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Front-end engineering design solution

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ALTIUM has released Service Pack 2 (SP2) for its universal front-end engineering design solution, CircuitStudio 2004.

It expands the design capture capabilities of CircuitStudio with more than 100 new features and enhancements, including the addition of support for Verilog design flows. SP2 is available as a free download to all CircuitStudio customers.

CircuitStudio allows the capture and verification of board-level and FPGA-based designs. It integrates schematic and HDL-based design capture with functional VHDL simulation, mixed-signal Spice 3f5/XSpice circuit simulation and pre-board layout signal integrity analysis to provide a complete engineering design environment.

It allows users to mix schematic-based design with both VHDL and Verilog source files, providing greater choice in the capture of FPGA-based designs. CircuitStudio's HDL code editing environment has been enhanced to support Verilog syntax highlighting and code templates.

SP2 also enhances HDL support at the project level to provide easier management and navigation of HDL source files. During compilation, the system automatically determines the correct order and processing hierarchy of HDL files. The HDL document hierarchy is displayed in the Project panel for easy browsing. Enhanced project navigation features allow the designer to crossprobe from compile errors to the affected document, and to trace hierarchy through both schematic and HDL source files.

A new Storage Manager offers complete project-level file control and an easy-to-use local document history management system to compare and retrieve older versions of documents. Document comparison capabilities have also been strengthened with a new graphical comparator engine that makes it easy to locate and highlight physical changes between revisions of schematic files.

At the schematic level, CircuitStudio's query-based object filtering and editing features have been upgraded 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 object Inspector panel.

SP2 supports manually defining component and net classes at the schematic level, as well as enhanced control over automatic class generation. There are a number of graphical user interface upgrades, including context-sensitive right-click menus in the schematic editor, enhanced sheet entry and sheet symbol editing, and improved support for heterogeneous component annotation. It also provides 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.

CircuitStudio is based on Altium's DXP 2004 technology integration platform and provides seamless connection to back-end design flows with Altium's Protel 2004 board-level design system, and Nexar 2004 FPGA-based digital systems development environment.

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