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Altium CAM System and Free ODB++ Viewer Bridge Gap Between PCB Design and Manufacture.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

PCB Design Conference West

SYDNEY, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 10, 2003

Altium Limited (ASX: ALU), a leading developer of Windows-based electronic design and development software, today announced the release of CAMtastic DXP, as well as a free ODB++ capable CAM viewer based on this new version. CAMtastic DXP is the latest version of Altium's complete CAM verification and editing system that bridges the gap between PCB design and manufacturing and facilitates communication between board designers, fabrication engineers, and their clients.

"Time-to-market constraints dictate that the transfer from design to manufacturing be as smooth as possible," says Phil Loughhead, product manager, Altium. "CAMtastic DXP has been specifically developed to facilitate this data transfer with extensive import and export formats, strengthened data verification, and Altium's unique Design Explorer platform - which ensures tight tool integration and superior ease-of-use. CAMtastic DXP will save time by ensuring designs are error free and completely ready for efficient fabrication and assembly."

CAMtastic DXP's new features include bi-directional ODB++ support, advanced panelization, additional DRCs for strengthened data verification, and extensive numerically controlled (NC) drill and rout features. It will be demonstrated at the PCB Design Conference West in San Jose, USA (March 10-14) at booth 1210.

A complete CAM system

CAMtastic DXP comes with a complete range of import/export options, a host of PCB design check/fix analyses and all the graphical and geometrical tools necessary to edit and modify any design for fabrication and assembly. With a single mouse click CAMtastic DXP will search the entire design, locating and automatically repairing 18 of the most common manufacturing design flaws such as solder bridging, power/ground shorts, netlist shorts, and silkscreen over soldermask.

Bi-directional ODB++ support

CAMtastic DXP now imports and exports ODB++ files, the format that is emerging as the de facto standard for data exchange between design and manufacturing throughout the electronics industry. CAMtastic DXP also supports IPC-D356 netlists and introduces an enhanced QuickLoad feature that allows all supported file types to be loaded simultaneously. The full support for fabrication design rule checking ensures that manufacturing issues can be detected early so that the accuracy of designs can be confirmed before production.

Advanced panelization

Combined with powerful commands that support rotating and flipping of steps, the advanced panelization features in CAMtastic DXP allow panels to be optimized for both cost and assembly techniques. A straightforward process allows a single board to fill a panel according to border and spacing information provided. Additional data such as drill coupons and tooling holes can be defined as individual steps and inserted into the panel alongside the array of board data. CAM data from different boards can be loaded as steps into the same panel allowing a panel to be filled with any grouping of boards.

Enhanced data verification features

Data verification has been strengthened in CAMtastic DXP with additional Design Rule Checks (DRCs) and increased netlist extraction capabilities. CAMtastic DXP includes an extensive range of data verification checks for potential fabrication problems such as silkscreen over mask, solder bridging, net antennas or starved thermals. Its netlist extraction supports any board configuration including blind and buried vias, as well as split power planes using both thermal relief and direct power plane connections.

NC drill and rout

Core to any effective CAD/CAM software is the ability to create both regular (drilled) and irregular (routed) holes in the PCB panel. CAMtastic DXP includes a broad range of NC rout capabilities, including auto routing, rout tabs and automatic mill path definition. NC rout paths can be defined manually or automatically (by edge tracing existing objects), with full control over tool parameters, plunge/retraction points and rout direction.

With the release of CAMtastic DXP and the free ODB++ viewer, Altium continues to break down barriers to innovation and technological advancement by providing every engineer, designer and developer with easy access to the best possible design tools.

Free ODB++ CAM viewer

The CAMtastic DXP viewer is the only free viewer to support the import of intelligent ODB++ data. The viewer includes all the power of CAMtastic DXP's extensive import, print, and inspection functions, including the ability to view ODB++ data. The viewer enables board designers, fabricators, and assemblers to readily collaborate on critical manufacturing issues and share design data without being tied to proprietry data formats.

Pricing and availability

CAMtastic DXP is now available for purchase and is priced at US$1,495 for new licenses and at US$495 for upgrades of all previous versions. Also in a special introductory cross-grade offer (until June 30, 2003), CAMtastic is available at US$995 for users of eligible CAM tools.

The free ODB++ capable viewer can be downloaded directly from

For complete product information, or to download a 30-day fully-functional trial version visit or contact your local Altium Sales and Support Center.

About Altium Limited

Altium Limited (ASX: ALU), trading as Protel International Limited (ASX: PRI) prior to August 6, 2001, is a leading global developer and supplier of desktop Electronic Design Automation (EDA) and embedded software design tools for the Microsoft Windows environment.

Since the company's foundation in 1985 and its release of the world's first Microsoft Windows-based EDA tool in 1991, Altium has continued to apply the most advanced software design methods to provide powerful, easy-to-use and affordable design software to engineers and electronics designers worldwide.

Altium's current product brands include Protel, nVisage, P-CAD, TASKING, Accolade, CircuitMaker and CAMtastic. These products offer tailored solutions covering a range of hardware and software design processes.

Altium is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and operates a number of sales and support offices in Australia, the United States, Japan and Europe, as well as maintaining a large reseller network in all other major markets. More information about the company and its products and services may be obtained from our website at

Note to Editors: Altium, Protel, DXP, Design Explorer, nVisage, P-CAD, TASKING, Accolade, CircuitMaker, CAMtastic, Situs 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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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 10, 2003
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