Each update to Altium Designer continues the process of keeping you plugged into a continuous stream of new features, technologies and enhancements, designed to make it easier for you to create your next generation electronics designs. This page reflects key feature highlights in the various updates to the software as they are released, with the latest update always given pride of place at the top of the list. So have a browse through – you may just find a feature or enhancement you have missed or overlooked. A design gem that may well prove an invaluable productivity-booster!
We're excited about the new features and functionality included in each and every update to Altium Designer, in addition to a host of other enhancements, crunched bugs and implemented ideas, and we're sure that you'll be excited too! And remember, keeping current with your Altium Subscription gives you access to new cool features and enhancements in future updates, as and when they leave development.
For each Altium Designer update, it's release date and version is presented, along with a link to the associated page of release notes. Its key features are highlighted with links to more detailed pages and/or videos, where available. For information on which features were introduced in previous versions of the software, including the initial release of Altium Designer 10, refer to the page Altium Designer What's New - Previous Releases. In addition, a complete list of all Altium Designer updates is available, in PDF format, accessible using the link in the Further Information box to the right.
For information on applying an update to your installation of the software, see Updating Altium Designer.
Altium Designer 13.2
Released: 10 May 2013
Facilitating real-time cost estimation and tracking for a board design, this update to Altium Designer brings to the table a system that effectively and efficiently aides the designer in managing costs and availability of items used in that design. This system is known simply as ActiveBOM. It offers a live presentation of the design from the outset, providing early and ongoing cost estimation. Added to the design project as a distinct BOM document (
Live Drill Drawing Table
A standard element required for manufacture of a Printed Circuit Board is a drill drawing table, also known as a drill drawing legend. This update to Altium Designer sees the arrival of a Live Drill Drawing table. WYSIWYG in nature, and placed on the Drill Drawing layer, this dynamic design object updates in real time – as hole-containing objects such as pads and vias are placed on and removed from the PCB design. And by being available while laying out the board, it allows the designer to examine and rationalize drill usage prior to generating the output files.
PCB Design View
A modern PCB can be compact, dense and small in size, making it difficult to present important design information in the documentation. To help in this process the PCB Editor supports placing a specific view of a PCB design within the workspace, which can then be included in documentation output. This view is called a Design View, allowing the designer to place a snapshot of any rectangular shaped region of the current board, or another board. The Design View can be placed anywhere in the workspace and scaled to any size.
Definition of Output Filenames using Expressions
A critical phase of the development cycle is releasing the documentation that is to be used for the fabrication and assembly of the PCB. In many companies it is common practice to use a standard naming scheme for all design documents, in line with the company's documentation numbering scheme. To support this Altium Designer 13.2 introduces support for user-defined output filenames using a concatenation of special strings and user-defined project parameters.
Interactive Net Length Calculation
For many designs, an important aspect of routing the PCB is knowing the net length. Updated in Altium Designer 13.2, the current net length is available when interactively routing a net, and when interactively modifying an existing route.
Via Stitching Enhancements
This update sees the Via Stitching feature benefiting from a host of productivity-enhancing improvements. Central to this is the concept of a smarter Via Stitch Union, with all stitching vias added to a net automatically clustered into a union, allowing for better editing of stitching properties, without having to delete and stitch again. Vias in a union have the suffix
Residual Altium Lab Features now Enabled
This update sees the remaining features that were once part of the Altium Labs ensemble, enabled in the software. This includes: AutoRoute On Current Layer, AutoRoute On Multiple Layers, Extended C-to-Hardware features, and the Visual Designer for Embedded GUI.
New Separator for Schematic Designator Suffix
Each part in a multi-part schematic component is uniquely identified by an alpha or numeric suffix. Altium Designer 13.2 extends the numeric suffix support by adding the choice of a dot as the suffix separator.
Vault-based Simulation Models
This update brings support for defining and releasing simulation models to an Altium Vault. A simulation model is defined within a SimModel file (
Add a Simulation Model to a Component Definition
This update sees the ability to add a simulation model to a component definition within a Component Library (
SimModel File Generation from the Active Schematic Library
Streamlining the creation of simulation model definitions from the sim model links in existing component methodologies, Altium Designer's Schematic Library editor provides the ability to generate one or more SimModel files from the active Schematic Library document.
