Altium Designer – High Speed Design Tutorial

The best high speed design tutorial for PCB layout in Altium Designer what I have found. It’s worth to have a look.

High-Speed Digital Board Design with Altium Designer by Istvan Nagy, Electronics Design Engineer, Blue Chip Technology. (download pdf here)

Picture: A page from the tutorial

The original file can be dowloaded here.

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15 thoughts on “Altium Designer – High Speed Design Tutorial

  1. Hello Robert,

    after read a lot of your news on this blog, I only can congratulate you for your impresive work on electronic design divulgation, WELL DONE!!!!
    After congratulations, I’ve a small doubt about rules working on Altium. I`m electronic designer, that comonly uses Altium as main pcb design suite. My doubt come from the use fo from-tos on a balanced tree topology (I’ve a processor and two ddr pins as an unique net name). I’ve created a from-to on each pair of processor-memory nets (this mean two from-to in each net), and I need to balance each of this from-to, for this reason I’ve created a from-to-class with all from-tos for ddr memories, and I’ve introduced them on a matched-net rule (like in the hs tutorial) . But when I need to apply this rule in tunning, this rules is not on the list….. why???.
     I’ve a bit “cheat”, that implies to include a branch in sch, that correspond to a via in pcb (like a via-component), and with this via-comp can tunning each section and balance it, but is a lot of time consuming task.
    I’m sure that you know this problem time ago, then I dont know if you could help me.


    1. Hi Mike, good idea with the via-component. 
      I have never had the FROM-TOs working correctly. I have tried – but it never worked as I would expected. 
      Currently I use Copy and Paste technique. By this technique, I move most of the memory layout out of the PCB and leave only branches what I am going to length match. Routed length of the branches is shown in the left side Net window and it’s easy to match them (I draw serpentines  manually as Altium is not able to do length tuning if space is very limited). 
      I have explained this technique in this video (watch from 4:40):

      But, maybe someone else uses a different technique? Something better then VIA-Component or Copy& Paste? Any ideas?


      1. Thanks Robert!!!! I try to report this problem with from-tos to Altium, could be they can give us a better “use” of from-tos, because now their use are testimonial in Altium…. Then if any suggestion about a better work way to increase the productivity of this type of work under Altium are wellcome!!!! If I recive a solution from Altium I’ll post it here 😉


    1. If I need to design more different boards in one Altium project, I just dont use same net names (e.g. I use GND1 for one board, GND2 for other board, …). Then do PCB as usual.


  2. Hi Robert,
    Is there a tool or feature in Altium which can test / simulate our highspeed design before sending to fab?


      1. Thanks for your reply!
        Please advise me! In case, I don’t own a simulate software, can i do the highspeed design? How can I make my customers beleive that my design will work?
        With best regards,


      2. Yes, you can do highspeed designs. Follow design guides. You dont have to simulate every design – I usually simulate only if I have to brake too many rules. Customers usually believe based on your previous projects.


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