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Altium Designer

Altium Designer

Overview

What is Altium Designer?

Altium Designer is PCB design software for a variety of industries.

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Recent Reviews

Altium Designer

8 out of 10
July 17, 2024
Incentivized
As a test eningeer I use it to review PCB layouts, not for designing or layouting itself. The tool has all you need, all you need is a …
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Altium Designer

8 out of 10
June 27, 2024
Incentivized
I've used Altium Designer for two years as a working electronics engineer and it is my favourite, fully-featured board design tool. The …
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Would recommend

8 out of 10
March 07, 2024
Incentivized
PCB and schematic work. Most products are under NDA, they range from animal detection systems to automotive aftermarket, agricultural …
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A Solid ECAD Choice

7 out of 10
March 07, 2024
Incentivized
We use Altium Designer as our core Electrical solution. Between design, management and storage of our design files Altium Designer is key. …
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Awards

Products that are considered exceptional by their customers based on a variety of criteria win TrustRadius awards. Learn more about the types of TrustRadius awards to make the best purchase decision. More about TrustRadius Awards

Reviewer Pros & Cons

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Pricing

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Standard - Monthly

$355

On Premise
per month per seat

Pro - Monthly

$460

On Premise
per month per seat

Standard - Single Payment

$4,235

On Premise
one-time fee per seat

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee
For the latest information on pricing, visithttps://www.altium.com/altium-designer

Offerings

  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting/Integration Services

Starting price (does not include set up fee)

  • $355 per month per seat
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Product Demos

Altium Designer Demonstration

resources.altium.com
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Product Details

What is Altium Designer?

Altium Designer is an end-to-end PCB design software for engineers and designers. Altium Designer aims to enable a unified design environment, uniting teams worldwide with every aspect of the PCB design process.

Altium Designer Features

  • Supported: PCB CoDesign
  • Supported: Constraint Manager
  • Supported: Manufacturer Part Search
  • Supported: Multi-Board System Design
  • Supported: Schematic Capture
  • Supported: Supply Chain Intelligence
  • Supported: ActiveBOM®: Displays BOM cost and part availability
  • Supported: Interactive Routing with a rules-based routing system

Altium Designer Screenshots

Screenshot of 3D Collision - Altium Designer's 3D PCB editor offers the ability to perform 3D collision testing as well as catching general component-to-component collisions. The user can position one component under another, or test if the loaded board fits correctly into the enclosure.Screenshot of ActiveBOM - A Bill of Materials management editor that brings BOM management tools together with Altium Designer's part information aggregation technologies, helping to manage the component selection challenge.Screenshot of PCB Layout - Altium Designer presents a unified data model to make circuit board design and layout easier. The user can design schematics, use schematic capture to create a new PCB, route printed circuit traces, and prepare for PCB assembly in the program. The PCB layout design features also make component placement and routing easier.Screenshot of Schematic with Properties Panel - The Interactive Properties panel for schematics includes several functional improvements as well as productivity enhancements. The layout focuses on efficiency, icons and graphical previews have been improved over previous versions, and there is now a smart parameters filter both for schematic lists and components.Screenshot of Routing Differential Pairs - Differential pair PCB routing is a design technique employed to create a balanced transmission system able to carry differential (equal and opposite) signals across a printed circuit board. Typically this differential routing will interface to an external differential transmission system, such as a connector and cable. Altium Designer ensures that differential pairs are coupled together whether entering or leaving a pad or just navigating around obstacles on a board.Screenshot of Cross Probe - Cross-probing allows users to jump between and select objects in both the logical schematic and physical layout domains.

Altium Designer Video

Altium Designer's new features

Altium Designer Integrations

  • XJTAG
  • PDN Analyzer
  • JTAG MAPS

Altium Designer Technical Details

Deployment TypesOn-premise
Operating SystemsWindows
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

Altium Designer is PCB design software for a variety of industries.

Altium Designer starts at $355.

Autodesk Fusion, Siemens PADS, and KiCad EDA are common alternatives for Altium Designer.

