schematic to the PCB.
Click on Execute Changes and then Close.
Laying out the PCB and routing the traces
The next step is to lay out your PCB and route your traces according to your design rules. To do this:
Open your PCB document and switch to 2D mode by pressing 2 on your keyboard.
To change the board shape, click on Design > Board Shape > Define from Selected Objects and select an object that defines the board outline, such as a rectangle or a polygon.
To move or rotate components, select them and drag them with your mouse or use the arrow keys or the spacebar on your keyboard.
To align or distribute components, select them and use the Align or Distribute commands from the Tools menu or the toolbar.
To arrange components automatically, select them and use the Arrange command from the Tools menu or the toolbar.
To route traces manually, click on Interactive Routing from the toolbar or press Shift+R on your keyboard and draw traces from one component pad to another, following the ratsnest lines that indicate connections.
To route traces automatically, click on Auto Route > All from Selection from the toolbar or press Ctrl+A on your keyboard and select the components or nets you want to route automatically.
To change routing modes or options, use the buttons or menus in the Heads Up Display (HUD) that appears when you are routing traces.
Generating output files for fabrication and assembly
The final step is to generate output files for fabrication and assembly of your PCB. To do this:
Click on File > Project Releaser.
Select an output destination, such as a folder, a zip file, or an Altium 365 workspace.
Select an output configuration, such as Basic Outputs, Fabrication Outputs, Assembly Outputs, or Custom Outputs.
Select an output format, such as PDF, Gerber X2, ODB++, IPC-2581B, or Custom Format.
Select an output variant, such as Default Variant or Custom Variant.
Click on Release Project and wait for the output files to be generated.
Altium Designer 20.0.11 Build 256 X64 is a powerful and easy-to-use PCB design tool that offers a range of features and benefits for creating high-quality, high-performance, and reliable PCBs for any application. It combines schematic capture, PCB layout, 3D visualization, simulation, verification, documentation, and collaboration tools in a unified design environment. It also introduces several improvements and bug fixes for various features and functionalities of Altium Designer, such as library migrator, interactive routing, draftsman, and more. It also provides a simple and straightforward PCB design process and workflow, from creating a new project and adding schematic documents, to placing components and wiring them up, to generating a PCB document from the schematic, to laying out the PCB and routing the traces, to generating output files for fabrication and assembly. Altium Designer 20.0.11 Build 256 X64 is a must-have software for any PCB designer or engineer who wants to create innovative products for various industries.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Altium Designer 20.0.11 Build 256 X64:
How much does Altium Designer cost?
Altium Designer is available in different editions and pricing plans, depending on your needs and budget. You can choose from the following options:
Altium Designer Subscription: This is the most popular option, which gives you access to the latest version of Altium Designer and all its features, as well as online services, technical support, and updates. The subscription fee is $1,995 per year per seat.
Altium Designer Perpetual: This option gives you a perpetual license to use Altium Designer and its features, but without online services, technical support, and updates. You can purchase this option for $7,245 per seat.
Altium Designer Evaluation: This option gives you a free trial of Altium Designer for 15 days, with full access to all its features and online services. You can request this option from the Altium website.
How can I learn Altium Designer?
Altium Designer has a steep learning curve, but there are many resources available to help you learn it. Some of them are:
The Altium website, which provides tutorials, videos, webinars, blogs, forums, documentation, and more.
The Altium Academy YouTube channel, which provides video tutorials, tips and tricks, live sessions, and more.
The Altium Live community, which provides articles, podcasts, events, courses, certifications, and more.
The Altium Help Center, which provides online help topics, FAQs, glossary, keyboard shortcuts, and more.
The Altium Training Center, which provides instructor-led training courses for beginners and advanced users.
What are the alternatives to Altium Designer?
Altium Designer is one of the best PCB design tools in the market, but it is not the only one. There are some alternatives that you can consider, such as:
KiCad: This is a free and open source PCB design tool that supports schematic capture, PCB layout, 3D visualization, simulation, output generation, and more. It has a large community of users and developers who contribute to its development and improvement.
EAGLE: This is a popular PCB design tool that supports schematic capture, PCB layout, 3D visualization, of traces with various options and modes.
It offers a library management system that enables easy creation and management of components and libraries.
It offers a design rule system that ensures compliance with electrical, mechanical, manufacturing, and regulatory requirements.
It offers a simulation and analysis tool that verifies the functionality and performance of the circuit before prototyping.
It offers a documentation and output generation tool that creates professional-looking PCB documentation and output files.
It offers a collaboration and version control tool that enables seamless sharing and management of design projects.
It has a steep learning curve and requires a lot of training and practice to master it.
It is expensive and may not be affordable for some users or projects.
It may have some compatibility issues with some file formats or third-party tools.
It may have some bugs or glitches that affect its stability or performance.
It may have some limitations or drawbacks in some features or functionalities.
How can I get support or help for Altium Designer?
If you need support or help for Altium Designer, you can contact the Altium customer service team by phone, email, chat, or web form. You can also access the Altium online support center, which provides FAQs, knowledge base articles, troubleshooting guides, and more. You can also join the Altium user community, which provides forums, groups, blogs, events, and more. You can also consult the Altium documentation, which provides manuals, tutorials, videos, webinars, and more.
: https://www.altium.com/altium-designer/whats-new dcd2dc6462