Free PCB design tool from Altium

Link to sign up for the beta:


Looks interesting! Signed up for beta.

i ran into this yesterday when i was trying to browse their site and thought i was typing the name wrong, and then i realized maybe they are getting our of business as i couldn’t find Altium product line as it was redirect me to circuitmaker… i see that they’ve fixed the issue this morning…

This has been anticipated for a while now. Folks like Dave had a role in pushing Altium for it.


I can’t remember if Ive seen anyone mention it here but, have you noticed the similar “thing” from Mouser?

I’m going to sign up for CircuitMaker too, one of them might finally replace OrCAD.

Circuit simulation used to be very interesting, but is much less so today where most circuits are mostly just an MCU and support components, plus a few bits of I/O (display, buttons, sensors, etc).

I’m much more interested in the schematic capture. I signed up for the Altium tool, maybe I’ll try this one too. Eagle’s limitations are just a BIT too limiting for me. Seriously, I’d take 1/2" bigger boards and be fine!

I am coming from very old Ultiboard V5.73 and I never really used the new versions because the old one was much better. >:)
(My personal feeling !)

Multisim is ok, but the old schematics editor Ulticap V5.73 ist still better if you not need to simulate something but you have to fight with big busses an hierachy sheets.

I have a valid professional license for Multisim and Ultiboard, but 3 years ago I started with Altium.
But from this moment on I am only doing software development, so my skills in Altium are still at the beginning ::slight_smile:

Very interested what future brings now, Multisim or Altium… ???

If you are working on analog and digital design with microcontroller you are quickly beyond the possibilities of simulating something.
The only way is to simulate parts of your circuitry and hoping that everything works together.


(Sorry about my english, i can much better read than write :wink: )

Just listened to Dave Jones talking about it.

The big negative is that you can only store your files in the cloud. And presumably in a proprietary file format too.

Apparently there are some extra features you can pay for like push and shove routing and additional layers, but no details yet.

Just out of interest, what is the cost for a current licence of Altium?

If you need to ask, you don’t want to know. It’s in the thousands per seat, I hear, but they are not overly likely to tell you until you approach them

@ kiwi_stu - I was doing a workshop JTAG boundary scan yesterday at a company who is also distribitor for Altium. They mentioned a price of 6000 Euro for altium. But Altium is not only a PCB / Schematic design tool, there are also a number of C/C++ compilers included, some stuf for FPGA, and simulation.

Yep, 6000€ per developer per year.

wow, that is eye watering…

That’s the initial price. The yearly renewal is less. I don’t remember, 1000 Euro or 2000 Euro or something like this. Still expensive, of course.

It seems to be the same around 6000 in each currency regardless of exchange rates. Here it’s in USD which if you do the maths is not 6000 Euro. :slight_smile:

The yearly maintenance is expensive and so far this year I’ve not renewed it yet. $1500 is a lot money for a small company. :whistle:

It’s a fairly standard price for a professional tool.
Compare it to any high end CAD/CAM/3D package and then it’s in the same sand pit.
Yes it’s a fair wedge of cash but the productivity gains soon make up for the sticker price.

I have never used any of that other stuff so it feels like bloatware I am paying over the odds for. I would prefer a lower cost version with only PCB and Schematic. Don’t need FPGA and compilers etc.


My last yearly renewal was 1400 € :open_mouth: :frowning:

I think that is to much… especially if you not need the C/C+±compilers, FPGA stuff and simulation :wall:

But I hope that things are changing now with the free tool :think:

Altium schematic and pcb editor (without Compiler, FPGA and simulation) for 3000/700€, that is a good price for this professional software.
(my personal feeling)

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The yearly subscription of VisualStudio Pro with MSDN Pro is around 450€.
The 1st year was between 800€ and 900€ if I remember right.

Since I consider VS as a professional tool that comes with a lot of additional stuff for test and development in the subscription (OS, Server, … licenses) I think the price is quite fair.

What I don’t really understand, is that the next level above Pro cost around 1400€ (nut sure about the exact price now).
And the only additional value I see for me in that is a Office license :snooty:
Ultimate is more than 3000€ per year then.

I can get that for around $5 from one of the shops in the local shopping mall. I ain’t kidding either. A real shop in a proper shopping mall and they give you a computer printed receipt for it.

I wouldn’t touch any CD/DVD’s from there anyway as they are riddled with virus or malware but they do a good local trade. They usually get shut down about once a year at the start of Ramadan and then re-opens afterwards in the same shop :slight_smile: