Licensing and the NanoBoard

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Main articles: NanoBoard NB2, NanoBoard 3000 Series

A 12-month subscription to the Soft Design licensing option of Altium Designer is included, in the box, with each Altium NanoBoard. The Soft Design licensing option provides access to functionality within Altium Designer that enables you to quickly start designing FPGA-based embedded systems, including:

  • FPGA design entry in C, C++, OpenBus, Schematic, VHDL and Verilog
  • Embedded software development using the Software Platform Builder
  • VHDL simulation engine, integrated debugger and waveform viewer
  • Support for a range of 32-bit soft processors for use in FPGA design
  • A rich set of royalty-free IP core libraries, including peripherals and user-configurable custom logic
  • Full software development tool chain with libraries and source
  • Programmable FPGA-based instruments – 'virtual instruments – for hardware debug and deployment
  • Support for importing third-party FPGA IP cores, developing and reusing IP libraries.


For a more detailed overview of the features available when using a Soft Design license, refer to the Altium Designer Feature Set Summary.

License Access

Main article: Creating a Soft Design License

The license is unique and linked to the board with which it is shipped. To access and use the license, it first needs to be created. Initial creation of the license is only possible provided that particular NanoBoard is connected and powered up. After initial creation and activation, the license can be used with or without connection to the NanoBoard.

If you have a full license option of Altium Designer – Custom Board Front-End Design or Custom Board Implementation – you will be able to use any Altium NanoBoard with that license and, in this situation, are not required to create and use the Soft Design license.

Software Updates

During the validity of the 12-month license period, you will receive all software updates to Altium Designer, including major releases.

You will only receive new technology, or updates to existing technology, that is enabled within the Soft Design licensing option. If technology is outside of the feature set for this licensing option, such as PCB-based technology, you will not receive it.

License Renewal

At the end of the initial 12-month license period, a Soft Design license can be renewed for an additional 12-month block. For current pricing, contact your local Altium Sales & Support Center, or Reseller.

Custom Board Design

The Soft Design license of Altium Designer accompanying your Altium NanoBoard enables you to discover and explore the world of soft design. It does not extend to use of the software for custom board design. Should you wish to have this capability and therefore access Altium Designer's comprehensive, holistic design solution in its entirety, you will need to purchase a Custom Board Implementation license.

Although a Soft Design license does not permit creating/editing PCB-based schematic designs, you are able to view the front-end design files.

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