Danit Atar

It all starts with the right part number – or numbers.

The most important part of any building is its foundation. When it comes to electronics design, the PCB component library is the foundation of the project. A well-planned library can enable a design to progress smoothly and quickly. But a poorly implemented library can make a project tedious and even introduce errors that can cause electrical or manufacturing problems that are costly to fix. Let’s look at setting up, or adding to a library.

Before the first schematic symbol ever touches the first sheet of your design, set up your project library. This is a time-consuming and tedious process, but when it comes to setting your component properties, here are 12 to pay special attention to. It will make life a lot easier down the road.


Figure 1. To simplify future library tasks, keep the manufacturer part number and the customer part number.


Figure 2. The datasheet can verify that a component was properly created, or used to extract additional information that may not have been originally needed but becomes important later in the design.

As time-consuming as it is to create a valuable, informative and accurate library, it is a valuable investment that will pay off long into the future. And the bright side is it’s not just for this one project. Work put in now will be useful in future projects as well, and will eventually be a strong foundation with which to start every design. So pour yourself a big cup of Joe, and let’s do this!

Danit Atar is a product marketing specialist at Mentor Graphics (mentor.com); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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