And for more international parts (still used in mainland a lot)
Octopart is a more generic site for discovering chips and getting an idea of the price, but still it fetches crappy prices from Digikey, Farnell, Mouser, etc.
If your product is being made in China and you are making the design choices, a quick Taobao search (or using the above links) is great to see how popular a part is. Not recommending to buy parts from Taobao though (unless you are more seasoned). There are also alot of agents that can source parts maybe 1-2 levels below the original factory. Their prices are so good it's unbelievable but they are hard to find and validate. Having volume also helps.
I use them for my keyboards and love them!
The cable itself is easily purchased anywhere, there are countless vendors on AliExpress. But I want the connector so I can get something else custom built.
https://supplyframe.com/ owns Findchips
https://www.altium.com/octopart/overview owns Octopart
Furthermore, there aren’t really any standards for packages and hence it is difficult to trust foorprints. A TSOP package from one manufacturer manufacturer is not necessarily the same as a TSOP package from another. This is not a hypothetical — I’ve been bitten by this.
There are tools to assist in and automate a lot of this, but since most of the time is spend on other parts of a product it simply isn’t very critical.
And you're right that one can never fully trust downloaded libraries, but a lot of the issues could be mitigated if manufacturers distributed their own files. TI does this for most of their devices and it's a big draw for a lazy designer like me.
I'm really surprised there isn't a better solution in the industry - building a library might not take as much time as the rest of electrical design work but it's still a large sink, to where many teams (even as small as 6 engineers or so) result to hiring a full time "librarian" to manage footprints and component libraries.
: Can find it here http://shop.ipc.org/IPC-7351B-English-D or likely in PDF elsewhere.
A lot of good stuff has begun to happen in this regard. At least KiCad has a large and pretty decent quality collection of footprints; I think other tools are making similar efforts.
However, I wish they would make it easy to adjust these footprints or make derivatives of them, without having to essentially redraw them.
For a looong time I’ve wanted to apply geometric constraint solving to drawing footprints. This would allow for having a base footprint which defines the constraints and then parameter files could introduce the specific dimensions needed. I’ve been working on it at https://github.com/henrikh/footwork-ecad and the parts are there, but I’d love to collaborate on it with someone :-)
If one is wandering into that path, the hardest problem to solve is defining a good language/library in what people can describe them.
That's a great point. But how many different footprints need to exist for a 1206 led package from one manufacturer? Infinity? Or is it something more like 5?
>> A TSOP package from one manufacturer manufacturer is not necessarily the same as a TSOP package from another. This is not a hypothetical — I’ve been bitten by this.
But that's a different issue of a manufacturer not conforming to the spec they've published for their product. Same as a carabiner failing at a load of 100kg when it's rated for 500kg.
Package names are, in some fashion, marketing and branding. The manufacturers publish their own specs and do adhere to them. There are also standards (mentioned in other comments), but they are typically more general.
I’m not saying this is ideal – but that is simply the reality.
Yeah, I've noticed this too. I now have to check the specific measurements (pin pitch etc) in the datasheets before buying, regardless of what the product page states about packages. I still on occasion make mistakes and get super tiny packages that I can't use without a pick and place machine...
Sorry in advance, I just noticed our cert expired (I thought we set up automatic rotation, hmm..)
Within my domain of expertise (space engineering), the problem is even worse. Not only do suppliers provide haphazard information about parts through PDF documents, there's very little, if any, real convergence on what to actually provide to the engineer.
I'm confident that these highly unstructured PDF datasheets are going to go the way of the dinosaurs, but it's quite challenging to integrate any smarter solutions into the business chain.
My domain of expertise is the space industry, and it's stunning how much of a mess datasheets are. As an engineer on different missions, I couldn't understand why I was spending so much time trying to "undo" all of the work the suppliers had done to create these documents, to be able to get the data into into the tools that I needed to use and actually start my real work.
In the space industry at least, there's a concerted effort going on to try to replace these PDF documents with electronic, machine-readable equivalents. Through the European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS)  and work being done by agencies like ESA , and private industry , but really it's not yet taking hold for a lot of operational reasons.
