Understanding Component Library Management

At the Del Mar Electronics Show in 2013, I had an opportunity to meet the publisher of US Tech. As a result of the meeting, I was given the opportunity to write about component library issues. The article below was to test the waters to see if there would be any response. The idea was to start a series on the topic of libraries. This article focuses on the need for a good bill of materials.

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Verification Engineers Can Aid Test


This article was written in the waning days of Tality. I had started in the Test and Prototyping group at Cadence and had worked my way into the ASIC design group 4 years later. One of my first efforts in the group was to write a test bench for a particular ASIC that would eventually be used to produced the vector “dumps”. These data “dumps” would be massaged for the test systems.

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When it comes to libraries, maybe it’s time to take a page from the mechanical folks!

Recently, Nine Dot Connects, a printed circuit board centric organization, became the national VAR for SOLIDWORKS PCB.  With that came the opportunity to explore the mechanical side of design in our effort to better understand and prepare for the future of mechatronic design. Like the old saying, ‘Can’t see the forest for the trees’, this insight into the mechanical domain gave us the opportunity to step back and see the electrical design flow from afar.  It became apparent, when compared to mechanical libraries, the PCB library structure is complicated by several factors, some by the very nature of electrical design, and others are self-inflicted by the PCB industry. Continue reading When it comes to libraries, maybe it’s time to take a page from the mechanical folks!

When STEPs Become a Misstep

Though STEP files are critical in collaboration between MCAD and ECAD, an important issue has become more significant as of late.  Because there are many ways for you, the electronics designer, to obtain STEP files, it is difficult (if not impossible) to know what tool was used, or more importantly if the STEP file was tested against any rule set.  This is not just true for components that may have been pulled from 3DContentCentral.com. Anyone can make a STEP model contribution to the site.  Also such components can be provided by OEMs who then, provide them to suppliers, such as DigiKey and Mouser.

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