When it comes to selecting a component for your new design, this can really be an overwhelming task. You know what you want and what you want it to do, but need to find the right components to get to the ultimate goal. You want the satisfaction of watching your design flow down the production line and out the door for the world to see.
What do you do when you are testing, evaluating, and working on the bill of materials (BOM)? How do you choose the components you need? Do you just copy and paste from previous designs and go with the parts you have used for years? Or maybe select three or four competitive parts and create a pros-and-cons part matrix? You see that you need an op amp, voltage reference, ADC, and a boost converter. But you know that there are more suppliers out there making functionally equivalent parts.
There are advantages and disadvantages to most any option of component selection. The veteran engineers may use a particular part just because they have used it in every previous design since day one and are simply comfortable with it and refuse to look elsewhere. However, that eliminates the chance for finding something that may be better performing, more efficient, or lower cost. It's great to go with what you know, but at the same time you might be missing out on the latest technology.
Are you afraid to go with a newer part, perhaps because it has had less market exposure? Do you just compare data sheets and pick the part because the numbers look good on paper? I think many of us know that datasheets are not always good at taking the actual part and testing it in a way that shows the real, true performance — or shows how it will perform in our design.
Maybe you choose the component supplier that is No. 1 in the market. The assumption is that because it's No. 1, it must be the best. Maybe you narrowed down to two suppliers because they tested and performed nearly the same and have similar costs. Do you take time to listen and meet with suppliers or supplier reps and see what they have to offer?
How do you select that particular component and finalize that BOM? How did the parts end up on that schematic, on the BOM, and in the PCB flowing down the production line? Are you really picking the best components for your design? Are you opening up your eyes, ears, and mind to what else is out there? What is your main driver of component selection? Is it quality, cost, delivery, function, package, history of the part, ease of use, or performance? Let us know what you go through to pick the parts. And let us know about the consequences.