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Design007-Mar2018

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30 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2018 It's also entirely free for designers. We don't limit the downloads, and there's no prompts to upgrade. This is because, as a team of over 20 passionate engineers, we built the product we would have wanted. We're able to do this by working with component vendor and distributors. Shaughnessy: What is your latest news? Baker: Our latest news is that we've collaborated with TE Connectivity, a $13 billion leader in connectivity and sen- sors. In February, we launched over 25,000 new CAD files for their products on SnapEDA, including connectors, relays, switches, sen- sors, and more. I'm also excited to announce here that TE Connectivity will be sponsoring our InstaPart service for a limited time. For those who are unfamiliar, InstaPart is our 24-hour symbol and footprint request service. Although SnapEDA is free, sometimes engineers need parts quickly that aren't yet in our library. Once we add the part, it's made available to the entire commu- nity to download for free. With TE Connectivity sponsoring our InstaPart service, engineers can now special request complex connectors and other electro- mechanical components and sensors produced by TE Connectivity in 24 hours for only $9. We know this will save engineers a lot of time, while also helping future engineers who might need to design with that component. Shaughnessy: The logistical aspects of what you're doing, basically revolutionizing how library parts are managed, seem daunting. Are you all writing your own software for this? Baker: All our software is developed right here in San Francisco. Every day, we deploy code that keeps improving the product based on feedback from our com- munity, whether it's to the website, API, or our EDA plug-ins. We're also constantly writing new exporters. Right now, we support Altium, Allegro, OrCad, PADS, DXDe - signer, PCB123, and KiCad, and plan to add more this year. Shaughnessy: What kind of new technologies have you implemented, or do you plan to implement? Baker: We are taking a completely fresh approach to solving the content problem. One big differentiator, is that we focus on automa- tion to bring quality and scale to our parts cre- ation and verification processes. For parts creation, we built an awesome new (free) computer-vision symbol creator called InstaBuild. Designers simply highlight the pin- out table, and our technology automatically configures the symbol based on our standards and maps it to a verified, IPC-compliant foot- print. When it comes to parts verification, our team is laser-focused on nailing the quality issues that have plagued other sources of con- tent. For example, we created a real-time CAD model quality scanner. When viewing a CAD model on SnapEDA, we run through over 30 quality checks on each CAD model and show the results of these checks right on the page. Things like whether the centroid is defined in the correct place, or whether there is silk- screen overlapping any copper pads. We also show whether the part was made with IPC standards, or the manufacturer's recommenda- tions. We distill this information into a "report card" that can be viewed instantly. This way, the designer can trust in the content, and be aware of any limitations it might have for their application. Natasha Baker

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