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Are you still building libraries ‘by hand’?

Learn to love your embedded browser!

You’re a designer, right? Not an archivist, IT tech support or secretary. Yet I bet it feels like you spend more time searching for, manipulating and saving files than you do on your day job!

Sure, building a parts library for a new prototype always takes time. Finding the library online, even assuming it exists. Creating the footprint. Adding a schematic symbol. Aligning a 3D model – especially if it is a complex component such as a QFP or BGA with 300 or more pins. Working in and out of multiple different websites and programs.

Rinse and repeat hundreds of times. We’ve heard conservative estimates that if a design takes five days, easily one to two days is spent on library work alone.

eCADSTAR from Zuken is different. Of course, you can very easily access any libraries you have created. But Zuken has signed partnerships with major third-party component suppliers and model providers including Allied Electronics, Arrow, Digi-Key, Mouser, RS, FindChips, SamacSys and Ultra Librarian. eCADSTAR’s ‘always connected’ embedded browser allows you to visit your preferred component supplier – while staying in the eCADSTAR program. This significantly cuts down the time it takes to find and download the part and model you require.

It’s because the browser is embedded that the process of building a library for a new prototype becomes so – well the PR word would be ‘seamless’ – but let’s swerve that and go for something more straightforward….the process becomes easy. With other tools, users have to download the zip folder, unzip it, select the correct file, place it in their library. eCADSTAR does all this for you. It has the intelligence to know where their library is located, and it knows which file in the zipped folder is the footprint or symbol etc, and where in the library each element should be stored. It carries out all these tasks in the background, then calls the required element from your library and delivers it to your cursor position on the schematic – ready to place – instantly.

Another difficulty can be finding the right components. What happens when parts you select are not in stock, or worse, have been made obsolete? The search facility in eCADSTAR is very granular and because the browser is embedded, multiple vendor’s databases can be reviewed and alternate parts which may be more readily available can be added to your new library. You can request quotes and purchase components from manufacturers and distributors directly from within the design tool – no more bashing around unfamiliar sites with clunky interfaces.

Think about this the next time you start a PCB layout design: ‘just how much time am I sitting here twiddling my thumbs going backwards and forwards from one site to the next. And really, I thought we were in the era of design automation – why is all this file manipulation so manual?’ It doesn’t need to be that way.

Jeroen Leinders
Jeroen LeinderseCADSTAR Business Manager Europe at Zuken
Jeroen Leinders has over 30 years of experience in various parts of the electronic industry in design, manufacturing, and EDA software. He is eCADSTAR Business Manager in Europe for Zuken, based out of his home office in the Netherlands. Where possible, exploring and developing new strategies, business opportunities, and areas for eCADSTAR. He is fascinated with the latest technical gadgets and enjoys riding his motorbike.

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