As you may recall, one of my roles is chief technical officer (CTO) at LogiSwitch where our main claim to fame is our adaptive NoBounce technology.
Switches bounce. That’s what they do. When you flick a toggle switch or press a pushbutton, its contacts might bounce 100+ times over a period of multiple milliseconds. This can be a major problem if the switch is driving a microcontroller programed to do something on every activation it sees.
If you search the internet, you will quickly discover a cornucopia of purported solutions—both hardware and software—some of them even work. But if you want to be 100% sure, then you will use a teeny-tiny LogiSwitch chip, which debounces the signal from your switch for you (see also The Ultimate Guide to Switch Debounce).
Recently, one of our customers emailed me asking for schematic symbols and PCB layout footprints for some of our chips. Our VP of Sales and Marketing, Steve Pollock, volunteered to sort this out. Steve says that this turned out to be more complicated than he had anticipated. He first contracted with one company he found on the internet, but the results they returned were horrible (sad face).
Eventually, someone told Steve he should contact the folks at SnapEDA, which we can think of as “Google for electronic components.” A Y Combinator company, SnapEDA has a model library synthesis tool that generates CAD models for all of the most popular PCB layout tools. But SnapEDA is much more than that because, when you search for components, it not only gives you free CAD models—it also tells you about the suppliers and availability of the components.
SnapEDA’s database contains millions of models and is relied on by 1.4+ million electrical engineers, including those from SpaceX, Meta, and Medtronic.
To cut a long story short (which is contrary to the way I usually do things), Steve reached out to the guys and gals at SnapEDA, and was awestruck with the result. Steve says that the chaps and chapesses at SnapEDA are a delight to work with; also, that he was very impressed with their efficiency and professionalism. Now, all of our LogiSwitch chips have corresponding CAD models on the SnapEDA platform (click here to see a press release with the links to the LogiSwitch models on the SnapEDA website).
The reason I’m waffling on about all this here is that I just received an email from the folks at SnapEDA saying that they’ve been collaborating with their counterparts at Nicomatic. As they said in their email:
With this new collaboration, engineers can now instantly generate and download models for Nicomatic’s 220 and 320 two-row micro connector series. Over 8 million connector configurations are available. Options range from 4 to 60 for signal contacts and 4 to 54 for coaxial or power contacts with locking or racking fixings. The models can be used in a wide selection of applications including aerospace, defense, medical equipment, transportation and more.
To generate the parts, engineers simply need to go to Nicomatic’s micro connector configurator for the 220 or 320 series and choose the part configuration of their preference. Once done, they can click on the SnapEDA website button on the PCB footprint section to generate the CAD model and download it instantly.
The CAD model generator has been designed and verified by SnapEDA’s engineering team. The models have undergone a rigorous quality assurance process powered by SnapEDA’s patented verification technology.
The models are designed following a combination of Nicomatic’s recommended patterns, IPC-7351B, and SnapEDA’s internal standards. To give engineers transparency into manufacturability, they can also view an automated quality report after the model has been generated.
The libraries can be downloaded for free in over 15 different PCB design formats including Altium, Cadence OrCAD/Allegro, KiCad, Autodesk EAGLE and Fusion360, Proteus, PADS and more. The connectors can be used in a wide range of applications including aerospace, industrial automation, medical equipment, transportation and many more.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I think the guys and gals at SnapEDA have covered all of the bases. And the great thing for your humble narrator (I pride myself on my humility) is that—just this once—I didn’t have to do anything myself because Steve and the folks at SnapEDA did everything for me. “Oh, frabjous day!” is all I can say.