We launched the Common Parts Library (CPL) in September 2014 to make part selection easier and to speed up the PCB design and manufacturing process. Since our launch, we have iterated several times based on feedback from CPL users. In August 2015, we introduced the Common Parts Library for Prototyping which was designed to complement the original, production-focused library which was renamed as Common Parts Library for Production.
Today, we are announcing a new version of the Common Parts Library for Production. Continuing on the journey to make it easy to design products and get them to production, this new version provides a holistic view of the supply chain for each part, including information about equivalent parts in the Shenzhen supply chain. This is supplemented by real-time pricing and availability information for each part so that you can make part selection decisions faster. Furthermore, the CPL for Production comes with a single symbols and footprints library in popular PCB design tools including Altium Designer, Eagle, and KiCad.
Here are the highlights of the new version:
1. Integration with Seeed Studio’s Open Parts Library:
As a curated list of commonly used parts, the Common Parts Library is useful to find components with good availability in supply chain, but we know that sometimes makers need a more global view of part availability. We wanted to expand the Common Parts Library’s utility for makers who are looking for parts not only in the Americas and Europe but also in Shenzhen. Today, we are excited to announce that Common Parts Library is now integrated with Seeed Studio’s Open Parts Library.
Seeed Studio has a significant presence in the Chinese electronics ecosystem and is an expert in the Shenzhen manufacturing process. Its Open Parts Library (OPL) is a collection of the most popular parts in Shenzhen, and was one of the original inspirations for the Common Parts Library. Our ultimate goal is to have an equivalent part available from the Shenzhen supply chain for every part that is available from US distributors. Currently, the parts from the OPL are being shown with Seeed Studio as a distributor.
For limited time, Seeed Studio is giving $20 discount for their Fusion PCB Service for all Common Parts Library users. Use the discount code CPLG2016 to take advantage of the offer. The discount code is valid from June 3, 2016 onwards.
2. A single library of symbols and footprints for all Common Parts Library parts:
Since the release of the Common Parts Library, we have gotten many requests to have a single library of symbols and footprints. Our partner SnapEDA has helped us, and we are excited to announce that a single library of symbols and footprints for Common Parts Library parts is now available. You will have access to a symbols and footprints library in one place for all popular PCB design tools including Altium Designer, Eagle, and KiCad. This will reduce the time you spend on making them manually so that you can focus on actual design process. Download the library for Altium Designer, Eagle, KiCad, OrCad, Pulsonix and PADS from SnapEDA and read the setup instructions.
For CircuitMaker, you can use the Octopart component database to find symbols and footprints for all CPL parts. You can read about the component management in CircuitMaker to get started.
3. Real-time pricing and availability information:
We have replaced the total number of authorized distributors in the previous version with more actionable real-time pricing and availability information. Now we show the top three distributors, as well as pricing (at order quantity of 100), so you have a better view of the supply chain. This will make it even easier to compare pricing and availability information across parts. When you hover over the price, you get stock information and clicking on the prices will take you straight to the distributor’s website.
For example, you can choose between the different ATmega chips by comparing the prices and quantity information from the top distributors:
4. The Common Parts Library For Production is now more data-centric:
We originally created the Common Parts Library by finding popular parts on blogs and forums, as well as crowdsourcing information. This was good but we wanted to use data to back-up the part selections to determine what parts are really popular amongst makers.
For the latest version of the Common Parts Library for Production, we analyzed data from Octopart usage. The result is a Common Parts Library with parts which are really in demand. This includes a better selection of sensors, integrated circuits (ICs), active components, as well as the addition of 0402, 0805, and 1206 parts for some of the popular resistor and capacitor values.
For more detail: octopart.com – Common Parts Library