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Design007-Feb2021

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64 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2021 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 No issue on footprints and library manage- ment would be complete without input from a component distributor. I recently interviewed Geof Lipman of Octopart; as director of opera- tions for part data, he's one of the brains behind the entire site. Geof explaines 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 back- ground 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 combi- nation 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 foot- prints, 3D models and schematic symbols need to be built. We have teams of electrical engineers who ensure the quality and com- pleteness of these types of data. We provide ECAD models for over 1 million parts, sup- porting multiple popular formats, footprints, schematic symbols, and 3D models. Shaughnessy: What sort of data do you provide your customers when they search for a com- ponent? Lipman: Broadly speaking, we supply mar- ketplace data, lifecycle status, datasheets and other manufacturers' documents, compli- ance data, technical specifications, free ECAD models, similar parts, and alternate names and MPNs for about 40 million parts. For instance, marketplace data provides cus- tomers 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. Footprints: A Distributor's Perspective

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