It gives a little in-site as to what's coming...(long)

Please tell why Protel is Altium

It's all quite simple really - the boardlevel EDA company
has evolved over the I ears from a company that developed
and sold the single Protel PCB design system to one that 
now encompasses multiple product brands across a range of 
design applications, according to Altium marketing director
Elisa Buttrose.

"The change of the company name from Protel international
to Altium represents the launch of a new and distinct 
corporate brand that will equally represent each distinct
product brand and embody our focus of helping every engineer
and designer turn his or her ideas into successful products
in the easiest and most productive way," Buttrose said.

"The creation of Altium marks a major step in our long-held
strategy to create a product mix that forms a complete 
electronic design system.  Altium is the source of the 
products that make up this system and represents a focus
and unifying force to take this strategy into the future,"
Buttrose said.

And that future looks particularly good, with the company
expecting sales revenue growth in line with worldwide 
forecasts for the PCB market of 15-20%, driven strongly 
by the growth of the Windows/NT end of the market Buttrose
said.

The immediate year has also been strong for Altium with a
60% year-on-year sales revenue increase to $53 million or
an after-tax profit of $12.6 million - the fifth consecutive
year of compound annual revenue growth above 45%.

Buttrose attributed these impressive results to both the 
continued increase in organic growth and market share 
provided by the clear boost in sales in the company's 
existing products, and also the successful acquisition and
integration of Dutch embedded software supplier Tasking.

"The Tasking acquisition provided Altium with an immediate
broadening of our product offerings, the addition of embedded
software design technology, and the move into a new market"
Buttrose continued.

"This has provided one of the most important components 
needed to achieve our vision or providing engineers with 
the complete electronic design system."

In terms of market trends, Buttrose identified two main 
areas: the increased blur between the design of electronic 
hardware and software, and the demand for increased 
integration between all design tools and technologies 
along the design process.

Buttrose said hardware design and software development are
essentially 'two sides of the same coin' and need to be 
tied together m some way as electronics technology progresses.

"Some software tools currently exist that attempt to provide 
engineers with solutions to these problems but, as was the 
case with PCB design tools 15 years ago, the tool are 
expensive, require expensive infrastructure, are difficult
to learn and use and are accessible only to a limited number
of engineers and designers," Buttrose said.

"We are now ready to change this situation as our products
currently cover both hardware design and software development,
and we are about to embark on the integration of these two 
phases of the design process."

Buttrose also outlined a market trend demanding increased
integration between all design tools and technologies along
the design process.

"Increased integration offers designers and engineers practical
benefits such as a consistent design environment across all 
tools, smooth transitions between the different phases of the
design process and elimination of the need to learn a new 
environment for each tool in the design workflow, which saves
them valuable time and money," Buttrose continued.

"Altium is constantly working to help its customers improve 
the overall electronic design flow process, to integrate the 
many tools and processes that are necessary to develop complex
designs with our unique "Design Explorer" technology platform
providing a single design environment that seamlessly 
integrates all design tools and technologies."

As to the company's immediate future, Altium now has all the
building blocks necessary to fulfill its aims of providing 
all the tools necessary to form a complete electronic design
system that integrates all aspects of the design process, is
easy to use, and is accessible to all engineers.

"The immediate future will see us offer new versions of our
current products that significantly expand features, and 
improve design tool integration using our unique Design Explorer
platform," Buttrose said.

"As well, we are constantly exploring new avenues of technology
that will lead to the development of new tools and product lines
that target new areas of the design market."

"Our continued focus will be on developing tools for the PC 
desktop that will provide a real Powerful, full-featured, value
for money alternative to the high-priced complex Unix-based 
systems:" Buttrose added.

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