Shortly after I graduated with my Associates degree in technical drafting, I entered the world of computer aided design. I trained in CAD technology on one of the very first computer design systems – CEADS CAD, and we young bucks could not wait to jump right into drawing designs on the computer screen.
Our teacher, a tall Texan with a big stern voice, told us that we might come across many CAD systems but that no matter what they could accomplish, they could not accomplish it without a quality library. These libraries would be the building blocks of our designs.
Since my CAD training stressed the importance of a good library to achieve quality designs, I have always trained the designers that report to me on the importance of a correct-by-construction PCB component library. Over the years, I have built thousands of the components used in designs, and trained many a librarian in the processes that make up a quality library.
Just before I came to Mentor Graphics, I was given the task to create a component library and information database that would be used by over 400 design engineers in my company. It was a huge undertaking including over one hundred thousand records of component information that would be used to design and fabricate the designs of tomorrow.
First and foremost, the library had to be flawless in quality as to not create board errors, or errors in fabrication – the library currently in use was perilous to use. The new library had to be hands-off for the engineers. In other words, they needed to be able to request parts and walk away expecting to get exactly what they needed, correct the first time. Yes, a very daunting task!
So, with the help of my one librarian, and some old friends at Optimum Design Associates, we took on the task. Although it took over a year to complete the library (you see we were using it while we were building it), we completed it with fantastic results.
I am proud to say that to this day no Xpedition design using the library has ever failed due to a bad library component. This was always my goal as a designer.
We could not have done it without the library team, and my buddies at ODA, specifically Justin Parise. Their attention to library details and the knowledge of the needs of the PCB Design engineers is second to none. A quality library was what they promised, and it is what I received.
And NOW, with the release of Xpedition VX.1, you can have these same results.
With the latest release, users can download a FREE complete starter library created by my friends at Optimum Design Associates. You will get the same quality components that I received when working with them. Of course, you will not get hundreds of thousands of components, but you will get a great baseline library and component information database so your design team can hit the ground running.
Not an Xpedition user? PADS® users may download starter libraries here.