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Compare OrCAD® vs. Altium®

As a pioneer in the electronics design industry for several decades, OrCAD is recognized for its reliability and accessibility.

The OrCAD X design platform is the latest generation of Cadence tools. With comprehensive functionality, cloud-based collaboration, and an intuitive and unified interface, OrCAD X supports designers in creating complex electronic systems with a innovative and intuitive approach.

The platform offers the market's broadest range of features and, in the latest generation, provides a groundbreaking intuitive user experience, making it easy for both experienced professionals and beginners.

With a Cadence solution, all design challenges are addressed, including signal integrity, power integrity, RF design, 2D and 3D extraction, as well as CFD analysis.

KiCAD EDA, a groundbreaking player in the open-source world, is known for its ability to make advanced electronic design accessible and user-friendly.

This platform is continuously gaining popularity for its wide range of features, from detailed PCB layout to extensive component libraries.

With its fundamental functionality and customization options, KiCAD is a popular choice among smaller companies and hobbyists seeking a cost-effective solution.

Compare OrCAD X® PCB vs. Altium Designer®

Schematic Capture
We provide
OrCAD X PCB
Altium Designer
Hierarchical schematic capture with integrated analog mixed-signal simulation
Built-in SPICE simulator with model library and migration support for LTSpice/PSpice
Variant management tools for complex projects
Exclusive to OrCAD
Application of encrypted simulation models (PSpice)
Exclusive to OrCAD
Integrated pre-layout signal integrity analysis
PCB Layout
OrCAD X PCB
Altium Designer
High speed design and rigid-flex design features included in standard license
Constraint-driven design for modern PCB (HDI, Rigid-flex, and Multiboard)
Advanced interactive routing features with built-in signal integrity tools
Online 3D clearance check in 2D and 3D canvas
(Check against boxes, frames, outlines, etc.)
Photorealistic 3D visualization with real-time clearance check
Exclusive to OrCAD
Integrated impedance and coubling analysis
Exclusive to OrCAD
Fast and dynamic updating of copper during placement and routing
Visual DC power distribution analysis in PCB layout
Requires Power Analyzer
Library management
OrCAD X PCB
Altium Designer
Built-in BOM
Unified libraries with symbols, footprints, simulation models, and supplier links
Lifecycle management, design validation, templates, and where-used tracking for libraries
Requires Altium-abonnement
Produksjon
OrCAD X PCB
Altium Designer
Built-in tools for generating manufacturing and assembly drawings
Intuitive interface for creating manufacturing output
Generate ECOs (Engineering Change Orders), reports, and documentation quickly
Share and view Gerber files, ODB++ files, and assembly steps in a browser
Product design
OrCAD X PCB
Altium Designer
Intuitive rule handling with Unified Constraint Manager on both schematic and PCB
Requires Altium subscription
Multi-board 3D product view
Requires Altium subscription
Multi-board mechanical integration for SOLIDWORKS® 2020, 2021, and 2022
Requires Altium subscription
Cloud service
OrCAD X PCB
Altium Designer
Version control, templates, and component libraries in the cloud
Requires Altium subscription
Built-in task management and commenting for design files and BOMs
Requires Altium subscription
Simultaneous PCB team design internally and externally
Requires Altium subscription
Exclusive to OrCAD
Intuitive collaboration internally and externally through workgroups
Platform integrations
OrCAD X PCB
Altium Designer
Advanced integration with SOLIDWORKS® for MCAD component placement, copper geometry, enclosure exchange, and multi-board/rigid-flex synchronization
Requires Altium subscription
PLM integration with XPLM, Arena® PLM, PTC Windchill, Aras PLM, Oracle Agile PLM, and Teamcenter®
Supplementary service
Requires Altium subscription
Exclusive to Nordcad
PLM integration to Highstage PLM
Multiple import tools for converting files from other ECAD platforms
Requires Altium subscription
Workflows
OrCAD X PCB
Altium Designer
Controlled workflows for part requests, design reviews, project creation/release, and lifecycle management
Requires Altium subscription
Change notifications and conflict prevention in design documents
Requires Altium subscription
Centralized control over design environments, document templates, and output files for each team member
Requires Altium subscription
Company and project profiles
OrCAD X PCB
Altium Designer
Ideal for new designers
Ideal for experienced designers
Simple designs
Medium designs
Most complex designs
Exclusive to OrCAD
Access to SI, PI, RF and CFD
Suitable for startups
Suitable for small-medium companies
Suitable for large enterprises
Maintenance and support
OrCAD X PCB
Altium Designer
Backward compatible with files from all previous releases
Monthly software updates
On-demand-kurs, kunnskapsbase og forum for fellesskapet
Requires Altium subscription
Exclusive for Nordcad
Hotline support
Chat and email support
Platforms
OrCAD X PCB
Altium Designer
Windows 10 or newer
MacOS 10.15 or newer
Linux
Only license server
Subscription plans
OrCAD X PCB
Altium Designer
Time-based subscription
Options for perpetual licenses
Alternative subscription options
Meet a client

There will always be religious questions about the choice of tools.

The transition from many different tools to a unified platform marked the beginning of a long-term collaboration with Nordcad. We quickly discovered there were many low-hanging fruits to pick to streamline our processes.

Nordcad has also assisted in automating output, ensuring consistent results every time. They have been responsive to our needs, excellent in delivery, and adept at asking counter-questions to challenge us. Our experience with Nordcad's support has also been that they are very helpful and respond promptly.

Torsten Larsen
Global ECAD Solution Owner
Other companies we have assisted

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