SimModel File Generation from the Active Database Library
Streamlining the creation of simulation model definitions from the sim model links in existing component methodologies, Altium Designer's Database Library editor provides the ability to generate one or more SimModel files from the active Database Library document.
CmpLib Editor Enhancements
This update sees a number of enhancements to the editing capabilities within the Component Library Editor, to further streamline the definition of components therein. These include the ability to show or hide columns of data in the definition grid; the ability to collapse the entire upper region, giving full focus to the definition grid; and support for drag and drop, and copy, cut and paste, within the definition grid.
Item Manager Enhancements
This update sees a number of enhancements to the Item Manager dialog, including the ability to detect and manage Items that are Out of date. The Item Manager compares the Items found on the current design (PrjPcb or a managed SchDoc) against those same Items in the Vault – with all differences being flagged. Out of date Items can easily be updated in situ. In addition, a HTML-formatted 'snapshot report' of the current listing can be generated – a valuable aide with which to inspect the design and confirm proposed changes before effecting them. And when making changes, the applicable ECO can now be generated and applied without leaving the dialog, allowing you to continue making further changes as required.
Batch Download of Items from a Vault
This update brings the ability to select multiple Items in an Altium Vault, and have the source entities for those Items downloaded, en masse, into a newly created, and linked, single source library, or folder, as applicable. The following Item types are supported by this feature: Schematic Symbol Items, PCB Component Items, Component Items and Simulation Model Items.
Ability to Identify Out-of-Date Vault Items
One of the challenges of managing and maintaining any design is identifying items that are out of date. To simplify this process when you are working in a Vault-based design, Altium Designer 13.2 brings a number of subtle but useful enhancements to more easily identify and update out of date items.
Ability to Rename Lifecycle Definition and Item Revision Naming Schemes
Previously, when a defined Lifecycle Definition or Revision Naming Scheme became used by an Item in the Altium Vault, that scheme could no longer be edited (nor could it be deleted for that matter). But sometimes all you need is to modify the name of the definition or scheme – to something better and far more representative/meaningful. The arrival of Altium Designer 13.2 answers this call, by providing the ability to modify the name of existing (and used) lifecycle definitions and revision naming schemes.
Ability to Set ID for Initial Revision of a Vault Item
Changing from an unmanaged design paradigm to a vault-centric managed one, requires migrating existing data to an Altium Vault. Such data may well have passed through multiple iterations and revision numbering assigned that is recognized across the organization. For example, rev.3 of a Magno-Synthetic Digitizer board may well have passed out the door already, with enhancements to be delivered in rev.4. On releasing to the Altium Vault, having an initial revision that started back at
Enhanced Vault Searching
Over time your Vault will grow to contain a large amount of data, which could include many thousands of components, managed sheets and completed designs. There are 2 approaches to finding an Item in a Vault, either by browsing through the folder structure to locate the Item, or by searching. With the release of Altium Designer 13.2, the Vault search feature has been substantially upgraded, with the introduction of Grouping, Column-based filtering, and a powerful Filter panel.
Drag and Drop Placement from the Vaults Panel
Placing components and managed sheets from an Altium Vault just got a whole lot easier in Altium Designer 13.2, with the ability to drag & drop revisions of these Item types onto the active schematic document, directly from the Vaults panel. This provides similar and familiar functionality, long enjoyed by the Libraries panel when using non-vault component management methodologies. .
Altium Vault Server - Administration Improvements
The latest release of the Altium Vault Server brings several improvements to administration of the vault through its browser-based interface. These include: Visual indication of who is using the vault; administrator-level ability to log out users; visual indication of user group membership, and support for Windows authentication.
Altium Vault Server - Centralized Supply Chain Management
The latest release of the Altium Vault Server facilitates centralized supply chain management, with the Altium Vault Server dictating which Suppliers are to be used in an organization. The list of Suppliers is configured through the Altium Vault Server's browser-based interface. This ensures that designers across the entire organization are using the same approved list of Vendors, with which to source supply chain intelligence for parts used in their designs.
