Friday, April 27, 2012

Announcement: Update 18 for Altium Designer

The Altium Development team are pleased to announce the 18th update for Altium Designer.

This update is a milestone event as it represents over 12 months of development and content delivered to our Subscription customers.

And it is also the first step into Altium Designer 12, visible through new branding that you will see displayed in this update. All users with a valid subscription have immediate access to this new release and can update to it through the Plug-ins and Update page of Altium Designer.

A significant number of enhancements and BugCrunch items are included with this update. Here's a sample of some that we hope will interest you:

STEP model preview:

A visual preview is now available when selecting a 3D STEP model in the PCB or library editors dialog box, which helps browsing through options when embedding a 3D body.

New track selection mode:

A new Select Track command has been added that provides the option of selecting connected track segments on the current layer – in effect, to select connected copper until the layers change or a component pad is encountered. In addition, the Select Physical Connection option has been changed so that tracks covered by a component pad are included in the selection.

Show contents while moving large selections:

Pasting and moving of large schematic selections has been improved so that once rendered, the contents remains visible while placement is made.

These new features were requested through BugCrunch. In total, 21 BugCrunch items have been included in this latest update, along with various other enhancements. Some worth mentioning include:

  1. Revised net violation handling with repeated sheets
  2. Improved junction handling and rendering
  3. Output jobs no longer modify the absolute path when set to use relative path
  4. Output path and log folder path now update with the project name
  5. Numerous FPGA/Embedded enhancements including support for the ST Microelectronics M25P (SPI) family of serial flash devices in embedded designs
  6. Updated localizations for various languages

Full details can be found in the release notes.

Accessing the Update

To update your Altium Designer installation, first ensure you are using a license with valid subscription. Proceed 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.

When you update, you will now experience the improvements that were made to the patching system in Update 17. In particular, you will see the option to select whether you want to update using patches or a full download. This is relevant with this release, as development includes changes to our Run Time Libraries, which requires the majority of modules to be updated. For those users who experience a lengthy update process due to anti-virus programs, using the full download option becomes a much faster process. For more info, see Wiki.

Installation of the updated modules will bring their revision up to 10.1051.23878. The Platform Build number will also update to 10.1051.23878 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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