Thursday, March 22, 2012

Announcement: Update 17 for Altium Designer 10

The Altium Development team are pleased to announce the 17th update for Altium Designer 10.

This release focuses on additional enhancements to Altium Designer, with some of the notable inclusions being:

Via Stitching:

Of particular importance for RF and High Speed designs, the brand new Via Stitching feature applies a definable pattern of vias between layers where the copper areas overlap and share the same net.  It helps maintain low impedance connections and short return loops through the board structure for developing high-performance, electromagnetically 'quiet' PCBs.

Via Stitching runs as a post-process using an algorithm that identifies all Fills, Polygons and Power Planes attached to a specified net, then populates free areas of copper with stitching vias to connect the layers using the specified via and stitching pattern. See the Wiki page for more information or watch the video on this new feature.

Improvements to Ansoft Exporter:

In update 16 we released improvements to this exporter to make it easier to import and simulate in Ansoft products. With this latest update, we’ve continued development and reduced the number of errors generated once imported into Ansoft (object centreline connection issues, and reducing differences between metric and imperial exports). Also, a larger array of component values are now imported, making it easier to set up the board for simulation.

Improvements to software update patching system:

The Altium Designer software patching system has been further enhanced to make the software update process less disruptive. Amongst a range of improvements, the patch preparation process has been configured to run during the update download at a low background priority, allowing Altium Designer to continue being used with minimal interruption. The update process now also provides the option to select whether you want to update using patches or a full download. This improvement will help those users who experience a lengthy update process due to anti-virus programs, where using the full download becomes a much faster process. Note: These improvements will only be visible with the next update to Altium Designer.

Schematic text overlay rendering

The BugCrunch request “Junction” over the “Text Frame” received strong support and achieved the full quota of 50 votes. So with this release, text container frames placed on the Schematic have been improved to display and print as the uppermost level, regardless of any electrical drawing primitives that the frame overlays. Another successful BugCrunch report - thank you to those who reported, nominated and voted!

In total, 5 BugCrunch items have been included in this latest update along with various other enhancements. Full details can be found in the release notes.

Accessing the Update

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.

The delivery of this update affects the following 8 modules:

  1. System Component category: Altium Designer Base, Altium Designer Installation System, PCB System, Schematic System
  2. Importers and Exporters: Exporter - Ansoft, Importer - PADS
  3. Output Generators: Output - Gerber, Printer - PCB

The download size of this update is approximately 10MB, assuming you have not recently cleared your cache. Installation of the updated modules will bring their revision up to 10.972.23595. The Platform Build number will also update to 10.972.23595 as the Altium Designer Base module is updated.

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

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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