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Some people say that finding the right components for a design is the most time-consuming part of designing. If that is correct, you need all the help you can get to quickly locate what you need. You might need a specific type of component, a specific value, a certain manufacturer, a specific size, … the list is endless.
In the previous blog post, you saw the different component sources that Allegro® System Capture supports. In this post, we’ll go a step deeper into how you can get information from component sources and how finding parts is so easy with Unified Search. As a designer, you need to be as sure as possible of the parts you are using in a design as early as possible. Whether it’s the availability of a part, its environmental compliance, availability of models, footprints, or symbols. No one wants to go back to the design when a problem is discovered, or the part is no longer available in the quantities you require. Especially in the current times where Covid has impacted supply chains across the globe. In fact, that is not something only designers need to bother about, it's an even bigger challenge for the procurement teams in large organizations.
When you open or create a project in Allegro System Capture, the configured libraries are read and all the parts available are listed. You could be a designer who:
All the parts information is available in the same window, the Unified Search. This window can be accessed in any of the following ways:
When the Unified Search window opens for the first time, you are prompted to connect to the external component providers.
If you only need to access libraries, click Skip. Or enter the credentials as prompted. For this post, let’s assume we’ve connected to libraries, have project-specific parts, and have also connected to external sources.
You are now ready to search for and add parts. As you’ll notice all the parts are categorized in the following tabs.
The libraries can be native Allegro System Capture, OrCAD® Capture, or Allegro® Design Entry HDL. And they can be on the designer's local machine or a central server.
Shows parts from project-specific libraries. This pane also displays parts that are placed from external component providers. This is because once placed in a design, the external part is cached in your local library and the library is automatically added to your design project.
For the external vendors, that is SymacSys and Ultra Librarian in the image, you have the most needed information upfront, the MPN, manufacturer, and so on. Towards the end of each row, you can see four icons, these denote the availability of the following for the part:
When working with libraries, you can see additional information, such as footprints and datasheets. Unified Search has powerful free-text search abilities and can go through every field to find the most useful results. You can also use classifications and filters to find the parts you require.
There is a great wealth of component attributes for all the library parts including PDFs for datasheets or links to part data systems. One more seemingly small thing that is so important is that you can customize the columns sequence and visibility with just a right-click.
Allegro System Capture, as you might recall from our introductory post is available both for enterprises as well as individual designers. In an enterprise setup, many Allegro System Capture features can be accessed from a web-based dashboard. To access the Allegro System Capture dashboard, all you need to do is type in http://<host name>:<port>/search/app/dashboard in a browser, and voila! you have the list of projects on the central server!
This means that there is no need to launch the application at all! This is a good thing because a much larger chain of approvals and collaboration comes into play in an enterprise, and the "non-designers" aren't dependent on PDFs or extracted BOM reports. In fact, they don't even need to open a design. We'll have more about the dashboard in a later blog post, but here is a look at some of the things that you can do from the dashboard:
With that, you are ready to start placing parts in your design.
Once the parts are added, you are ready to establish connectivity. And create bills of material or even share with PLM systems, and so much more. Stay with us to learn more about what a designer can use to make life easier with Allegro System Capture and what features are there for other roles in an enterprise.
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