Reviewers rate Usability highest, with a score of 6.9.

The most common users of Altium Designer are from Small Businesses (1-50 employees).
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Comparisons

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Reviews and Ratings

(50)

Attribute Ratings

Reviews

(1-20 of 20)
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July 17, 2024

Altium Designer

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
As a test eningeer I use it to review PCB layouts, not for designing or layouting itself. The tool has all you need, all you need is a good basic training to get familier with some basic commands to be able to look around.
  • complete toolbox
  • layout is nice
  • some guidance for newbees
  • history of the project
good tool but do not know the price
Hugo Macias | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
In my case, I use Altium Designer to teach how to improve the performance of the biomedical circuits using a pcb and show how a good design can save money and time. Altium Designer provides an easy environment to teach and show all the electronic design from a schematic to a PCB and the manufacturing processes.
  • Easy-to-use
  • Nice interface
  • Thecnical support
  • Component library
  • Pcb rules
  • Manuals
  • 3d models
  • Simulations
For an entry level, it's a little hard to start, but once you know how to use it, it is the best software to design pcb, from just one layer to 4 or more layers.
I use Altium Designer to teach the pcb rules, the importance of select the right footprint, on the schematic
June 27, 2024

Altium Designer

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
I've used Altium Designer for two years as a working electronics engineer and it is my favourite, fully-featured board design tool. The program is very configurable with a flexible interface. It is somewhat intimidating for a beginner and takes time to master, especially when managing large projects. Some of its strengths include its cohesive yet multi-functional design environment, powerful yet user-friendly schematic capture, advanced PCB layout features, capable component management, integrated simulation and analysis options, and the cloud-based real-time collaboration of the Altium 365 platform. Performance is solid with decent speed — even on projects with hundreds of interconnected components — with responsive updates, and the customer support is best in class. It's an expensive rated tool, but the price can be justified by the powerful productivity you can gain with it, if you know how to use it right.
  • Auto connection wire
  • 3D view of board
  • easy transfer to gerber
  • user friendly interface for setting up restrection on user defined board
  • including more info of chips
The worst feeling with Altium Designer is some lack of parts info, but ppl can easily add and modify new parts to library.
Someone may have their familar tool for PCB developing. But for beginners, I'll recommend Altium Designer over other softwares.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
I have used Altium Designer in several ways. First as a schematic, PCB layout, and physical modeling tool and also now as a wire harness designer. Altium Designer addresses the fact that most PCB layout tools are stand alone tools that don't work well with schematic capture and wire harness tools. I've used it as a small to medium size business Electrical engineer reviewing layout and designing harnesses.
  • Schematic capture
  • Physical modeling
  • Integrating tools required to bring a project to prototype
  • PCB Layout
  • Wire harness tool is very buggy, missing key features
  • Altium Designer in general isn't all that stable, crashing every few days at least
  • Draftsman view in particular is extremely difficult to use without a lot of manual inputs
Very well suited for larger corporations that need people to work together on a project and don't mind paying a high monthly fee. It is not yet suited for wire harnesses. The harness tool is buggy, but still somewhat useful. It is certainly not the bargain it once was, but it has a lot of features too.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Our business uses Altium Designer for designing circuit boards. It works well when you have multiple engineers working on the same design. It makes managing and sharing the project easy using its Cloud offering (Altium 365).
  • Project History
  • Library management
  • Release management
  • Mechanical cad collaboration tool
  • Copper thieving
  • Simpler release process
Altium Designer is very good for medium to large-sized engineering teams. Sharing projects is easy which makes design reviews very straight forward.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Altium Designer to save us time during the design process. Previously, we had used a different tool that had much less reliability in it's error checking and generated less consistent manufacturing outputs. Altium Designer has helped us get to production with, on average, one less hardware revision than we had when using the other tool.
  • Error Checking
  • Manufacturing outputs
  • Hierarchical Schematics
  • Query language
  • Quick library part creation
  • Better 3D capabilities
  • Ability to snap to 3D parts
  • Compatibility with OS other than Windows