Altium Vault Server - Setting up an ODBC Source as an Internal Supplier
In addition to sourcing supply data from online (external) supplier databases, you can additionally opt to source data directly from your company's own internal parts database. This is done by linking the Altium Vault Server's local Part Catalog to an ODBC source, through a Database Link file (
Altium Vault Server - Visual Indication of Licensing Status
Access to an Altium Vault Server requires a license. And since the Altium Vault Server is a service or application ('app') plugged into the DXP Apps Server platform, a license is also required to connect to that platform. With this update, Altium Designer now includes visual indication of the status of this licensing, as part of the vault's properties. In addition, if you are currently connected to an Altium Vault Server, but one or both of your licenses expire, the software will now indicate this, with the suffix
Altium Vault Server - Visual Indication of Current User
When signing-in to an Altium Vault Server through an external web browser, indication of who is signed in is presented, in terms of the user's full name. This update sees an expansion of this, with visual indication of the current vault user also now found on the Vault and Users views of Altium Designer's Home page, as well as in the Vaults panel.
Altium Content Vault
In previous versions of Altium Designer, the designer could connect to Altium's own vaults – vaults that were part of the AltiumLive ecosystem, and to which the designer had authenticated access (i.e. a licensed instance of Altium Designer and valid Altium Subscription). These vaults – Altium Hobart and Altium Shanghai – were delivered as part of Altium Vault Services, and required individual connection. In Altium Designer 13.2, these vaults have been effectively amalgamated to deliver Altium's content through a single vault – the Altium Content Vault. This vault houses all data previously available in the individual Hobart and Shanghai vaults, so all vault-based Unified Components, as well as managed design content.
Altium Designer 13.1
Released: 28 February 2013
Ability to Suppress Inclusion of Component Parameters in a Generated PDF
An option is now available to control whether or not component parameters are included in a PDF generated using the Smart PDF feature. More Detail>>
Quick-Access Menu Command for View Configurations - Transparency Tab
A new menu entry – Board Layers Transparency – has been added to the PCB Editor's right-click Options sub-menu, giving direct access to the Transparency tab of the View Configurations dialog (when viewing a board in 2D).
3D Body Conversion to Generic STEP Model
The feature to convert a 3D Body object to a STEP model, which was previously available in Altium Designer 10/12 as part of 'Altium Labs', has now been enabled. To convert a 3D Body object to a STEP model, edit the Body object and then click the Convert to STEP button at the top right of the 3D Body dialog. More Detail>>
Improved Installation, Stability and Performance
This update brings improvements to a number of areas affecting stability and performance. The Altium Installer has also been greatly improved to work with anti-virus software.
Altium Designer 13.0
Released: 01 February 2013
Altium Designer 13.0 is released as a separate full installation with unique default installation paths, instead of being an update to the previous public release (Update 24, Platform Version 10.1377.27009). This is to facilitate side-by-side installations of both of these versions of the software.
Enhanced Customization of Schematic Pins
When it comes to the design of library components, the most important aspect is the electrical connectivity – provided courtesy of optimally placed pins. And with respect to pins, it is important to have control over the position of the pin's Name and Designator, in relation to the pin itself, as well as the font used. This can aide no-end in enhancing the readability of components once placed into designs. To support this, this release of Altium Designer provides the ability to either run with default settings for these attributes, or to customize them individually, overriding at the per-pin level where needed.
Enhanced Customization of Schematic Ports
Customization of port objects is taken to a whole new level in this release of Altium Designer. You now have the ability to control the height of the port and its border width. In addition, the font used for the port name can be specified at the individual port-level. Throw-in auto-sizing capability and the result is a very versatile, empowered port object, available in your design arsenal.
Hyperlink Text Support in Schematic Documents
In today's globally-connected society, the internet has become an established part of everyday life. Where once a physical document would be used for reference (remember that bookshelf gathering dust in the back of the lab?), these days it's simply a matter of supplying the required URL to information resident in the ever-expanding 'Cloud'. And while electronic-format documents stored on a shared medium can certainly be referenced from a design project, Altium Designer also provides support for adding hyperlinks directly to your schematic sheets. Referencing documentation from anywhere on the Web offers a fast, convenient alternative when providing access to the necessary datasheets for components used in your designs. Even add-in a link to your own organization's website for good measure!
