Free Universal Parts Library Debuts Print E-mail
Written by Mike Buetow   
Thursday, 24 January 2013 18:15

SAN JOSE -- CircuitHub today launched a universal electronics parts library, what it calls the "first step in radically altering" the economics and accessibility of low-volume manufacturing.

The startup is offering a free online parts library said to directly integrate with nearly all popular electronics design tools. The CircuitHub library’s goal is to build the world’s most trusted, collaborative, and accurate source for electronic component information.

“Having worked with hundreds of students, I noticed that nearly everyone’s design contained at least one error that would corrupt its manufacturability: mistakes in the materials ordered, drafting mistakes in the library data, or alignment errors when one portion of the part data didn’t match up to another. No one was getting into the factory correctly the first time,” said Dr. Jonathan Friedman, co-founder, in a press release.

Managing component library data is a broadly suffered problem even among professional engineers. In a recent survey by PCD&F, three out of every four engineers listed it as a very important problem, and nearly everyone (more than 93%) believed it was an important part of the design process. The Aberdeen Group reported that engineers spend almost half their day on just that part of the job.

The average cost of one of these mistakes exceeds $10,000, not including lost time and productivity, according to Aberdeen. Such costs are survivable for a large company but pose an existential threat to startups and hobbyists.

“That’s essentially what happens on Kickstarter,” said Andrew Seddon, CircuitHub cofounder. “Kickstarter is the largest crowd-funding site where anyone can help fund ideas proposed by anyone else. The single biggest project and the highest funded category are both dominated by electronics. Yet 84% of the top physical product-based projects were severely delayed primarily due to problems with interfacing design data into and through factories. This problem is exactly what the CircuitHub library is designed to address.”

“If we’re going to end this nightmare once and for all, we need a free global solution -- a way to draw a part once, provide peer review, validate it, and then use it in every design software package,” Friedman said.

CircuitHub’s goal is to raise first-time factory success rates to 100% and eliminate the engineering costs associated with creating and maintaining parts libraries. CircuitHub’s parts library is free, currently works with Eagle, Altium Designer, Cadence OrCAD/Allegro and is available at https://circuithub.com.

CircuitHub cites funding from Google Ventures and angel investors including Paul Buchheit (the inventor of Gmail), Matt Cutts (creator of Google SafeSearch), Alexis Ohanian (cofounder of Reddit), Harj Taggar (cofounder Auctomatic), and Garry Tan (cofounder of Posterous), among others.

 

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