Altium Designer is well suited for medium to large companies. It is not as well suited to small companies due to the licensing cost for the platform. If a company manages more than 3 or 4 hardware products, Altium Designer can help managed the schematics, supply chain, error checking, and help deliver working electronics assemblies better than the competition.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
As an embedded design engineer, I follow the full cycle from design and simulation to layout, signal integrity, and producing data packs with the Draftsman tool. This allows end-to-end control of the design without handing it off to other departments. The 365 tools allow a great way of working with other teams and interfering with manufacturing around the world without the need for them to have the software installed. The package and features as a whole allow me, as a design engineer, to keep full track of the project and eliminate the need for a separate version control system.
  • Visualization of the board layout.
  • Cross probing.
  • Constraints management.
  • Sharing with others outside the business.
  • Pin assignments import/export to software tools. Output to VHDL/Verilog, for example, or CSV for micro-controllers.
  • I'm also a hobbies - so a low cost option of the tool that is sub £500.
It just works. What more can I say?
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use Altium in our subsidiary to design less complex PCB for our customers. Having a common platform helps us with our productivity at the start of projects.
  • 3D rendering
  • Differential pair routing
  • Easy to find resources online
  • High cost of licensing
  • Cloud base too restrictive depending on the license type
  • Creation of new components a little bit too complex
We do mostly four layers or less, so this tool might be a little bit overkill for what we do here.
Phil Landau | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We have several engineers who use Altium Designer continuously. Some of us use other similar programs at home, but all (with the exception of one) think that Altium Designer is by for the best. We only used the schematic and PCB editors. Due to the cost of separate licenses of which we have three, a bottleneck sometimes happens when more than three people use Altium Designer simultaneously.
  • The schematic editor not only produces smart-looking drawings but can also be used to make some good-looking non-technical documentation. Optically, far better than any competition product.
  • Where to start? In my opinion, technical support, with or without a subscription is at best random. Several questions have remained unanswered.
  • I find that the interactive routing is more difficult than with the earlier Protel versions. There are so many snap options, that it is continually necessary to change a particular snap setting in order to perform a particular operation, otherwise, the track end will jump where it is not wished.
It is possible to draw excellent-looking schematic diagrams in any personal style and transfer these to the PCB editor without problems. The library editors are quite easy to use, and as there are many available STEP models for the majority of components, 3D views are also easy to generate. The built-in 3D editor is, however fairly limited and even when fully mastered can only produce rudimentary images.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Using it to create PCBs for our robotic products.
  • Visualization of PCBA
  • Large component library
  • Source control
  • Collaboration
  • Easier integration to look up parts not in the library
Best professional software I've used. Easy and feature complete.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use Altium to design the schematic design of the original hardware. I share schematics with software team members so they can use it as a reference when writing firmware. After we generate a layout, we use Altium 365 to generate fabrication files and send them to PCB houses for quotes and timelines. I give mechanical engineers access to 3D files to generate housings and to make test fixtures with better accuracy. We looked into using the wire harness generation toolset, and so far, it is not mature enough for our use cases, but it might work for less complex designs.
  • schematic capture
  • board design
  • sending out for quote
  • Harness design.
  • Sharing 3D files with solidworks seems to work well the first time only.
  • Putting parts in the library is difficult and has lots of room for errors.
Well suited for professional use at a company less suited for hobbyists.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
I use Altium to design and verify electronic products from the starting concept all the way to the final manufacturable product. Altium provides an incredibly powerful tool to help you create and verify your circuits at the highest standards. The 3D viewer in the PCB developer has been handy for me, allowing me to view my PCB design from a different perspective. Save me time by showing where my components will be situated in the final product.
  • 3D PCB viewer.
  • Component import.
  • Online tutorials.
  • Rule checker and manager.
  • Scaling inches to mm.
  • Importing components via scripts can be buggy.
  • 3D view tabs are difficult to find.
Altium is well suited for high-speed/ RF PCB design cases. I think it may be a good idea to add design rule templates based on specific use cases or industries, such as an Automotive industry rule check that includes the standards for developing PCBs for use in cars or trucks.
March 07, 2024

