Mar 3, 2011

Altium Designer 10, new Altium Vaults and AltiumLive attack problem of managing electronics design data

Sydney – Today, in a combined announcement, Altium aims to help propel the electronics design industry forward to meet the needs of electronics designers in what everyone agrees will be a connected future.

In addition to the milestone release of Altium Designer 10 the company is announcing Altium Vaults and AltiumLive.

Altium Vaults is new technology at the heart of Altium Designer 10's new design data management functionality.

And AltiumLive is an online ecosystem for electronics design professionals that will connect designers with collaborators, suppliers, manufacturers and in the future, customers. Think of it as the back-end for the Altium Designer front-end user application.

Nick Martin, CEO of Altium, commented: "We chose to build a new platform to solve the intractable challenges of keeping design data under control without killing innovation, to deliver great design functionality for today, and provide a bridge to that future.

"The solution was to develop and release a design tool, an ecosystem and new technology to manage data and deliver new design content, all at once!"

Untangling the design data knot

The diverse participants in making electronics that change the world create data sets that do not inherently work well together. Component data mix with other IP, which in turn tangle with manufacturing data, leading to all types of knotty problems. Component availability, prices, and versions change with a rapidity that makes things difficult for busy designers trying to manage who did what, when and how. And all the time, competitors are circling.

With Altium Designer 10, customers can relieve their anxieties around design process complexity, business system integration, supply chain integration, external manufacturing, and increasing competitive pressure. They can free themselves to innovate.

And from Altium Designer 10 onwards, and using AltiumLive, Altium will deliver content and updates continuously. Designers using Altium Designer will simply log on to check out AltiumLive, select content (new functions, upgrade, content, IP, and more) that is appropriate or relevant, download and install.

As an example of this, Altium Designer extends the designer's reach into the supply chain, adding Mouser and Arrow to Altium Designer's new live links function.

Altium Vaults

Altium Vaults form the heart of Altium's smart data management technologies. They store and manage electronics design data, and this lets designers release validated design data inside or outside their organizations with confidence.

Vaults let designers manage revisions, design data, manage component lifecycles and track usage across designs, and provide links to supply chains to provide real-time information about parts being specified in designs.

Users have a number of Vault options. Managed Vaults will be cloud-based vaults running entirely in AltiumLive as cloud-based services. Designers won't need to run any servers or infrastructure of their own – they will be managed by Altium.

Satellite Vaults are hosted locally on users' own systems, ideal for companies who prefer to keep their design data behind firewalls, with user authentication through AltiumLive.

And Enterprise Vault Servers are a way to establish an independent vault system inside a user's own organization, especially for those who do not allow Internet connections because of security concerns.

AltiumLive: the professional designer's ecosystem with grunt

Electronics design professionals deserve (and need) an ecosystem that will help them connect the design process, the supply chain, and manufacturing and design IP, in a connected future.

AltiumLive is the seriously sound online environment for downloading, dealing in and sharing electronics design-related content: the place to turn to for new functionality in Altium Designer, as well as new content. The first design content comes from Altium's technical centers in Shanghai and in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. In the future, users will also be able to share their design data using AltiumLive as their ecosystem.

A new blog provides detailed technical papers, comment and discourse, and a new system has been created so that users can influence the future content in Altium Designer (via a nomination and voting system called BugCrunch!).

AltiumLive is open to non-users, who will also have access to some of this new information and content. To start with, AltiumLive membership is by invitation, and anyone can register their interest now.

Altium has built AltiumLive as a dynamic framework designed to scale and grow as designers flex their ecosystem muscles, and as the "Internet of Things" evolves around them.

Features too many to mention

So what are the features exactly? Altium has packed so much into this latest snap-shot of Altium Designer, that it would require a 10-page news release to describe it all. Since this is not 1999, and since Altium is now moving away from fixed-point software releases to a continuous stream approach, the company has made a modern move and developed fun videos explaining this milestone release of Altium Designer.

Go to ad10.altium.com for more on Altium Designer 10. Go to live.altium.com for more on AltiumLive.

Altium has also chosen to continue to make Altium Designer as affordable as possible. Go to live.altium.com/pricing for information on pricing for Altium Designer and Altium's new Vault options.