Altium LLC (ASX:ALU) and MacroFab, Inc. announced that Altimade, the electronics industry’s first “design WITH manufacturing” application, is now available to the Altium user community. Available on the Altium 365 cloud platform and connected directly to MacroFab’s fully digital, elastic manufacturing platform, Altimade enables customers to request an instant quote and place an order to produce their PCB assembly without ever leaving their design environment.
While the electronics industry is known for producing very high-tech products, the process of getting a newly designed printed circuit board manufactured has remained stubbornly low-tech. Old-school communication methods, incompatible tools and data formats, and a lack of up-to-date supply chain information slow the process and lead to costly rework for both design engineers and their manufacturers. Altimade modernizes and accelerates the prototype manufacturing process by connecting design, manufacturing, and supply chain data and professionals on the Altium 365 cloud platform to provide an easy, convenient user experience.
“By integrating Altium’s cloud platform for PCB design with MacroFab’s modern, digital-first manufacturing platform, Altimade represents a huge step towards the digital transformation of the electronics industry,” said Ted Pawela, Chief Ecosystem Officer of Altium. “We’re no longer designing FOR manufacturing as a separate activity, but designing WITH manufacturing in a collaborative environment.”
“Altium and MacroFab have modernized PCB design and manufacturing, by bringing them to digital-first, cloud platforms,” stated Misha Govshteyn, CEO at MacroFab. “Combining them truly redefines the PCB design to the manufacturing process and has the potential to accelerate product development and unlock enormous value for our customers.”
Using Altimade, Altium customers have access to continuously updated component and manufacturing prices and lead times at their fingertips and can place an order to produce their printed circuit boards directly within the design environment. All data required for manufacturing is shared via the secure, cloud-based Altium 365 platform, without file translations and exports. Orders are fulfilled by MacroFab’s network of manufacturers in a fraction of the time and effort compared with the traditional process of going from design to manufacture. Altimade creates, maintains, and displays a complete and continuous digital data trail that represents a true “golden record” for every step in the design, procurement, and manufacturing processes of a PCB. Any changes to the original bill of materials or design details automatically update the golden record.
Altimade helps customers achieve higher quality PCBs by maintaining a digital thread between the design intent and what is physically produced, leaving no room for errors from misinterpretation. In addition, Altimade helps engineers ensure manufacturability since the Altium Designer software runs design rule checking (DRC) to ensure the design meets MacroFab’s manufacturing specifications.
The MacroFab digital platform is used by supply chain teams to build everything from PCB assemblies to fully tested and packaged electronics products. MacroFab aggregates unused capacity at 75+ factories in the US, Canada, and Mexico to give mid-market companies an alternative to offshoring, where capacity is increasingly constrained and lead times are impacted by supply chain and freight disruptions. MacroFab turns its network of factories, logistics centers, and warehouses used in manufacturing into a cloud resource, driven by software and connected to Altium 365 through modern APIs.
Altimade is now available to all Altium Designer 22 and Altium 365 users. Visit altium.com/altimade for more details, images, and the latest Altium Stories video featuring Altimade.
-Nexar, a business unit of Altium LLC (ASX:ALU), announces that SiliconExpert, one of the most respected purveyors of part data for electronic components, has joined Nexar’s ecosystem of electronic innovators. The partnership aims to address component lifecycle issues that the printed circuit board (PCB) design community experiences by bringing the comprehensive part data from SiliconExpert into the Altium PCB design tool workflows.
“It’s critical for PCB designers to know whether the components they select are going to be available throughout the entire lifecycle of their products,” said Ted Pawela, Chief Ecosystem Officer at Altium and Head of Nexar. “Altium customers recognize the value in having access to SiliconExpert’s data so that they can make better, more informed decisions and reduce risk.”
Inaccurate or incomplete component availability data can cause significant delays to the design and production of electronic products. Providing designers access to the most comprehensive component lifecycle information within their design environment is crucial to ensuring designs can be produced on time and on budget.
“SiliconExpert and Altium are equally driven in ensuring designers have access to component information right at their fingertips without the frustration of having to go through multiple design re-spins,” said Martin Chatterton, General Manager of SiliconExpert. “Altium is our most requested integration, so we’re eager to work together to address this need.”
SiliconExpert will be at the AltiumLive 2022 CONNECT summit presenting “Getting the Information to Create Successful Designs Quickly” among the topics in the event’s supply chain track. To see the full AltiumLive agenda, visit the summit page at altium.com/summit.
Altium’s integration with SiliconExpert’s component data will be available within the Altium ecosystem later this year. To learn more about Nexar or to become a Nexar partner, please visit www.Nexar.com.
Continental Cockpit in BMW iX
The technology company Continental supplies essential elements for an intuitive and attractive user experience in the new BMW iX. In response to vehicle digitalization, the electric vehicle integrates Continental’s Cockpit High Performance Computer. It manages the increasing software complexity as well as the rapidly growing functional scope in the cockpit. The computer also provides the necessary computing power for the functions in the supplier’s head-up display and the large-scale display landscape in the vehicle. Together with the driver camera integrated in the digital instrument cluster, Continental offers essential building blocks for a seamless interaction between the driver and the vehicle with a new type of user experience. Furthermore, Continental is also equipping the electric model with ultra-wideband transceivers for digital vehicle access with smartphones. Other solutions from the supplier, such as the smartphone terminal with close range communication for inductive charging, the electronics for the intelligent panoramic roof called BMW Sky Lounge as well as soft and low-emission surface materials ensure exciting design in addition to comfort, ergonomics, and user-friendliness.
“The user experience is becoming an increasingly important decision criterion for vehicle buyers. With our building blocks for an intuitive, safe, but above all, attractive interaction between the driver and the vehicle in the BMW iX, as well as our expertise in software development and systems integration, we help to promote sustainable mobility”, said Nikolai Setzer, CEO Continental.