18 Replies Latest reply on Sep 12, 2019 4:38 AM by engineereddownunder

    Altium Circuit Studio Development???

    engineereddownunder

      My license for Circuit Studio has just come up for renewal, and after just double checking there has been next to no activity in the development world around Circuit Studio - is it worth renewing the license or is this product a dead duck? The last version release was in May last year with apologies for how little it contained and promises of a more major release later in the year - which never came, and which has been followed up by silence (as far as I can tell) from Altium... Thoughts? Anyone seen a recent roadmap for this software? I actually really like the software but don't want to pour money into something that is not being actively developed.

        • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
          batuu

          Same situation here. The silence on such questions is depressing ... Altium appears to be massively strengthening its marketing and sales activities for Altium Designer. They don't care about the CS users. The only way to grab their attention is probably to throw in a lot of money and buy an upgrade to AD.

          • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
            frog

            Agreed, I hope I've been an active supporter of CS but I can't see that I'm getting much back for my subscription.

              • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
                sstallion

                I keeping hoping 2.0 is just around the corner, but it's been over a year since 1.5 was released. By chance, I had a conversation with an Altium rep this morning about purchasing AD - they're still offering a 40% discount until the end of June to switch from an existing tool (even CS) to AD. I'm considering it, but given I still have a couple of years of maintenance left on CS I don't want to waste the money (not to mention the 1.8K USD maintenance for AD is exorbitant).

              • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
                frog

                I'm bumping this thread in the hope that there will be some kind of official response...

                  • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
                    engineereddownunder

                    Yes thank-you, was about to do that myself - do Altium even look at this forum?

                      • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
                        frog

                        To the best of my knowledge they don't, but hero and general good bloke Peter Barnard does, and may know whom to ask.

                          • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???

                            Hi Frog / Jeremy. Altium do look at the forums but only occasionally post. I'm in regular contact with Altium but at present they don't have any plans regarding the next version of CircuitStudio that can be made public. They are well aware users are asking the question and I personally expect there to be an update in due course.

                              • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
                                engineereddownunder

                                Thanks Peter, its nice to know something is going on in the background - concern is simply that if the Altium team have dropped the product without telling anyone then continuing support would be a waste of time. Any news from Altium would be better than complete silence, even if its something along the lines of the product development roadmap is being stretched out, hence the fact no updates have been seen as expected late last year (if that was the case). Appreciate your input!

                                • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
                                  lamabrew

                                  Only because I just had lunch with a friend today that's looking to move off PADS and thought CS might be a good fit and was asking me questions...

                                   

                                  IMHO Altium is shooting themselves in the foot (feet?) badly with no solid roadmap plans and no apparent commitment to a mid-level product. It's going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy that it fails in the marketplace.

                                   

                                  I suspect at this point that many people that would consider switching to CS won't because of fear of spending time on a dead-end tool.  Those stagnant sales numbers then become the 'proof' that there's no market here and all of us that did buy into CS in the past will be tossed in the bin.

                                   

                                  I would have liked to promote CS as a solid offering with a bright future for someone doing non-complex designs on non-daily basis, but really couldn't do that given the uncertainty.  (For him the lack of built in 3D output in PADS has him looking for a better option, as well as he felt that since the sale of Mentor that PADS is being under-invested in/left to die a quiet death...certainly CS 3D output is killer, but I can't argue against under-investment.)

                                   

                                  For me, the three things that I really would like to see get addressed soon are:

                                  • Absolutely no useful library revision control. You can't open a design and get a report of where the design database and library databases are out of sync, nor any intelligent way to decide what should be synced (i.e. there are plenty of good reasons to not move a specific component to a later rev) nor a way to handle merging parameters that might be in conflict. (oh and please fix the wonkiness in using integrated libraries when updating).
                                  • No support for PCB panelization unless you do a hacky work around.  For me 80% of the PCBs have to be panelized, and I have reasons to control that vs. letting the fab or assembly house do whatever they feel like.
                                  • Make variants useful.  i.e. allow for different components in the same position (like where the same PCB for a power board can be built to output two different voltages by changing a resistor...).  Yeah you can do it by manually editing the BOM, but that opens up so many possibilities for error...

                                   

                                  For me AD is way overkill both in capability and price relative to what I need at present.  Of course in the future maybe my designs do start needing "big iron" CAD but the experience with CS isn't leaving me with a positive vibe about Altium.

                                   

                                  This forum and help from Peter are really positive aspects to CS but there's only so far that can go.  So I'll add my voice to the chorus of users asking for some indication that Altium can find a way to make CS successful and continue to grow it.

