RS Components is continuing its initiative to get closer to the design community the launch of DesignSpark, designed to provide an online design environment for engineers. It is also launching DesignSpark PCB, a fully featured PCB design tool available free of charge to all without limitation.
In May the company introduced three platforms which include a comprehensive, vendor-independent parametric database of electronic components; free, certified 3D CAD model downloads and an enhancement to its EDP embedded development platform.the company strengthened its Embedded Development Platform (EDP) product line by signing a partnership with ARM and introducing an mbed module.
DesignSpark is an online gateway that gives engineers information and resources, bringing together design information, user generated reviews and new free-of-charge tools to speed up the design process.
It is initially being launched in English, German, Chinese and Japanese, with further language versions to follow throughout 2010.
A major feature is a library of independent reviews for development kits and evaluation platforms, provided by engineers, for engineers. This feature will allow users to post comments and star ratings for each kit. Initially, it will cover a range of up to 1100 microcontroller, microprocessor, analogue and FPGA development kits, with new kits being regularly added.
DesignSpark also gives users’ access to a dedicated design Ccentre, containing technology tips and hints posted by DesignSpark members. The centre will keep engineers up-to-date with the latest design trends, as well as containing links to the range of RS website tools, making component selection and integration into design software packages fast and simple.
The partner portal has been specifically created in order to allow DesignSpark members to connect with companies and individuals who can help provide information, support or resources that will enable faster design development.
Featured partners already include a mix of component manufacturers, design consultants and contract electronics manufacturers.
DesignSpark also offers free-of charge access for members to a range of design tools, hosted in the Spark Store. Included in the store is the first of a range of new tools launched by RS, DesignSpark PCB; a fully featured PCB design tool.
Details of the components used from the library form the basis of the Bill of Materials generated by DesignSpark PCB. This can then be used to create an order or quotation request through the usual RS web portals.