If you work with printed circuit boards (PCB), you’ve almost definitely heard of Altium Designer. Developed by the Australian software company Altium Limited, Altium Designer has become the most popular electronic design automation software for PCB. But how did Altium Limited create their groundbreaking software? Let’s take a closer look at the history of Altium Designer. 


The origin of Altium Designer

First, let’s go over what exactly Altium Designer is. The software is primarily used to design PCB, with the goal of optimizing the manufacturing of electronics. PCB has become an absolute must as the manufacturing industry grew over time and the software helped designers increase the overall speed and functionality of electronics. Now, let’s go into the timeline of how this innovating software came to fruition. 


1870 – 1900

During this period of time, electricity began commoditizing. People started familiarizing themselves with electricity and incorporating it into manual equipment. Electricity also became an alternative to coal, wood and oil.


The 1920s’

Charles Ducas submitted a patent for adding conductive inks to an insulating material, and this method became very popular in manufacturing. He gave birth to the term “Printed Wiring Board,” as it was the first application that resembled a printed circuit board.


1939 – 1945

During World War II, people realized communication was imperative, and it set them on a course to use electronics as a way to communicate all over the world. In 1943, Paul Eisler patented a method of PCB which is commonly used today, and the method was used to create radio for military communication equipment.


The 1940s’ – 1950s’

In 1940, the first transistor came out, and in 1957, the first transistor was used in commercial products. Manufacturers started incorporating PCB into their products.



Thanks to the research and money spent on space development, a lot of what we have in our printed circuit boards today were developed, including increased integrated circuit development and closer spacing of the components.


The 1980s’

Thanks to the development and common use of integrated circuits in manufacturing, many inventions were born, including personal computers, gaming consoles, and compact discs VHS.


The 1980s’

PCB designs were drawn by hand until the 1980s’. However, by the end of the 1980s’, designers moved on to computers using Electronic Design Automation. In 1985, Nick Martin founded the company Altium Limited by creating the first version of Altium Designer, Protel PCB.


2000 – 2019

Altium Designer launches many new applications that introduce the new design software and development tools. In 2006, Altium launched Altium Designer 6, the world’s first Native 3D PCB design software. In 2009, Altium launched its third generation of configurable hardware development platforms – the NanoBoard 3000. Over the last 30 years, Altium Design has grown from a grassroots solution to the most widely-used PCB design tool on the market. 

If you’re looking for a company that is proficient with Altium Designer in Los Angeles, contact Golden Gate Graphics today to help you with your big idea!