FAQ and other interesting details

There are 5 main segments for quick navigation


Questions on products

1. Where are all parameters from ?
All parameters are manually extracted from manufacturers datasheet or Evaluation Module documentation. In few cases additional resources like webpages, press releases or articles are used. In very rare cases we assume based on experience or same core/die versions. This is also why we sometimes leave parameter empty if there is no assumption possible. We started to contact the manufacturer application teams to help filling missing values based on their experience but this is a slow process.

2. Why did you start with the existing selectors and what next ?
We started with popular and often requested product families like Power Management and DataConverters. Next are References and MOSFET products selectors, IGBTs, Amplifier, Interfaces and many more are on our roadmap. Currently we only look 2-3 product families ahead as order of release can change based on user feedback or other pull-in/push-out.

3. How often are updates and expansions ?
On the webpage and search functions there are several updates per week. Expansions and upload of additional products for existing Selectors there are about 2 to 4 per month. Complete new Selectors there are about 1 to 2 per Quarter.

4. How 'new' are the products listed ?
Currently we load products as they are available. This means if products are listed as active on a manufacturers homepage they are typically also found in our search engine. If products are already obsolete, they are not getting loaded and won't be available for search. If a product becomes obsolete over time, we keep it available for search as it can be selected and replaced in the new 'backward' search (2.Q.2014).

5. When are new product releases visible ?
At the moment we can't put a fixed time frame to the answer. If a new Selector is launched, all new product releases close to this day are included. On existing Selectors, there is an update range of 3-6 months. Our goal is to reduce this range to 1-2 months till summer 2014.

6. How many products are available and how do you 'count' products ?
Overall there are about 5800 products available for search (Jan.2014), a number per Selector is shown in our manufacturer matrix here. Currently we work on another 3000 products which will be loaded till Mar.2014.
We count a product as a it is defined on it's number, not on suffixes. This means if a product has 3 temperature grades we list only the maximum range and it still counts as 1 product. If a product has 2, 3 or more package options, we list all package options but it still counts as 1 product. There is no 'artificial' ballooning of product numbers.


Questions on functionality

1. How are search results shown/ranked ?
Initial showing on DC/DC Converter, Controller, LED Driver is ranked on Iout. To limit the number of results, products with 1x to 2x Iout will be shown.

Example 1: If you look for a 2A DC/DC Buck Converter, products with output current from 2-4A will be shown. Initial ranking is from lowest to highest value, so products with Iout=2A are ranked first and 4A (if existing) last.
Example 2: If you look for a 10A DC/DC Buck Controller, products with output current from 10-20A will be shown. Initial ranking is from lowest to highest value, so products with Iout=10A are ranked first and 20A (if existing) last.
Example 3: If you look for a 30mA DC/DC LED Boost Driver, products with output current from 30-60mA will be shown. Initial ranking is from lowest to highest value, so products with Iout=30mA are ranked first and 60mA (if existing) last.

2. Can I hide/show parameter columns ?
This feature is in beta test and we plan on activation in 1.Q.2014

3. Is there a print button for easier print capabilities ?
This feature is scheduled for 2.Q.2014. We are planing to have an optimized print layout as well as a PDF export function.

4. Why 'another' IC search tool ?
Actually there is range of reasons why we think engineers need a better, faster and easier way to find the best matching IC for their application. What is needed is a detailed search functionality with a wide range of parameters across all manufacturer - easy to use and fast.

Usually there are 2 ways an engineer looks for a product:
a) a new project with new specs and no predecessor product – this is where we have a solution right now, a detailed and fast search function based on technical parameters.
b) a new project where a lot from a predecessor product can be re-used but not all. Maybe a slightly better/different product is needed but the existing product spec should be met at minimum – this solutions goes live in early 2.Q.2014 and is called 'backward search' with parameter adjustments.

Lets talk about path a) first. Our capabilities are a wide range of parameters which can combined in any variation.
- We see a factor of 2x to 4x more parameters available for search than on other webpages which makes especially feature rich products easy to find.
- We offer unique parameters like peak efficiency, external component count, inductor size , total solution size analyses and many more, not possible to find anywhere else.
- Additionally we offer 'excluding' search. This means for example for low cost projects a lot of features can be excluded to find simple products – unique on our webpage.
- More is scheduled in our roadmap, stay tuned.

Let's talk about path b) next. Often an engineer has a well known and understood product, but needs a slightly spec change like different switching frequency, a bit more output current, a different package or Power Good pin. With our 'backward search' you can enter a manufacturers part number and you see a full list of products which are same or better performance. In a next step you can either select/dis-select features, increase/decrease parameters by x percent or anything else. This will be another unique functionality and only available at www.DCDCselector.com

5. I don't see if a product is available for sampling at this webpage. I have to check a manufacturer or distributor or sample warehouse webpage, correct ?
For the moment yes. We are working on a button that allows a quick check if/how many products are available at a selected warehouse. This can be a manufacturers stock, a distributor or a sample warehouse. Currently this feature is scheduled for 2H2014 but due to ongoing discussions/negotiations this can be pulled in rather quickly. Stay tuned.

6. Can I order samples on this webpage ?
No, and this is not planned. Our focus is the product search so a user can find the perfect IC for his or her application. There are dozens and dozens of sources where ICs can be sampled or ordered. Our goal is to make this information available, so a user can see immediately any available stock and can select his preffered source in his region. This can be either at the manufacturer directly, at a distributor or a sample warehouse. Those companies have great infrastructure to sample/ship material quickly.


Questions on parameters

1. Why are some parameters and columns empty ?
There are two reasons. First due to missing parameters in a manufacturers datasheet or other documents. We prefer to leave those fields empty. Second like on Ambient or Junction Temperature only one parameter is given so the other one stays empty. Another example is the switching frequency. If a product is fixed frequency, the columns frequency adjustable min and max stay empty.

2. How are Vin, Vout and Iout values defined ?
These parameter are based on continuous operation without any overshoot capabilities/transients. Sometimes high voltage products are able to withstand additional voltage spikes for a given period of time but this value is not shown (yet). For example a 50Vin DC/DC Buck Converter with 60Vin transient capability is specified as 50Vin. We are working on an additional parameter to show this 60V transient feature, scheduled introduction is 2H2014.


How can I search for AEC-Q100 products ?
All selectors feature search for Automotive AEC-Q100 IC, though there is a minor difference between Power Management and DataConverter selectors.

- In Power Management selectors like DC/DC Controller, Converter and LED Driver click on the 'Feature Parameter' menu on the left side and select under
  the AEC-Q100 drop-down menu 'yes' - that's it. The number in brackets like (20) shows you for example the number of products AEC-Q100 qualified. Or not
  if it shows (0). A screenshort can be found here.

- In DataConverter selectors click on the 'Feature Parameter' menu on the left side and select under the Rating drop down menu 'Automotive' - that's it.


Questions on product obsolescence ?

1. How do you handle product obsolescence ?

We are using a simple rule if a product is removed from a manufacturers webpage or made officially obsolete. We just remove the link to the manufacturers product folder. First, this way at the parametric search tables it is immediately visible if a product is not available any more (as 99% of all products have active links). Second, we keep the product in our database and 1-page product overview to enable a product peer and replacement search.


... more FAQ in progess...stay tuned and follow us on Linkedin for regular updates. 












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