27 May 2014 Mentor teams with Digi-Key on affordable EDA tool EDA software specialist Mentor Graphics has partnered with Digi-Key on a low cost 'concept to prototype' design tool. The web-based software, now available in beta form, allows engineers to transform Digi-Key's parametric data into EDA representation (specifically symbols and footprints), so that they can instantly and accurately instantiate parts into their design. The platform also gives designers real time access to design service providers and PCB fabrication and manufacturing services. Dave Brady, business development manager at Mentor Graphics, told New Electronics:"We saw a spot in the market place where professional engineers were underserved. New parts are good when you want to explore new ideas, but bad when you want to go into production and you haven't tested them sufficiently. "Working with Digi-Key, we have been able to eliminate this problem and not only speed the time it takes to get a product to the prototype stage, but also greatly increase accuracy. With this platform, we have removed the possibility of manual data entry errors that could result in fabrication problems." Mentor has been working on the Designer Schematic tool for the past two years, investing a substantial amount of engineering time in order to simplify the software and make it ready to use out-of-the-box. "Mentor has a long history of delivering high quality design tools," Brady continued. "It was a challenge for us to figure out how we could work with somebody to go after a broader market, but working with Digi-Key allowed us to adapt our technology so that it would be applicable. We spent a lot of energy making sure that anyone can load this tool up and be instantly productive. We even ran about a year of testing to validate its ease of use." Priced at $300 (approx. £178), Brady says the Designer Schematic tool is substantially cheaper than others on the market. The software will be made available this summer. Anyone wanting to try out the beta version beforehand can do so by clicking here. Author Laura Hopperton Comment on this article Websites http://www.digikey.co.uk/http://www.mentor.com/uk/ Companies Digi-Key ElectronicsMentor Graphics (UK) Ltd This material is protected by MA Business copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team. What you think about this article: Add your comments Name Email Comments Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published. Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.