PCB Object and Layer Transparency
Offering increased control over the display of objects within the design workspace, Altium Designer provides support for setting the transparency of each object type individually, and on a per layer basis, for each layer that can be used in board design. Through a dedicated Transparency tab in the View Configurations dialog – when configuring a 2D view of the board – configure, experiment with, and fine tune transparency-level settings to suit. Ultimately arriving at a desirable overall 2D view configuration inclusive of transparency settings, that can be applied with equal effectiveness to any board you are designing.
Silk To Solder Mask Clearance Design Rule
This release sees the arrival of a new "Silk To Solder Mask Clearance" design rule, with new checking modes (to exposed copper, or to solder mask openings). Silkscreen Over Component Pads rules in existing designs are auto-converted with parameters set to match legacy behavior.
Outline Vertices Editor for Polygon Pours and Regions
Offering additional versatility when defining polygonal-based objects in a design – Polygon Pours and Regions (solid, polygon pour cutout, board cutout) – Altium Designer provides support for table-based editing of outline vertices. Made possible through a dedicated Outline Vertices tab in the Polygon Pour and Region dialogs, you can modify the locations of existing vertices, add new vertices, or remove them as required. Arc connections between vertex points can be defined, and support is also provided for exporting vertex information to, and importing from, a CSV-formatted file. You can even adjust the position of a polygonal object by globally applying delta-x/delta-y values to all vertex points.
Predefined Views for PCB in 3D
Displaying your board in 3D is the closest thing to having the real board in your hands, and all before sending it for a prototyping spin. However the beauty of having the physical board in your hands, is that you can naturally turn and rotate the board to view it from different perspectives. To accommodate similar ability in the design space, Altium Designer provides a set of predefined views when viewing your board in 3D. With a click of the mouse you can change view, enabling you to quickly appreciate the fruit of your design labor from various popular viewpoints.
Support for Microchip Touch Controls
Extending its support for the use of touch controls in designs, Altium Designer provides support for creating planar capacitive sensor patterns on your PCB, for use with the range of Microchip® mTouch® sensor controllers.
Component Parameters in Smart PDF Output
Adding additional 'smarts' to its Smart PDF feature, Altium Designer now includes component parameters in generated PDF output. Generate your PDFs in the manner to which you have become accustomed, either directly using the Smart PDF wizard, or from the convenience of an Output Job Configuration file. Inclusion of component parametric information is handled for you automatically in the background, so no headache of remembering to enable an option somewhere. Once generated, simply click on a component on a sheet in your PDF, and peruse its parameters in a convenient pop-up.
Vault-Defined Supply Chain Information in BOM
With this release, Altium Designer now provides the ability to include vault-based supply-chain information in your Bill of Materials. This gives you the most realistic 'snap-shot' yet of pricing and availability of the physical, real-world components – components that you have sanctioned to represent the components in your design when the board is manufactured and assembled. This feature simply includes parametric data for each of the solutions available for your vault-based Unified Components, determined by the Part Choices you have made for those components. Armed with the resulting empowered BOM, informed choices can be made by the Procurement Team, and a board spin fully costed. And each time you access the BOM, the vault is interrogated and refreshed, ensuring the latest supply-chain data is loaded and utilized in the BOM. Nasty surprises of 'stock unavailability' or 'price increases' are kept to a minimum, with the designer able to act quickly to resolve any costly price blow-out or delay in getting the product to market!
CmpLib Generation from Active Schematic Library
When migrating from an older component management methodology – that uses simple model libraries or integrated libraries – to the use of vault-based components, part of the sequence of migration involves the creation of Component Libraries. The Component Library, or CmpLib, accommodates the design-side definitions for the components themselves. Each component definition references released domain models (Schematic Symbol and PCB Component Items in the target vault), as well as parameters stored within the Component Library itself. In this release, Altium Designer's Schematic Library editor now provides the ability to generate one or more Component Libraries from the active Schematic Library document.
CmpLib Generation from Active Database Library
When migrating from an older component management methodology – that uses database libraries – to the use of vault-based components, part of the sequence of migration involves the creation of Component Libraries. The Component Library, or CmpLib, accommodates the design-side definitions for the components themselves. Each component definition references released domain models (Schematic Symbol and PCB Component Items in the target vault), as well as parameters stored within the Component Library itself. In this release, Altium Designer's Database Library editor now provides the ability to generate one or more Component Libraries from the active Database Library document.
