Drawing on each other’s strengths, Digi-Key and Mentor Graphics have teamed up to create new, affordable electronic design automation (EDA) software solutions for design professionals. The mutually developed Designer Schematic and Designer Layout tools are now available exclusively at Digi-Key.
“Mentor and Digi-Key wanted to draw on each other’s strengths,” says Randall Restle, director of Digi-Key applications engineering. “Digi-Key offers more than four million [electronic components], and we stock over one million of them. Plus, Mentor Graphics is a giant in the EDA industry.”
According to Restle, Designer Schematic is a schematic capture tool that is robust enough to handle nearly all of today’s maker boards, while Designer Layout allows users to easily design circuit boards, regardless of their circuitry.
The two companies are also offering a third, free product called PartQuest, which turns Digi-Key part numbers into symbols and footprints, saving time and reducing any manual inaccuracy. The website is offered for free with the new Designer tools.
“In PartQuest, you are able to do a search of all the latest parts that Digi-Key carries,” explains Restle, and all the data is automatically transferred to Designer Schematic or Layout. “Designers will no longer need to worry about an O being a 0 or an l being a 1.”
With these tools, the companies are moving into the maker market segment, which has experienced a lot of recent growth. “These maker professionals have been typically serviced by free or very low-cost tools that have very small limits or force you to go to a specific fabricator or assembler. Many also make you store your design out in the cloud, which professionals don’t want to do,” explains Jim Martens, Mentor Graphics product marketing manager. With Mentor Graphics’ software, all your designs are saved on your own PC.
Digi-Key and Mentor Graphics have just finished an in-depth beta testing on hundreds of participants around the globe, and they are confident they have produced affordable, professional-level tools for design engineers everywhere. Both Designer Schematic and Designer Layout will be available at a 30% discount for the first 90 days, starting at $199 and $449, respectively. The product licenses will be sold on an annual subscription basis. Also, for a limited time, the software is available for a 15-day evaluation period, free of charge.
“All engineers, no matter what tool they’re using, want to minimize the time from design to prototype to productions,” says Martens. “We believe our new design tools and PartQuest will help them facilitate that.”