CmpLib Editor Improvements

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Altium Vault 2.6, in conjunction with Altium Designer 16.0, sees functionality of the Component Library Editor (CmpLib Editor) further enhanced. Improvements include support for getting additional parameters define in a referenced component template, support for specifying component type, changing a released component type 'on the fly', and validation of values entered for component parameters that have been set to use unit-aware data types.

The Component Library and Component Template are somewhat symbiotic in nature, as the latter provides ever more functionality to streamline the use of the former. For more details on enhancements to Component Templates in Altium Vault 2.6 and Altium Designer 16.0, see Component Template Improvements.

Support for Parameters from a Component Template

The CmpLib Editor can now accommodate system parameters - Comment and Description - that are defined in a referenced Component Template.

Support for Comment and Description system parameters, defined in a referenced Component Template.

Support for Models Defined in a Component Template

The CmpLib Editor can now accommodate Schematic Symbol and PCB 2D/3D Component Model Items that are defined (as dedicated parameters) in a referenced Component Template.

In the Component Template, it is the model Item that you are choosing not a specific revision of that Item. In this way, a component library using the template will always use the latest revision of the chosen model Item.

Support for model links, defined in a referenced Component Template.

Support for Component Type

Related article: Explicit Component Types

The CmpLib Editor now supports the ability to define the type of component when configuring a component's definition. The type of component is specified through the Type attribute in the Component region of the definitions area. Simply click on the Type field then click  to access the Component Type dialog. Use this dialog to select the required type of component then click OK - the chosen type will be inserted as the value for the Type attribute in the main definitions grid.

Example Component Library, with the Type attribute for a component definition set to Diode.

The Type field for multiple component definitions can be set in a single action. Simply select the Type field for each required component definition, then choose the type for one, to apply to all others.
The CmpLib Editor can also accommodate the Component Type that is defined - as a dedicated parameter (ComponentType) - in a referenced Component Template.

Changing a Released Component Type 'On the Fly'

It is now possible to change the component type after release to a completely different type before re-releasing. You can also change multiple released component types simultaneously. To change a released component type(s), select the component(s) that you want to change then right click. Select Operations » Change component type from the context menu. The Component Type dialog will appear from which you can select the new component type.

Accessing the Component Type dialog to change a released component type

Component Type has been changed to Diode "on-the-fly".

Support for Unit-Aware Component Parameter Data Types

Related article: Unit-Aware Component Parameter Data Types

The CmpLib Editor now supports unit-aware component parameter data types that are defined within a referenced Component Template. These data types are unit-aware, with a range of supported unit prefixes. As such, you can enter a parameter's value using a range of formats, such as 2.2k, 2k2, 4M, 2.5GHz, and Altium Vault will recognize the numerical value behind those entries.

Unit-aware data types for component parameters can only be defined through a component template.

Component parameters from a referenced component template that have unit-aware data types.

When entering a value for a component parameter that uses a unit-aware data type - as the required value in a component definition - the following are things to consider:

  • You are free to enter the value in a range of different formats:
    • Numerical value only (e.g., 10).
    • Numerical value and units (e.g., 10F).
    • Numerical value with prefix (e.g., 10k).
    • Numerical value with prefix and units (e.g., 10kF).
    • Numerical value with prefix in typical engineering format (e.g., 2k2, 2k2Ohm, 100R).
  • You can enter prefix and/or units with or without a space after the numerical value (e.g., 10uF, or 10 uF)
  • The units of measurement associated with the chosen data type will be entered automatically if not already present. For example, when entering 10 for a resistance-based parameter, the value will be changed to display 10Ohm.
  • When using a prefix, the value entered for a parameter will be normalized to display the lowest numerical value, with the prefix changed to do this, as required. For example, when entering 33 mF for a capacitance-based parameter, the value will be changed to display 3.3cF.

Validating a Parameter's Value

When a unit-aware data type is used for a component parameter, the entered value is validated against the specified data type. This ensures that the correct measurement unit for that data type is being used, where the unit is entered. For example, a parameter of type Voltage cannot have a value of 10uA.

In the CmpLib Editor, entering an invalid value for a parameter will cause that value to be highlighted in red text. This is also the case when copying and pasting data between cells.

Data validation - the CmpLib Editor has the smarts to alert you to a mismatch between the value entered for a unit-aware parameter, and its data type.

Support for Plain Component Name Templates

Related article: Parameter-based Name Templates

Parameter-based Component Name Templates allow you to precisely name, or rather rename your components, based on the currently defined values of parameters available to those components in the CmpLib file. Previously, while any parameter could be used in a template - or even multiple parameters - the template required the use of an iterator macro (e.g., {000}) to be classed as valid. In this release, the need for this iterator is no longer a requirement. You are now free to compose the naming template as you wish. Examples might be:

  • CMP-[Value]
  • CMP-[Part Number]
  • [Comment]
  • [Comment]-[Value]
  • [Value]
  • [Part Number]
  • CMP-[Part Number]-[Value]
  • CMP-[Manufacturer Part Number]-[Value]-[Tolerance]

An example of the use of the Comment and Value parameters in a naming template, to quickly rename a component defined in a CmpLib.

Additional Improvement

A single icon is now used for a parameter sourced from a referenced Component Template -  - regardless of whether that parameter is required or not.

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