Would recommend

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
PCB and schematic work. Most products are under NDA, they range from animal detection systems to automotive aftermarket, agricultural drone accessories and industrial automation products. There are 2 of us who use it for drawing schematics, designing PCBs and then passing the designs over to mechanical engineers for designing enclosures etc.
  • Drag functions for all objects
  • Version control
  • 3D PCB viewer
  • Stability issues mostly related to the library importer
  • More options for managing floating panels
  • Autosave/crash recovery to minimize work lost from stability issues
  • Some issues with GIT checkouts when working across multiple computers
  • When resuming a PC from standby with Altium Designer, open the license is often no longer applied and functions are either greyed out or unresponsive with no explanation
Overall Altium Designer has been a very positive experience compared to other PCB packages I have used previously. My main reservations are down to the assorted crashes I have experienced where I have lost work.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use it for Schematics and Layout. The business problem it solves and the use case is designing boards.
  • PCB placement
  • In my opinion, frustrating users
  • In my opinion, reducing usability over time
  • Schematic design has many problems with schematic design GUI
  • Libraries are excessively complex, particularly for low use count
  • Reduction in usability over time. I have been using for 20 years, and like it less and less overtime
  • In my opinion, seemingly continuing efforts to push users to use Altium's cloud features is obnoxious
  • In my opinion, poor menu implementation is frustrating, such as menu items not being in alphabetical order
  • Ongoing stabilities issues
  • Seeming focus on fancy features vs. core functionality
  • In my opinion, lack of online support for simple issues is frustrating
Well suited: focuses on Enterprise with dedicated users for library management, schematics and layout. Poorly implemented for smaller organizations where engineers do their own board design.
March 07, 2024

A Solid ECAD Choice

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use Altium Designer as our core Electrical solution. Between design, management and storage of our design files Altium Designer is key. We use Altium Designer for mid scale PCBA and harness design for our multi-board projects.
  • PCBA layout
  • Schematic capture
  • Manufacturing file outputs
  • Harness design is just starting and needs better cohesion with rest of the product
  • New constrain manager has some bugs that slow down workflow
  • Even better and more import of footprints, models and simulations
Well suited for: designing electronic products of medium to high complexity boards and designs.

Less suited for: Simple designs that do not require the capabilities of Altium Designer and the price of Altium Designer.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use Altium Designer to create turnkey electronic hardware for our customers. As a design services company, Altium Designer allows us to have a single program and cloud workflow to manage every aspect of our customers designs - securely and seamlessly from concept to delivery. We also use Altium Designer to manage component selection and changes.
  • Create design and output job templates for consistent handovers and project packaging
  • Easily create new components with symbol, footprint editor
  • Develop design rules for PCB layout to achieve various design constraints
  • Bug fixes and random crashes
  • Importing and converting legacy and competitor design files
  • Altium Vault component footprints are not consistent in their creation
Altium Designer is well suited for designing rigid and flexible PCBs with low to medium complexity. It also does well in supporting both analog and digital layout/routing. It is probably less appropriately for very large, dense digital designs, for example, for large FPGA and ASIC dominated designs. Typically, these types of design work better using Mentor Xpedition which have a more hierarchical design approach vs a flat design approach. But the beauty in Altium Designer is in its immediacy. You can go from schematic to output files very quickly.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use the Altium Designer software to produce top quality PCBs for the aerospace industry. We find it works great for a large range of PCBs from 2 to 12 layers, from simple to complex. We rarely find issues with the software and updates are constantly coming out to provide new features as well as fix any bugs.
We've been happy with Altium Designer and look forward to the continued use of it in the years ahead.
  • Allows new designs to get started quickly
  • Great for routing complex signals
  • Accurate 3D modeling allows mechanical integration in the package
  • RF tools for signal integrity
  • Great error checking capabilities
  • Easier setting up of templates for Design rules
  • Easier setting up of workspace for new designs
  • The library system is very clumsy when using the cloud
Almost all board layout situations Altium Designer is very usable and has loads of features that make the PCB layout efficient. There is a learning curve that comes with it, but I do think an engineer will quickly get the hang of the main features.
For hobby use, I would recommend a cheaper/free market alternative, but for industry use, Altium Designer is very good.
Jose Perri | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
ALTIUM DESIGNER is the most appropriate tool for the design of electronic equipment, it covers all parts of the process, that is, from conceptual creation to mass production. We can use ALTIUM DESIGNER for the creation of electronic schematics and from there generate the PCB of components, finally, it allows us to generate a list of materials "BOM" for the acquisition of the electronic components.
  • Generate the schematic design of the electronic circuit.
  • Make the PCB motherboard based on the schematic design.
  • The development environment can be intimidating for new users due to its complexity.
  • I would prefer a more atomized user interface since some functions can be accessed from different menus generating unnecessary complexities.
In a professional environment of design and manufacture of electronic equipment, without a doubt, ALTIUM DESIGNER turns out to be the best option! However, the high cost of its license makes us consider the option of using lower-cost alternatives. In the case of small companies or independent developers, free options turn out to be more appropriate, although some functions are not implemented and require more work from the designer.
February 26, 2024