Enhanced Home Page
The Home page has been totally redesigned in this release of Altium Designer, presenting a number of distinct views and sub-views with which to browse and manage various aspects of the software. This includes views for License Management, Plugins & Updates, the Altium Wiki, and a Workspace view – providing a fuller, richer graphical browsing experience of your open projects and their constituent documents. There's also a dedicated Getting Started view, to get you up and running with the software, as well as a What's New view – catering for latest announcements in the AltiumLive Blog, as well as new content added and available in the Content Store. For those connected to an Altium Satellite Vault Server, views are also provided to browse and manage (if an administrator) the structure and users for the vault.
Project Document Previews
Hovering over individual documents to access previews can be quite laborious, especially if the names of design documents are of a cryptic nature, and therefore not helpful in 'zeroing-in' on the document required. And while Project Insight quickly yields a pop-up display previewing all design documents, it only displays the source documents. It does not present additional project documents, such as Output Jobs, Harness Definition files, Annotation files, Libraries, or even generated documentation. Providing a fuller, richer graphical browsing experience of your open projects and their constituent documents, this release of Altium Designer provides the Workspace view, part of the navigation suite available with its new-look Home page.
Schematic Annotation based on Part Location
Altium Designer's schematic annotation feature is unquestionably powerful. But its reliance on the component designator as the sole reference for component location when processing annotation order can lead to unexpected designations. Offering greater control over the annotation of components on your schematic source documents, this release sees Altium Designer now providing the ability to use the part – more specifically the center of the part – as the reference for component location.
Ability to Define Polygonal-shaped Blanket Directives
The Blanket Directive is a powerful feature in Altium Designer's Schematic Editing domain. It enables other parameter-set based directives to quickly be applied to a group of nets, simply by 'covering' those nets with a blanket. Previously, only rectangular-shaped blankets could be defined. With this release, you can now also define polygonal-shaped blankets, giving more precise control over coverage of the required net objects on a sheet.
Preferred Suppliers Choice for Part Choices
When making Part Choices, a large number of solutions may be returned, from a number of Suppliers who vend a chosen Manufacturer Part. Affording some level of control over approved Suppliers that can be used when procuring parts for manufacturing, the Solutions returned based on defined Part Choices now take into account which Suppliers are enabled for use – on the Data Management – Suppliers page of the Preferences dialog.
Improved Font Editing for Schematic Design Objects
This release of Altium Designer sees a beneficial improvement to the way in which the font is edited for applicable design objects in Schematic, Schematic Library and OpenBus System documents. A new font control not only provides access to the familiar Font dialog, but also reflects the currently chosen font – applied to the relevant textual attribute of an object. Available in the main properties dialog for an object, this support also extends to the relevant Inspector and List panel for the parent editor.
TSK3000 Support for Hardware Code Breakpoints
The TSK3000A 32-bit RISC processor has been enhanced in this release of Altium Designer, with added support for configurable hardware code breakpoints. The corresponding TSK3000 Debugger has also been enhanced accordingly, to provide for use of these breakpoints in Flash memory.
Improved Handling for Missing Legacy Software Platform Plugin
In this release, when opening a Software Platform document (
Updated Wishbone SPI Cores
Wishbone SPI cores have been updated to enable Push Registers to IO blocks optimization during Place & Route (PAR).
Software Platform Enhancements
This release sees the Software Platform upgraded to lwIP version 1.4.0, and support for HTTPS by means of MatrixSSL sources (under GPL license). In addition, the audio plugin has been made chip and bus independent, and there are also improvements to USB Host support (ISP1760). The Software Platform also now supports JPEG encoding and decoding in software, courtesy of the JPEG encoder and JPEG decoder software plugins.
Improved Support for Creating a Sheet Symbol from a VHDL File
This release sees an improvement to the way in which ports declared in a VHDL file are handled, when using the file to create a sheet symbol. Now, for port declarations without a mode specifier (in, out, inout), corresponding sheet entries will be created with I/O Type of
Upgraded DXP Platform
This release sees an upgrade to the underlying DXP platform, in order to provide a more robust and open development environment. Some of the benefits of this upgrade include: Faster debugging of crash reports, more useful information coming through the crash report system, and the ability to release, in the future, a new Software Development Kit for Altium Designer (Altium Designer SDK).
