Altium Education helps college students learn the basics of PCB design services and then help them to design their first printed circuit boards.

PCB design can be accomplished using several computer-based tools, such as Cadence Allegro, Siemens PADs, and Altium Designer. These tools can be overwhelming for novice PCB designers. Altium recently announced Altium Education, a new series of online learning modules targeted at students and newcomers to the field.

Altium's Altium Educational offers a free library of university courses, software, and licenses that students can use to enable students to access online professional engineering education.

PCB Design is a Multi-Stage Process

Designing a printed circuit board (PCB) can be challenging as technologies become increasingly complex. Circuit designers need to understand the purpose and functionality of the board. Understanding everything going into the design is essential so the designer can plan accordingly. The first step is to create a two-dimensional schematic showing how each component is connected and the circuitry involved.

The schematic is then converted into a three-dimensional graphical rendering used to manufacture the PCB. This involves placing components and lying down electrical paths (pathways for current flow) on a substrate logically to ensure that the circuit functions correctly. Traces can move between layers using vias.

The board is now ready for manufacturing. This is crucial for building a reliable, functional PCB. Altium Education was created to assist new and prospective designers in gaining a solid understanding of these four steps.

Altium Education Consolidates PCB Design Training For Students

An Altium Education course is composed of smaller blocks called units. Each unit is a series of lectures in video and text format. It introduces students to a specific concept. The topics get more complex as the unit progresses.

The student can follow the content of the units in Altium Designer. This will allow them to learn the basics of PCB design concepts, including schematic capture, layout, routing, signal integrity, and routing. Crosstalk can be caused by inductive or capacitive coupling on a PCB. Therefore, it is essential to understand signal integrity concepts to route the traces optimally fully.

Altium Education offers free access to a license to anyone with an active university email address. Students can renew their licenses every six months. Altium Designer is an industry-standard schematic capture and layout program that includes over 200,000 electronic parts and design templates.

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PCB Design Software plays an essential role in the 21st century

Understanding the tools and techniques involved in PCB design is becoming more critical as modern PCBs become more complex and faster. Coherent Market Intelligences estimates that the market for PCB design software is worth more than two billion dollars as of 2021. The course curriculum and the free Altium Designer license offer students a self-paced method to learn the basics of PCB design.

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