What tool do we use for designing boards?

For board design we use Altium Studio (latest version is Altium Studio 20).

A common question is – would it be ok to use another tool? Unfortunately the answer is this is not possible- we cannot provide support for people who want to use other tools such as Kicad or Eagle.

But do not worry! Even if Altium is not the tool of your choice, what is important is that this class will teach you the basic principles of sound hardware architecture design. We will teach you how to draw effective schematics, the basics on board layout, how to do a good board layout, and how to take a board into production. These concepts are useful not matter the tool you use in the future. Once you have these concepts internalized, changing tools will become easier.


Altium 20 only runs on Windows Operating Systems. If you have a Mac or a Linux machine, you will need to install a virtual machine and run a Windows instance in order to use Altium. Students can download images of Windows OSs on the following link:  https://cets.seas.upenn.edu/answers/azure.html