New Version Numbering Scheme
This release sees a simple version scheme employed to visually indicate the version of Altium Designer currently installed and being used. This scheme reflects the main version of the software, as well as the current update. It replaces the older Platform Version build number displayed in earlier releases of the software, and eliminates having to juggle an update number with that build number (remember Update 24, Platform Version 10.1377.27009?!). Visible on the start-up splash-screen, the title bar, and in the Help » About screen, this simplified version numbering makes it easier to discuss versions in the AltiumLive Forums, and with Altium's Technical Support Teams.
Environment Variables in Preferences
Operating System environment variables can now be used when defining paths on applicable pages of Altium Designer's Preferences dialog. This enables you to define a default Preferences configuration that can be used across multiple PC's.
Additional Data Management Enhancements
Housekeeping of vault data through the Vaults panel (formerly the Vault Explorer panel) is made easier in this release. You can now multi-select (Ctrl+click, Shift+click) folders or Items and either move that selection, or delete it. The Release Manager dialog (formerly the Component Release Manager dialog) now supports batch releasing of schematic sheets – destined to become Managed Sheet Items in the target vault. And now, when connecting to a Satellite Vault, the concept of using Alternate Credentials has been removed. Now streamlined and simplified, simply sign-in to connect to the vault using your AltiumLive credentials.
Altium Designer Update 24
Released: 18 December 2012
This is the last update available for an installation of Altium Designer 12. The subsequent release of Altium Designer – Altium Designer 2013 (version 13.0) – is installed as a separate, full install (see above). As such, version 10.1377.27009 of the software cannot be updated to version 13.0.
Support for Cortex-M3 Discrete Processors
NXP LPC1000 series, STMicroelectronics STM32 and Texas Instruments Stellaris Cortex-M3 devices are now supported.
Support for SEGGER J-Link
Debugger support for SEGGER J-Link debug probe for ARM processors is now available.
FPGA Device Support
Support for Altera Arria2GX FPGAs is now available.
Software Platform Enhancements
This update now includes HTTP client, HTTP server and JSON services in addition to enhancements in the Tasking toolchains.
Altium Designer Update 23
Released: 23 November 2012
Support for Multi-rule Deletion
Multiple rules can be deleted in a single action, from a summary list view. To do so, simply select the rules to be deleted (standard Shift+click and Ctrl+click shortcuts are supported), then click the Delete button below the list.
Deselection using Touching Line or Rectangle
The PCB editor and PCB Library editor have been updated with new commands to deselect objects by touching rectangle or touching line.
Drag & Drop Polygon Pour Order Management
This update sees an enhancement to the way in which you manage the pour order in the Polygon Pour Manager dialog. You can now change order using mouse drag-and-drop functionality, which is far more expedient in designs featuring many polygon pours.
This update includes additional improvements to the Mentor PADS PCB, PADS Logic and Expedition importers.
Updated Support for Vendor Tools
Xilinx ISE v14.3, Lattice Diamond 2.0.1, Altera QuartusII and NiosII version 12.0 SP2 are now supported.
Software Platform Enhancements
Software Platform support for Atmel AT86RF231 Wireless 802.15.4 device is now available – including LR-WPAN physical layer with generic AES encryption/decryption service.
Altium Designer Update 22
Released: 19 October 2012
While in interactive routing mode, should you wish to rip-up and essentially unwind the track you are currently placing, you can do so using the Backspace key. But what about after the track has been laid? Wouldn't it be neat if you could do something similar post-route? Sure, there are a range of unroute commands, but how about something that is there at your fingertips, enabling you to incrementally unroute existing routing?
Answering this call, Altium Designer's PCB Editor provides two shortcut-based features to cater for this very need. The Ctrl + Delete shortcut allows deletion of one or more selected routing objects, while the Backspace shortcut allows deletion of a single, selected end-of-route object.
Exporting to IDF Format through an OutJob File
Altium Designer supports the export of your PCB in IDF format, as part of output generation through an Output Job Configuration file. To make use of this feature, ensure you have the Output - IDF plugin installed as part of your installation. This can be found on the Output Generators page, when browsing available plugins in the Plugins view (DXP » Plugins and Updates).
Updated Support for Vendor Tools
Xilinx ISE v14.2 and Lattice Diamond 2.0 are now supported.
