Footprints: A Distributor’s Perspective

Reading time ( words)

No issue on footprints and library management would be complete without input from a component distributor. I recently interviewed Geof Lipman of Octopart; as director of operations for part data, he’s one of the brains behind the entire site. Geof explains how Octopart functions and manages millions of component data points, and he also discusses the current landscape of electronic components.

Andy Shaughnessy: Geof, give us a quick background on how Octopart operates.

Geof Lipman: Absolutely. We aggregate and curate data about electronic components from hundreds of distributors and thousands of component manufacturers. We use a combination of approaches to acquire data. Some of our intake is highly automated, which results in us having the most comprehensive and up-to-date marketplace information in the industry. 

Other data types need to be evaluated, and classified or normalized. ECAD data like footprints, 3D models and schematic symbols need to be built. We have teams of electrical engineers who ensure the quality and completeness of these types of data. We provide ECAD models for over 1 million parts, supporting multiple popular formats, footprints, schematic symbols, and 3D models.

Shaughnessy: What sort of data do you provide your customers when they search for a component?

Lipman: Broadly speaking, we supply marketplace data, lifecycle status, datasheets and other manufacturers’ documents, compliance data, technical specifications, free ECAD models, similar parts, and alternate names and MPNs for about 40 million parts.

For instance, marketplace data provides customers with answers to these questions: How much does it cost? What are the price breaks for quantity? How many are in stock? Who has the stock? What is the current typical lead time? We provide a “freshness indicator” so that our customers can see how long ago this marketplace data was updated.

The lifecycle status information tells you if the part you are specifying is likely to be hard to get or obsolete when you go into production. We provide a “freshness indicator” here too, so that our customers can see how long ago the lifecycle data was updated.

We provide two “flavors” of lifecycle status: The “Manufacturer Lifecycle Status” is exactly what the manufacturer says—no more, no less; and the “Lifecycle Status” is a composite spec summarizing all the lifecycle data that we have on a part. This could be from both the manufacturer and several distributors, for example.

To read this entire interview, which appeared in the February 2021 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.


Suggested Items

EMA Helps Ease Designers’ Supply Chain Woes

10/20/2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
Supply chain issues are continuing to cause disruptions in our industry, though lead times have dropped from astronomical to merely troublesome. In this interview, Chris Banton, EMA Design Automation’s director of marketing, explains how Cadence’s software has evolved as designers’ needs have changed in the past few turbulent years, including providing designers with component availability data early in the process.

Altium’s EDDI Report Tracks Components’ Availability—Today and Historically

09/15/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
There’s one lesson that all designers have learned over the past few years: Components might be here today and gone tomorrow, so tracking your parts is more important than ever. Any resources that help you keep tabs on your required parts are invaluable in these days of 40-week lead times. Earlier this year, Altium released one such resource: the Electronic Design to Delivery Index (EDDI) report. Assembled from millions of bytes of data gleaned from the Octopart search engineer and the Nexar platform, the monthly EDDI report provides part availability histories going back years, as well as a real-time snapshot of global inventories.

What Happens When You Assume?

07/05/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
What is design with manufacturing and what does true DWM look like in operation? In this interview, I-Connect007 columnist Dana Korf explains what it will take to achieve total communication among all the stakeholders in the PCB development cycle. He also stresses the need for everyone involved in PCB design and manufacturing to stop making assumptions, even at the risk of being labeled as “that guy” who asks too many questions.

Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007 | IPC Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.