SiliconExpert Integration with Altium 365: Top Benefits

Lena Weglarz
|  Created: October 30, 2023  |  Updated: July 2, 2024
Cover Photo for the SiliconExpert Article

SiliconExpert is your go-to platform for all things related to electronic component data and supply chain risk mitigation. It’s a one-stop shop that helps engineers choose low-risk parts and businesses optimize their electronics supply chains. And the best part? It's now integrated with Altium 365, making the design process even smoother! Dive in to see how this combo can make your life easier.

What Is Altium 365?

Altium 365 is tailored for managing the whole electronic design process, from product management through electrical engineering to prototyping and manufacturing. With its cloud-based infrastructure, teams can access design data, including schematics, PCB layouts, and more, from anywhere. This Electronic Lifecycle Management (ELM) platform removes data and collaboration silos and can connect to the broader product development ecosystem at your organization. All experts are brought to the same table to optimize product development.

Who Is SiliconExpert?

SiliconExpert empowers OEMs to bring products to market faster and keep them there longer with premium software solutions, professional services, an extensive data lake of electronic components, and exclusive supply chain intelligence.

The SiliconExpert platform demonstrates the power of industry data paired with advanced analytics, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in component quality, functionality, viability, longevity, accessibility, availability, or resilience.

For design engineers, supply chain leaders, procurement experts, environmental compliance officers, and the organizations they serve, SiliconExpert is here to give you more control than ever before over your electronics supply chain.

What Is the SiliconExpert Integration?

SiliconExpert integration with Altium 365 is designed to seamlessly link the platform with your well-known software. This means you're not limited to accessing SiliconExpert's insights only through their web application. Instead, you can tap into their vast intelligence directly within the familiar environment of Altium 365 to: 

  • Make data-driven decisions
  • Streamline your workflow
  • Manage obsolescence risk
  • Ensure product sustainability

>> Learn more about the Altium 365 SiliconExpert Integration

Why Is SiliconExpert Integration with Altium 365 Useful?

To better understand the benefits of integration between Altium 365 and SiliconExpert, let's first have a closer look at the classic workflow that many designers and procurement specialists are familiar with.

Typically, within the Altium Designer, there's an output job file. This is a standard step in the design process where you export a Bill of Materials (BOM) to a spreadsheet.

Exporting BOM to a spreadsheet

Exporting BOM to a spreadsheet

Once this BOM spreadsheet is generated, it lists all component details, from part numbers to quantities. However, this only paints a partial picture. The next step involves sourcing additional component information, often requiring consulting various platforms like SiliconExpert, Octopart, Mouser Electronics, and DigiKey.

Managing data for a single component seems straightforward. But what if you're dealing with 20 parts or more? The process becomes increasingly complex, and the margin for error widens. And remember, most PCB projects involve more than just 20 components. It underscores the sheer volume of parts that require manual verification. Ideally, this research shouldn't be left for the end of the design process. Having this information upfront and during the design phase helps preempt potential issues, like part replacements. But realistically, who has the bandwidth to verify every component multiple times throughout the design process?

The answer to these challenges lies in Altium 365. This platform has already transformed PCB project management and collaboration. But the innovation didn't stop there. We've now integrated SiliconExpert directly into Altium 365. This integration isn't just about convenience; it's about delivering crucial data exactly when and where you need it. 

What Are the Benefits of SiliconExpert Integration with Altium 365?

This integration can take your workflows to the next level, synergistically providing you with the following:

  • Direct data access - You can access essential data directly within your design environment, eliminating the need for manual searches across various platforms.
  • Early risk mitigation - Make informed decisions from the outset, ensuring you're choosing the right parts from the beginning.
  • Identifying alternatives / crosses - Finding alternative components is simplified, making replacements more straightforward.
  • Compliance assurance - Easily verify compliance requirements, ensuring your designs adhere to necessary standards.

What Does SiliconExpert Integration Look Like Within Altium 365?

You can access the Silicon Expert integration in the following places in Altium 365:

  • Manufacturer Part Search - Search for new components quickly and use SiliconExpert data without ever leaving the Altium Designer interface.
  • Components Panel - Here, you can tap into SiliconExpert data for various part options you're considering.
  • Active BOM - This dynamic Bill of Materials view, integrated with SiliconExpert data, allows for quick risk assessment and environmental compliance checks.
  • Altium 365 Workspace - BOM View: This view in the Altium 365 WebViewer lets other teams, like procurement specialists, access essential information without needing the Altium Designer software.

In essence, this integration fosters a unified and efficient workflow. It places crucial data at your disposal, empowering you to design with both confidence and efficiency. The product team is actively working on further enhancements, so stay tuned for more updates

Altium 365 BOM Portal

SiliconExpert data will soon be integrated into the Altium 365 BOM Portal–a tool designed to facilitate the management of your electronic components and to bridge the gap between engineering and procurement. The goal is to reduce costly design respins and improve time to market.

The Altium 365 BOM Portal acts as a centralized system where you can import, manage, and sync your BOMs with ease. You can effortlessly import BOM files, which are then automatically enriched with valuable insights from data sources like Octopart, IHS Markit, and SiliconExpert, providing information such as part descriptions, lifecycle statuses, compliance details, and more. This tool offers enhanced supply chain visibility and analysis, ensuring users are alerted to potential risks and can make informed decisions. For those looking to maintain a cohesive component library, the Altium 365 BOM Manager allows for efficient management and in-browser editing of part choices. 

Watch the Live Demonstration

Watch the video to learn how the integration works within Altium 365 and where SiliconExpert data is available.

Design with Confidence

The SiliconExpert integration with Altium 365 offers designers and procurement specialists direct access to comprehensive component information. This ensures accurate decision-making and reduces manual data gathering. Would you like to benefit from a more efficient design process with reliable data directly in your design environment? Learn more!

About Author

About Author

Lena Węglarz is a dynamic and engaging content creator and storyteller, known for her  commitment to clarity and the 'write-like-you-talk' rule. She joined Altium in 2023, and since then she’s been the driving force behind Altium 365 content, letting the community know where the  world designs electronics. Her work stands out for its ability to make complex technical concepts accessible and relatable. Collaborating closely with engineers, Lena integrates their insights and perspectives into the narratives, bridging the gap between engineers' technical expertise and  the broader community. She fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of the intricacies  of electronic design.

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