Altium Designer Review

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
I use Altium Designer to design PCBs and other electronic components and validate and iterate upon my team members' designs for my University's satellite design team. We are participating in the CSA's (Canadian Space Agency) CubeSat design challenge and won the competition last year. We are currently redesigning boards to make them space ready.
  • Incredible integration between teams. I love using Altium 365 and how I can view, edit, and comment on my team members designs. It is an incredible platform and makes collaborations very easy.
  • Makes it easy to move between different projects, either local or public. I love how I can move between the PCB and schematics of different projects with no downtime.
  • The UI is clean and works well once someone has learned how to use it. Everything makes sense and the integrated shortcuts make it particularly simple and nice to work with.
  • I really love how I can search for any part in Altium Designer. I can source any part and place it exactly onto my PCB, allowing me to use the 3D model feature to see precisely what my designs will look like in real life.
  • The learning curve for Altium Designer is very steep. I believe what scares people is how much learning and practicing you need to do to understand Altium Designer and create your own projects from scratch. I would recommend a suggested tutorial at first open that teaches you how to design a PCB.
  • It can be hard to work on many projects at once. While switching between a few different projects can be very seamless, once you start to open many the program can start to slow exponentially.
  • I believe adding a feature where users can pay for certain features may be beneficial, as not all features of Altium Designer are used by all organizations. This could help startups and other small companies achieve better margins.
Altium Designer is incredible for organizations with a large team working on similar projects as it provides for incredible collaboration. Altium 356 is unparalleled in how easy to navigate and incredibly useful it is. Though hard to learn, it is good for begineers to learn Altium Designer as it does a good job of teaching the basics of PCB design and allows for transferable skills. Altium Designer might not be good for an individual designing their own PCBs for a project as the cost can be extremely high and there are no options to get a more basic version with less features.
June 27, 2023

Altium

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use it for our Electronics PCB development. We create our own electronics and Altium is used for creating the schematic capture and PCB Layout, as well as the production files.
  • Powerful program with quite some features for relative complex PCB design
  • Quite easy to generate output production files, so this helps with consistency and reproduction.
  • Some features are only supported in Altium 365, and because of our business and policy we are not allowed to store data outside the company, so can't use this features.
  • From time to time strange behaviour / crashes occcur. Sometimes functions won't behave correct and a restart of Altium solves the issue.
  • Design rule management. Desing rules are crucial for generating correct PCB layouts and fabrication data. Currently there is not method to verify changes made in the Design Rule during the development.
Powerful tool for CAD design. Some features (Altium 365 only features) do require to store data in the cloud, which is not allowed in our company. From time to time strange behaviour and a crash / not responding anymore. Restart of tool might overcome this.
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