Protel 2004 Supercharged with over 150 New Features

SYDNEY, Australia—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Dec. 16, 2004— Altium Limited (ASX: ALU), a leading developer of Windows-based electronics design software, today announced the release of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for its complete board-level design system, Protel 2004. SP2 represents the most substantial upgrade to the Protel system since its debut on Altium's DXP technology integration platform, and is available as a free download to all existing Protel DXP and Protel 2004 customers.

SP2 includes more than 150 new features and enhancements, as well as over 100 updates that will enable designers using Protel to create more complex designs faster than ever before.

A new Storage Manager forms the hub of enhanced design management and version control. Storage Manager offers complete project-level file control and provides an easy-to-use local document history management system to compare and retrieve older versions of documents. Enhanced comparison capabilities go beyond detecting electrical differences with a new graphical comparator engine that makes it easy to locate and highlight physical changes between revisions of schematic and PCB files.

Protel's powerful query-based object filtering and editing features have been significantly upgraded in SP2 to improve ease of use and streamline global editing of design objects. Designers can now select a group of components and easily descend into its common parameters to globally edit attributes of the parameters. Additionally, designers can add parameters to a component directly from the Inspector panel.

Enhancements to the PCB editor include faster net analysis, support for solid polygon pours output as Gerber polygon primitives, multiple copy and paste operations using the DXP clipboard and support for copying from a PCB document to the Windows clipboard in WMF format. SP2 also introduces support for PCB panelization within the PCB editor using a new Embedded Board Array feature. This feature allows designers to create a panel containing multiple copies of a single board or arrays of different boards, which simplifies the process of preparing boards for fabrication.

In the design capture area, SP2 supports manually defining component and net classes at the schematic level, as well as enhanced control over automatic class generation. There are a host of Graphical User Interface (GUI) upgrades, including: context-sensitive right-click menus in the schematic editor; enhanced sheet entry and sheet symbol editing; improved support for heterogeneous component annotation; the ability to paste text and graphics directly into the schematic editor; and graphical compile masks which allow designers to effectively "comment out" portions of the schematic during compilation and error checking.

Protel 2004 is the industry's only board-level design system that fully supports the design and integration of FPGA devices right through to PCB implementation. SP2 strengthens Protel's FPGA capabilities with the introduction of support for Verilog coding and source files, allowing Protel designers to mix schematic-based design with both VHDL and Verilog code to capture FPGA designs. Compiling HDL source files has been improved with intelligent handling of HDL hierarchy, so that the system automatically determines the order and hierarchy of HDL files and compiling is reflected in the project panel.

"Service Pack 2 represents one of the most significant upgrades ever made to Protel," said Rob Irwin, Product Manager for DXP Technologies at Altium. "In terms of refinement, maturity and design capabilities, SP2 elevates the Protel system beyond anything previously available and brings with it enhancements that will increase the productivity of every Protel customer."

SP2 Key Features at a Glance

-- Enhanced project and document management with new Storage Manager

-- Enhanced version control support with local document history management

-- Physical difference comparison of schematic or PCB documents

-- Simplified global object inspection and editing

-- Improved global management of component parameters

-- Solid polygon pours with support for Gerber polygon primitives lowers design database overhead

-- Support for cutouts in solid polygon pours

-- Greatly improved net analyzer performance

-- Direct PCB panelization with Embedded Board Array feature

-- New Situs autorouting modes

-- Enhanced clipboard functionality in both the schematic and PCB editors

-- Graphical compile masks to "comment out" portions of a design during compilation

-- Schematic-level component and net class definition and improved control of automatic class generation

-- Enhanced FPGA design support including the addition of Verilog for design capture

-- Intelligent hierarchy determination for HDL-based designs

-- Support for Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, German and French languages installations

Pricing and Availability

Protel 2004 is currently priced at US$7,995. This price also includes a complimentary Universal JTAG Interface, which allows an FPGA development or production board to interact "live" with the LiveDesign-enabled features of Protel 2004. Special pricing is available to all Protel 99 SE customers wishing to upgrade before 31 December 2004.

SP2 is available immediately and is freely downloadable to all existing Protel 2004 and Protel DXP customers from www.altium.com/downloads/2004SP2.

For more product information, visit www.altium.com/protel/ or contact your local Altium Sales and Support Center.

About Altium Limited

Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) is a global developer and supplier of electronics design software for the Microsoft Windows environment. Founded in 1985, Altium released the world's first Microsoft Windows-based printed circuit board design tool in 1991 and continues to provide advanced, easy-to-use and affordable software design tools to electronics engineers, designers, and developers worldwide. Altium's products offer tailored solutions covering a range of hardware and software design processes including the Nexar, Protel, P-CAD and TASKING brands. Altium is headquartered in Sydney, Australia and has sales and support offices in Australia, the United States, Japan, Europe and China. More information is available at www.altium.com.

Altium, CAMtastic, CircuitStudio, Design Explorer, DXP, LiveDesign, NanoBoard, NanoTalk, Nexar, nVisage, P-CAD, Protel, Situs, TASKING, and Topological Autorouting and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Altium Limited or its subsidiaries. All other registered or unregistered trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners, and no trademark rights to the same are claimed.



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Altium Limited
Kim Watt, +61 2 9975 7710

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www.altium.com
or
Edelman for Altium Limited
Sarah Seifert, 650-968-4033 

Email Contact

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