Hello All,

Several months ago, We have all took our shots at blasting Altium for DXP .
I would like to hear some positive feedback on the progress on DXP
 I am not sure how good the schematic tools are,  or if there was a big
improvement from 99SE to DXP.     I would like to hear from some of the
experienced designers out there about any  real advantages to switching to
DXP for schematic.  I work with a few engineers that are eager to upgrade if
the tools  have an advantage.    Any inputs?  (positive only)

Second,   100 percent of my work involves PCB design.  I sit at my computer
on average 10 hours a day for 6 days a week , 365 days a year.  Since I am
an independant design bureau ,  my approach for laying out a board is very
systematic, no frills,  and very efficient.   My approach is pretty much an
assembly line process.      One of the assembly line  tasks that I find
myself spending time on,  is fanning out components.   The reason I fan out
components manually are two fold:  1.   No router  ( Spectra included)  can
fan out as clean as I can.     Clean =  good via spacing  which  provides
for open routing channels in both the horizontal and vertical directions.
2.  Manually fanning out allows me to  inspect my layout for discreet
components that are rotated or need better placement.   3. While fanning out
, I also route critical lines.
With this approach, a clean fanout on every component, I achieve a very high
autorouting  percentage.  Generally 99.9 - 100 percent.    So..........I was
thinking  how to improve DXP   ( since we wont see enhancements to 99SE).

We were using P-CAD several years ago to route Die on MCMs.  The Die pads
were  always fanned out the same.  X mils away from the die, bonding pads
were all the same size,  pads spacing the same on all fanouts, etc  ( same
rules applied to all die fannout ).   We used an inhouse software guru to
write a simple DOS program to fan out the Die.  A real time savings was
realized.  I came up with this  new  idea:.  I keep a separate lib called
"my spectra " lib.  It contains, patterns which I use for fanout.  I copy
the tracks and vias from  i.e. component  QPF208FAN (my specta.lib)     and
paste them to the QFP208 on my pcb. Presto I have a fanned out part which
meets my routing requirements. I repeat the copy command as required,  on
large boards it can take several days to fanout.   If I dont spend days
fanning out,  I will spend more time cleaning bad routes.     I could create
parts in PCB lib which are already fanned out, but this method is also more
difficult to clean up afterwards and does not allow removal of extra vias on
"no net" pads.   While I have used the prefanned out lib parts,  and it
works,  there are many other  disadvantages to this method.
  My proposed feature is to create an associated fanout  pattern ( in the
fanoout library)  that can be automaticallly  be placed or associated to
components on  a board.      Fanout would be automatic when pressing the
buttom  "update pcb with fan out pattern"   ,  no crunching required.    It
can be done within a sub menu  of the library,  ie you show the component
and maybe several fan out patterns you created to choose from.   You choose
from pattern A ( which could be fanned in ) , pattern B which could be
fanned in and out), or any pattern you choose to create.

I would realize huge time savings ,  would any of you ?   Any comments?
Any comments from Altium?

Mike Reagan
Frederick MD

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