New PCB Design Software v Older Versions

Innovation in respect to design software has had a significant impact in recent years where simplification for engineering teams has been at the forefront of these changes.  This has had a significant impact on things such as advanced tools, views, simulations and integration of software.  Being a PCB designer is not easy with the challenges already in this industry to get more capability in a component and for the component itself to be smaller and more compact. Below are some of the features that you will expect to see in the recent Altium Design Software solutions.

Integration / Ease of Use

When you look at new software such as Altium Designer, you will already see how they have put integration of designs at the heart of the development. There is no requirement for you to purchase multiple different software packages and extra add-on items.  All can be done from the original software purchase which includes designing from start to finish.  The horsepower within this software is 64 bit, therefore, there will be no continuous refreshing or sitting around waiting for things to happen.  Integration and the speed of software are two of the biggest frustrations from designers and this solution has managed to improve both of these in the latest versions.

Simply do some research on Mentor PADS PCB Design Software vs Altium PCB Design Software and look at the difference between the two. Outdated software simply can’t do the job anymore and if you want to streamline the process, you should switch to something modern. 

Getting the Design Right

If you manage to design something that is not fit for purpose, this can have a lot of negative effects.  This can include reputational damage, costs or even safety implications depending on the component type.  If you put all that aside and think about what more the designer can do to be pro-active and ensure that the product is fit for purpose then the overall outcome has more chance of being successful.  Before going to manufacture it is common for designers to do activities such as FMEA or even create a prototype to try and minimise any risk. Another potential solution for this is the simulation features that can be tried out. These will let you run a simulation on the operational effectiveness of your component. In addition to this, when you bring it all together at an assembly level, the simulation can be used. Clearly, these simulations will support in ensuring any blind spots in poor design are highlighted as they might not have been with previous versions.

New Advanced Tools Available

It wasn’t that long ago when you required to still complete a level of calculations when using PCB design. Now generally the software does it all for you.  This will include thicknesses, tolerance dimensions and anything from A to B you desire to be measured.  In addition to this, you will find that there have been significant advances in how things are viewed with designers.  This can now include both 3D and 2D options. You will love designing in 2D mode and then moving to 3D to see your overall unit as an assembly.

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