As you may have noticed, our Products section (formerly referred to as eeProductCenter) took on a brand new and unique change.
Apart from the cosmetic changes that make the section look fresher and a layout that places more emphasis on product announcements, design articles, teardowns and online learning, our biggest change is the addition of a blue box at the top of the page. This blue box's primary feature is a search engine that searches through a massive library of manufacturer part numbers, available inventory and datasheets.
A company called Octopart, whose creation came from the need of its founders to find part information quickly and in one location, provides this feature.
Started by Sam Wurzel and Andres Morey (and later joined by fellow student Harish Agarwal), Octopart was formed by the group's desire to find information on electronic hardware (like low power capacitors) and had trouble finding them on the web while they each worked on their PhD in physics. Since searching for this part information proved to be cumbersome at times, they decided to compile a database of part information and make it searchable via the web. Fast forwarding to today sees their Octopart search engine being used used by hundreds of thousands of design engineers and part buyers all over the world to find the parts they are looking for.
The Octopart search engine works by integrating data feeds from component manufacturers and distributors into a comprehensive database of part information; which includes datasheets, images, part attributes, footprint information and distributor availability and pricing information. A search can be started with something as simple as “Flash” or something as definitive as the need for a specific Flash device from a specific company with defined specifications. This database is fully searchable via the web (www.octopart.com) or via their open API.
With their partnership with EE Times, Sam, Andre and Harish hope to introduce their search engine to our audience of engineers, purchasers and designers. The future is bright for this new partnership, as the EE Times Products section will continue to feature new product-driven content and more teardown articles but will also evolve to meet the needs of our readers and further integration with Octopart's large library of part information. We have some big plans ahead for the Products section but we still need your feedback.
Please contact me at with any thoughts, comments, or suggestions you may have for EE Times Products.