We're actually working on trying to digitalize the entire global supply chain by converting PDF datasheets into something that allows more intelligent engineering work. We're currently serving "level-1" through our website: https://satsearch.co.
We've also prototyped a way to cast the datasheets into something more usable with ESA and a number of other partners. We've currently serving this digitalized data through our API: https://api.satsearch.co, which is being integrated into industry tools.
The real dream for me is to get to the point where the engineer can work with this kinda data natively within their tools and skip the entire PDF datasheet fiasco. Ideally, the data can then even be operated on my multi-objective optimization algos to speed up the entire design process.
Disclaimer: I'm one of the co-founders at satsearch and we started our startup precisely because I was just sick of dealing with PDF datasheets.
There are simply too many vendors' products on the market, only a handful of vendors have a systematic way of providing searchable datasheets online, like Microchip or ST, others simply come and go, so it's extremely hard to obtain an official one.
I guess this isn't always the case?
For hobby electronics projects, the only time you may run into this is if you are using recycled components, since datasheets for older parts that aren't current stock may be very hard to find.
But then again, errata are constantly being updated. That evergreen http link might end up being the best resource.
I try not to be cynical but if you are trying to source components either as a hobbyist or procurement professional and ARE NOT using one of these easily found sites then you are getting goosed.
Maybe, but my volume is so low and orders so infrequent, it doesn't really matter if I pay $1 for an IC or $0.5, so I usually just go with what either is the most convenient (eg sparkfun breakout boards) or the quickest shipping (Farnell has free next day delivery for me). Having said that, these sites are great resources and I do check every now and again.
What does "parts popularity" mean, anyway? You probably don't have sales volume. Number of distributors? Part popularity is actually useful; you want to design using popular parts when possible, to avoid supply problems. Seeed Studio is big on that; that's why they have a recommended parts list of parts they can easily get in Shenzhen.
How does this design strategy actually avoid supply problems, e.g. when a component manufacturer issues EOL notice, what stops professional logistics/procurement staff at Big Fish Corp--whose design activities were likely responsible for the supply glut to begin with--from pushing lifetime buys to ensure sustainment of their product line, instantly draining global authorized distributor stock overnight?
At my work, we have seats with SiliconExpert, this is a tool that you can use to get availability "risk assessments" for your BOM among other things like RoHS stuff and conflict minerals status.
I've never seen an "overnight global supply draining" occur for a part. There are distributors that make a living buying up millions of components throughout their lifecycle and then sell them for ~20X their cost (or higher) when the part goes EOL. It might be annoying, but these vendors can keep you going until a suitable replacement is located, designed-in, qualified and rolled out to production.
I learned a very lengthy and expensive lesson trusting something as simple as a 3 pin SOT23 transistor.
I had my share of shipped products with extensive manual rework, professionally made bodge boards and respins of 3ft square boards (which there were enough that the board does not use letters for revisions, but timestamps of when the gerbers were exported), but it usually involved questionable component choices and attempts to route what should be controlled impedance diffpair across 10s of centimeters of two layer board and cheapest connectors we could get, but really the only case of respin due to wrong footprint involved measly BC840 NPN transistor with rotated pinout... (on the other hand hand soldering the transistor involved at the 45deg angle solved the issue for first batch which was hand assembled anyway :))
Do you mind explaining a little what "part risk" means?
When I designed a large board oftentimes several of the tiny parts such as capacitors or resistors would go out of stock but this generally is not a problem if you are using a common part. If you have a good contract manufacturer you can flag any parts like these as "use equivalent OK" and they will automatically pick a new part for you if necessary, with the same or better ratings.
Some companies also use their own internal part numbers for each electronic component (like a 10k 0805 resistor will be part AB1235) so then they can map that AB1235 part number to a list of acceptable manufacturer part numbers. That seems like too much work for me though!
The ones I know of so far are Seeedstudio, Macrofab, PCBway, Bittetle (7pcb), and Oshpark. But all of them either only do the boards or both.
I tried two different emails... looking forward to using your service!
Does your company name have any non-alphanumeric characters? I removed the "&" from mine and was able to register.