Electronics Production | June 29, 2006
National Semiconductor selects Altium designer
Altium Limited today announced that National Semiconductor Corporation, the industry's premier analog company, has selected Altium Designer, the industry's only unified electronics design solution, as its global standard for Electronic Computer-Aided Design (ECAD) software for evaluation boards and electronic subsystems.
This standardization not only delivers immediate productivity gains for National Semiconductor's engineering teams but also opens the door to future collaboration possibilities that will benefit both National's customers as well as Altium's customers using National's devices. Altium Designer will be used by National's engineers for board-level systems for the company's analog-based semiconductor products, which include stand-alone devices and subsystems in the areas of power management, imaging, communications interface, display drivers, audio, amplifiers and data conversion. Altium Designer's unified design methodology, which combines the design of the hardware, the programmable hardware and the embedded software in a single development environment, will enable National's engineers to enhance design flow productivity and collaboration. In addition, Altium Designer will be deployed to National's entire field application engineering (FAE) team worldwide to present application solutions and demonstrate new devices in their field customer support roles. In addition to ensuring National's customer base is supported more efficiently, Altium Designer's intuitive and customized user interface will assist National FAEs in helping their customers solve design challenges faster. "We evaluated tools from all of the leading vendors in our search for an ideal solution to capture our internal development and deliver modified designs to our customers as quickly as possible. The universal translation, flexibility and ease of use of the Altium system was unmatched in this survey." said Phil Gibson, vice president, Technical Selling & Web Tools for National Semiconductor "We also saw a great deal of synergy between Altium's design philosophy and the vision we have for our own WEBENCH® online design and prototyping tools, which makes for exciting possibilities moving forward." The push to standardize National's ECAD systems was driven by a number of factors. Like many organizations, National had a variety of electronic design tools installed across a large number of geographically diverse engineering teams. National identified the potential for significant efficiency gains if it were to streamline its electronics development platform and standardize on a consistent, single design flow for use by the entire organization. Only Altium Designer offered National's engineers the flexibility and depth of capabilities within a single unified design environment necessary to achieve this. The standardization on Altium Designer will also have significant productivity gains for National's IT teams. Easier deployment and administration as well as lighter support requirements will save time and money when compared to having to maintain multiple tools on multiple operating systems. Altium Designer's seamless installation on a low-cost hardware infrastructure leads to improve operating efficiency and correspondingly decreased overall cost of ownership (TCO). Altium Designer's automated web-update system also means National's engineers will always be kept up to date with the most current electronics design technologies. An additional key driver in standardizing National's ECAD systems was to address the challenges of design reuse and portability. With turnkey design solutions becoming a considerable factor in expediting the design process, Altium Designer's hierarchical design capabilities, versatile design file translation and data sharing features were an added benefit for National, enabling the company to modularize its design solutions for easy reuse and collaborate more effectively with their customers. Nick Martin, CEO and founder of Altium Limited said of the deal, "We're helping many organizations re-evaluate their electronics design software licensing strategies in today's competitive economy, especially in terms of bringing unity to current disparate disciplines involved in electronics product development. Enterprises are discovering that unifying design flows provide new possibilities for developing sophisticated products faster, and far more cost effectively - benefits which are simply not available with a conventional point tool approach. Altium is totally committed to ensuring that all engineers, and their organizations, are fully equipped to take advantage of emerging design technologies and I believe this deal with National Semiconductor demonstrates the value of that commitment." National will initially deploy Altium Designer licenses to its worldwide FAE force and a number of regional design centers before the system is progressively rolled out to all development groups across the organization. Altium Designer's flexible architecture and ease-of-configurability allows National's FAEs to use a customized design environment in the field, while allowing full use of the unified design capabilities by the company's in-house engineers. Only Altium Designer provided the out-of-the-box flexibility to cater for these diverse requirements without the need for costly, and time-consuming, custom application development. "National Semiconductor is an icon of the electronics industry and a company that is continually innovating," commented Mike Stipe, Altium's Vice President of Sales for the Americas. "I believe that Altium can bring immense value to National's engineering and sales efforts and our team is greatly looking forward to working closely with them to support the rollout of Altium Designer across its global operations."