                            • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
                              frog

                              I'm bumping this thread again in the hope that there will be some kind of official response...

                                • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
                                  lamabrew

                                  Seconding that bump...back using CS after doing other things for past 2 months and thought I would poke around here for any news.  I can't figure out what Altium hopes to gain by treating its paying customers like mushrooms...(and again, this is not aimed at Peter who's the closest thing we have here to a spokesperson and is probably the only reason I didn't give up on CS long ago).

                                  • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
                                    mc6800

                                    Agreed, it would be nice to have some news (not a dig at Peter, I'm sure he will post something once there *is* news).

                                     

                                    I still suspect that Altium would be better off replacing CS by a pin/layer/size limited version of AD (possibly using the previous year's version for each low-end release to maintain the advantages of the full version). It would almost certainly require much less development time than maintaining the AD and CS codebases separately. They could then simply offer all existing CS licence holders a straight swap to the new software (perhaps subject to having active maintenance) and then end further development of CS.

                                     

                                    My suggested limits would be something like:

                                     

                                    1) Max 6 Planes, 6 signal layers (so 1-12 layers in total)

                                    2) Tracks >= 4 mil

                                    3) Max 10,000 pads/pins/vias (i.e 2x the slowdown limit, but less than the 50,000 upper limit for CS)

                                    4) No specific upper limit to board size, providing (layers x layer area) <= 6000 cm^2 (so a 4 layer board can be up to 38x38cm, but a 12 layer only 22 x 22 cm). In all cases the calculation would be based on the smallest bounding box that encloses all of the board shape.

                                     

                                    In addition a free version could offer 2 layers, 250 pads/pins, tracks >= 6 mil, drill holes >= 0.3mm, boards <= 15cm in any dimension. Upgrading to the low-cost or full version would be just a matter of entering the new licence key (and paying for it, of course!).

                                     

                                    Vault access would be an optional paid extra for the free and CS replacement versions

                                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                      • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
                                        tarribred61

                                        OOh, no!  I would prefer not to have simply a limited version of AD (I used Protel99 and AD6 through AD16). CS is pretty good and better than what you suggest.  I think we all agree that some better communications from them and some indication of future release plans would go a long way.

                                         

                                        There were some threads a while ago with features we would like to see added.  I'm sure they are aware of what was requested.  For designer who are doing ECAD and especially PCB design all day, everyday then CS likely isn't powerful or productive enough.  If you do occasional design and especially mostly schematic work it is quite good.

                                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                    • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
                                      tarribred61

                                      While we are griping, here is my list of features I would like to see considered for addition.

                                      Maybe time for another poll like we had in 2017?

                                       

                                      1) Add Sch List panel like in AD; provides a selectable list of schematic parts by ref des; this is similar to what is in PCB

                                      2) In schematics and PCB; Find (and select and edit) similar objects

                                      3) Overall; add Project packager wizard; allows easy creation of zip file of critical design files for archiving

                                      4) In PCB; Improvements to 3D capability including Free (unattached) 3D body support instead of just 3D bodies on components, measurements in 3D

                                      5) Overall; CAM viewer integration like in AD

                                      6) In PCB; improved Polygon Pour manager

                                      7) In PCB; Place a proper layer stackup table in the drill/fabrication drawing; current workaround is to make a separate drawing using screen shots

                                      8) In PCB; Add teardrops to selected PCB routing

                                      9) In PCB; Upgrade component footprint wizard to IPC compliant version. The one in CS is OK but I miss the one from AD

                                      10) In PCB; Add ability to define a few custom layer sets

                                      11) In PCB; add a shortcut/ hot key to switch metric and imperial; curiously this presently does this in PCB library editor’s pad window with CTRL-Q

                                      12) Bug fixes; especially the recent Vault searching issues; CS start page showing Error 404; CircuitStudio Start page is showing "404 Not Found"

                                    • Re: Altium Circuit Studio Development???
                                      engineereddownunder

                                      Bumping this one again, I'm using CS fairly constantly now and finding a few more bugs along the way, the latest seems to have started after a Windows update. Uninstalling the update has fixed the problem for me but has left me thinking we haven't even had any minor bug fix updates for what must be around a year now... As mentioned above - ALTIUM PLEASE TELL US SOMETHING EVEN IF ITS GOODBYE! Despite a few current flaws I really love this product and I think it fills a really important space in the market, so really hoping we are going to see something very soon but unfortunately we're at the point where I think we need to start looking for a good alternative.