Altium & Digi-Key - A Partnership That Brings Value to the Designer

Zachariah Peterson
|  Created: January 6, 2021
Altium & Digi-Key - A Partnership That Brings Value to the Designer

Whether you’re looking for technical specifications while designing, or sourcing parts for manufacturing, you can access component data and inventory from Digi-Key Electronics directly through Altium Designer and Octopart. Altium has partnered with Digi-Key to give PCB designers seamless access to Digi-Key’s broad line card. Here’s how you can take advantage of this partnership to help streamline design, sourcing, purchasing, and manufacturing for your next PCB.

Altium and Digi-Key are working together to make design, sourcing, and purchasing easier for PCB design teams. Take advantage of the Digi-Key BOM import to Altium Designer.

Engineering and board layout are crucial and obvious aspects of PCB design, but sourcing components and finding parts replacements can be time-consuming tasks. When you don’t have a dedicated sourcing specialist or the right supply chain tools, you may be forced to manually source data, part numbers, and CAD models for your new design. Altium and Digi-Key have teamed up to create a single environment to design and check inventory: use Altium Designer or A365 to design your PCB, create your BOM, and confirm inventory availability. When your design is ready for production, upload your Altium BOM via Digi-Key’s BOM Manager to quickly create a new component order. From initial design to manufacturing, take advantage of supply chain integration between Altium and Digi-Key to help you stay productive.

Access Parts Data from Digi-Key in Altium Designer

Unless you’re starting a new board from a reference design or upgrading an old project, you need to select all your parts from scratch. Not only will this require finding parts that meet the form, fit, and function required, with models that can be imported to your design, you need to ensure your parts will be sourceable and can be quickly added to your layout. Any parts you add to your PCB layout need to include the following information:

  • CAD models, including 3D STEP files for MCAD integration
  • Sourcing information, including manufacturer part numbers and distributor SKUs
  • A short summary of technical specifications

With more than 1,000,000 components ready for immediate shipment from Digi-Key’s headquarters, there are no lead times for in-stock products. Thanks to integration with Digi-Key, Altium users can leverage an industry leading component database for new designs, and verify stock on critical parts directly within Altium Designer and Octopart.

How Digi-Key Component Sourcing Brings Value to Altium Designer Users

If you want to quickly find, place, and source components for your design, the best way is to use the sourcing and purchasing tools in Digi-Key, Octopart, and Altium Designer. Altium is already an industry leader in PCB design software, and Altium’s partnership with Digi-Key is critical to creating more value for Altium Designer and Octopart Users.

  • Verified component data: Thanks to Digi-Key's component sourcing database and Altium Designer’s component search features, designers can efficiently select the parts they need.
  • Accurate manufacturing documentation: Altium Designer helps expedite the manufacturing process by instantly creating documentation for components. When a BOM is being created, Altium users can select Digi-Key as their favorite supplier in the ActiveBOM tool in Altium Designer.
  • Streamlined purchasing: When you’re ready to create your parts order, simply go to Digi-Key and upload your Altium BOM. Digi-Key also provides manufacturing quotes, test equipment, and much more to help designers go to production quickly.

Altium’s partnership with Digi-Key streamlines PCB design, sourcing, purchasing, and manufacturing; allowing you to focus on designing a great PCB layout.

ActiveBOM Digi-Key PCB design in Altium Designer

Get the best prices and accurate parts data directly from Digi-Key component sourcing using the ActiveBOM utility in Altium Designer.

How Integration with Digi-Key Helps You Stay Productive

Digi-Key Helps You Find a Manufacturer

Altium Designer already makes the Digi-Key BOM import preparation process easy. Once you’ve created your Gerbers in Altium Designer, you can import your files into Digi-Key’s PCB Builder Tool to get a manufacturing price comparison from local and overseas partners. Digi-Key’s PCB Builder gives you several fabrication options from reputable manufacturers with visibility on prices and lead times. By streamlining the shopping process, Altium Designer users can focus on making great PCB designs and worry less about getting to manufacturing.

Digi-Key PCB design Gerber files

Once you export your Gerbers from Altium Designer, you can import them into Digi-Key and get a rough manufacturing estimate for your design.

Use Altium Designer + Digi-Key Component Sourcing to Find Components

Altium Design is already the industry leading PCB design solution thanks to its powerful layout and routing tools. Now, thanks to integration with Digi-Key, designers can also access critical supply chain information that helps get a design into production quickly. Altium and Digi-Key have joined forces to create the perfect design and sourcing ecosystem. You can search by part number or spec, import parts into your design with Altium Designer and Altium 365, and instantly convert your BOM into a purchase order with Digi-Key’s eCommerce site.

Instantly Source From Digi-Key in Altium Designer

Once you select Digi-Key as your favorite supplier in Altium Designer and Altium 365, their inventory and price information will be automatically populated in your finalized Digi-Key BOM import. Integration between Altium Designer and Digi-Key's component sourcing provides the most streamlined design, sourcing, and purchasing process for PCB designers.

Digi-Key PCB design in Altium Designer

With Octopart, Altium Designer, and Digi-Key/s component sourcing, you can create a high-quality layout that is fully sourceable and manufacturable.

In Altium Designer and on Altium 365, you can quickly import parts to your schematics and PCB layout. In partnership with Digi-Key, these platforms help you minimize supply chain risks while designing by giving you real-time inventory availability. Stay ahead of parts shortages, thanks to Digi-Key’s integration with Altium Designer.

Altium Designer on Altium 365 allows designers to work from home and reach unprecedented levels of efficiency.

We have only scratched the surface of what is possible with Altium Designer on Altium 365. You can check the product page for a more in-depth feature description or one of the On-Demand Webinars.

About Author

About Author

Zachariah Peterson has an extensive technical background in academia and industry. He currently provides research, design, and marketing services to companies in the electronics industry. Prior to working in the PCB industry, he taught at Portland State University and conducted research on random laser theory, materials, and stability. His background in scientific research spans topics in nanoparticle lasers, electronic and optoelectronic semiconductor devices, environmental sensors, and stochastics. His work has been published in over a dozen peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and he has written 2500+ technical articles on PCB design for a number of companies. He is a member of IEEE Photonics Society, IEEE Electronics Packaging Society, American Physical Society, and the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA). He previously served as a voting member on the INCITS Quantum Computing Technical Advisory Committee working on technical standards for quantum electronics, and he currently serves on the IEEE P3186 Working Group focused on Port Interface Representing Photonic Signals Using SPICE-class Circuit Simulators.

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