FPGA Device Support
Ultra and micro fineline ball grid array (UBGA & MBGA) devices have been added to the Altera Cyclone4E Nexus driver.
Altium Designer Update 21
Released: 24 July 2012
Improvements to Re-Annotate
Re-annotate has been improved and now includes options for what to re-annotate (top & bottom, top only, bottom only, selected), and optionally allows for the protection of components with locked designators. Another new option is a user-definable location tolerance (Comparison Threshold), which allows components that are slightly out of line to still be annotated in a logical manner. Re-annotate now also uses the component bounding rectangle (without designator), where it previously used the bounding rectangle that included the designator, which could result in undesirable annotation results.
Auto-Zoom in Cross Select Mode
Auto-zooming in Cross Select Mode has been enabled, with three options available: No Zoom, Zoom to Last Selected, and Zoom to All.
Updated Support for Vendor Tools
Xilinx ISE v14.1 and Altera QuartusII v11.1 and v12.0 are now supported.
Altium Designer Update 20
Released: 21 June 2012
New PCB Connection Drawing Options
New options have been implemented in the “View Configurations” dialog for "Show All Connections In Single Layer Mode" and "Use Layer Colors For Connection Drawing".
Support for Lattice Diamond
Lattice Diamond software is now supported in Altium Designer for designs targeting Lattice FPGAs. In addition, Lattice iostandard constraints have been improved and are correctly mapped.
Further improvements to 3D Mechanical CAD Interfaces in PCB
Improvements include a change in the STEP file output to use the "Component Suffix" option for the Board Part, and a warning has been added to the PCB IDF Export utility for when it detects an empty component comment.
Support for Alternate PDF Readers
Altium Designer will now utilize the default PDF reader for the system, regardless of whether Adobe Reader is installed.
Altium Designer Update 19
Released: 23 May 2012
SubVersion 1.7 Support
Support for the latest version of Subversion has been added. This also includes support for the new working folder format, as well as updating the built-in Subversion Client to version 1.7.4.
Air Gap Attribute Added
Added air gap attribute to Polygon Connect Style rule for finer gap control during polygon pouring process.
Support for Script ParametersIt is now possible to add parameters to Projects and Project Variants through scripts.
Improved Proxy Support
Users connecting to the Internet via a Proxy Server will now be able to get full access to all content stored in all of our Vaults & also any Vault they set-up & is cloud based. This will include downloading, uploading items and getting previews.
Altium Designer Update 18
Released: 27 April 2012
This is the update to the software that essentially saw Altium Designer 10 become Altium Designer 12. Altium Designer 12 was not a new release in the traditional sense, rather it was the culmination of Altium Designer 10 and over 12-months worth of development and updates. Since Altium Designer 10 was released, 18 updates (with this one) had been delivered to the software to enhance and refine its powerful capabilities.
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.
Line Style Editing in Inspector Panel
The style of Lines (as opposed to wires) in a Schematic document can now be defined and edited in the Inspector Panel
Improved Behavior in Update from Libraries
The 'Update from Libraries' command in the PCB editor now takes into account non-physical differences between footprints. Non-physical differences – such as pin numbers, 3D body colors, hole diameters, etc – are now also detected when a footprint (or a collection of footprints) is updated from a library
Improved Junction Handling and Rendering
Several improvements have been made to the way schematic junctions are displayed, generated and printed. The behavior of auto-junctions has been improved for several moving or replication operations where they are regenerated on the fly. Also, auto-junctions now render in solid form on mono-color printouts
FPGA Device Support
Updating Altium Designer
To update your Altium Designer installation, first ensure you are using a license with valid subscription. Proceed to the Plugins view (DXP » Plug-ins and Updates) and select Update All. If you don’t see the update, use the Refresh link in the top-right corner of the page. If you have issues with patching make sure you check your antivirus program.
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 the latest and future updates.
For those who installed directly from DVD, you can access the updates by changing a setting in preferences: On the System – Installation Manager page of the Preferences dialog, change the Remote Repository Location to .
If you are wanting to install a new build containing the latest update, the Installer and Uninstaller can be downloaded from the Software page in AltiumLive.
For more information on managing your Altium Designer installation, see the article: A Walk Through...Post-Installation Management of Your Altium Designer Solution.