Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Announcement: Update 15 for Altium Designer 10

The Altium Development team are pleased to announce the 15th update for Altium Designer 10.

This release focuses on further BugCrunch requests, with some of the notable enhancements including:

Custom Pad Shapes

It’s always been possible to attach custom geometries to pads, but defining solder and paste mask expansions has previously been a manual process. This latest update adds the ability to add solder and paste mask expansion rules to regions, fills, arcs and tracks. So now you can attach virtually any copper geometry to a pad and give it ‘pad-like’ solder and/or paste mask expansions. More information.

Loop removal algorithm improvements

Loop removal makes re-routing tracks a breeze since it automatically deletes deprecated traces. Update 15 hosts a number of improvements to the loop removal algorithms to address some known issues reported by users as well as deliver better overall results.

Additional FPGA Vendor Constraints and Device Support

Update 15 includes added support for Altera’s Max V and Stratix IV CPLD/FPGA devices. In addition to this, Altium Designer’s constraint files have been significantly revamped to include support for a large array of extra Vendor constraints. This will let you continue creating vendor-neutral FPGA designs using the latest IO standards from within Altium’s Unified Design Environment.

Added support for IE Proxy Scripts

Altium Designer will now install and update even when sitting behind a corporate firewall that only allows access to the Internet via a proxy script. So no more creating installation DVDs from an open Internet connection just so you can install and update Altium Designer behind a proxy server. Instructions for deploying improved proxy support.

In total, 11 BugCrunch items have been included in this latest update along with various other enhancements; all of which can be found in the release notes.

This release is the first update that includes changes made to our Run Time Libraries (RTL). In the past we have resisted making such changes since it requires nearly every module within AD10 to be updated and this can lead to an update that requires downloading almost as much data as a completely new installation.

Our new patching system (announced in update 13) was designed to mitigate against this by decreasing the amount of data that needed to be downloaded. But recent feedback from our Beta testers indicated that while the download sizes were considerably smaller, the patching process was unacceptably long for some customers and led to a poor user experience. So in order to still offer customers timely access to the features of this update, we elected to deploy it via the previous update process - i.e. larger download size but faster update time.

The consequence of this is that the download size of the update will be significantly larger than previous updates. However, this should not affect your ability to work as the download process runs in the background and Altium Designer remains usable during this time.  Applying the update should only take a few minutes.

Note: The new Altium Installer and Download Manager require Internet Explorer 7 or later to be installed on your PC. If you have earlier versions, or do not have it installed, you will not be able to install successfully, or to update after this release.

To update your Altium Designer 10 installation, first ensure you are using a license with valid subscription. Then, go to the Plug-in page (DXP >> Plug-ins and Updates) and select “Update All”. If you don’t see the update, use the “Refresh” link in the top right hand corner of the Plugins page.

Note: If you are using a Private Server license or Standalone license, and you have renewed your subscription since activation, you will be required to reactivate your license to obtain this and future updates.

For those who installed directly from DVD, you can access the updates by changing a setting in preferences: System >> Installation Manager, change the Remote Repository Location to http://installation.altium.com

If you are wanting to install a new build containing this update, we have also released a new version of the Altium Installer and Uninstaller. These can be downloaded from the Software page in AltiumLive - download the latest Installer/Uninstaller.


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