Altium are introducing new live links from Altium Designer to the databases of component suppliers. The first live link will be to worldwide components supplier Digi-Key.
Having these live links will let designers search on-line supplier databases directly from Altium Designer, and consider important information such as cost and availability when choosing components. At the moment, this is often left to the procurement department after the design is essentially completed, when unavailable parts can delay release schedules or lead to a major redesign.
The choice of a component can significantly influence manufacturing costs, production time, and the reliability and long-term serviceability of a design. By providing live links, Altium are working to ensure all the crucial information about a component is at designers' fingertips, right at the start of the design process. And they can have this information retained right throughout the design process to manufacture.
Designers can pull information on component cost and availability, for example, directly from a supplier's database and incorporate this into their design and decision making processes. Once links are established within Altium Designer, the information can be updated at any time, ensuring the integrity of component data.
Designers will no longer have to continuously check supplier web sites to get the latest information. Combine these live links to supplier databases with the ability to publish information, such as bills of materials, directly to online servers, and the door is open to sophisticated real-time quoting and ordering services.
Linking to Digi-Key's database extends the partnership announced by Altium and Digi- Key in September, which covers the distribution of Altium’s Innovation Station that combines Altium Designer and Altium's NanoBoard reconfigurable development platform. Designers can use the Innovation Station to explore design concepts, create rapid prototypes, and then move to custom PCB design and manufacture, all within Altium's unified design environment.
Nick Martin, CEO Altium, said, that Altium's next generation electronics design solution allows designers to design electronics in new ways. Being able to link directly to a components database as extensive as Digi-Key’s lets designers make smarter decisions about the components they use in a design.
Electronics designers will no longer be blindsided by a component becoming unavailable half way through a project. Whenever they open their design, they will get the availability and its respective cost, even if things have changed within an hour or so.
They do not have to wait to find out, and neither do their managers. It is another example of Altium helping organisations break away from the old approach of trying to loosely link parts of the design process through a number of disparate point tools. Instead, Altium provide them with access to a single data model from concept to manufacture, within a single, unified design environment, Nick Martin added.
Mark Larson, President and COO, Digi-Key said that electronics designers can now source their components directly from within a design solution and retain that information ‘live’ is a real breakthrough. Altium and Digi-Key are working together to help customers successfully take their products to market on time and on budget. Altium have made this process easier and better for every electronics designer.