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What is the Pinnacles Electronic Component Information Exchange (ECIX) Project?

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Electronic Component Information Exchange Project

Component manufacturers provide information on their products in the form of a document called a "Databook." These documents contain all of the i nformation that designers should need to design the components into their products. Databooks have a number of problems:

The Pinnacles Electronic Component Information Exchange (ECIX) Project was formed to alleviate these problems. An ECIX-compliant document contains the same information as a traditional paper databook, but has additional benefits:

ECIX-compliant documents can only achieve their fullest potential if they are standardized. Standards make it possible for many vendors to create tools for creating and using ECIX-compliant documents. They let designers use ECIX-compliant documents from several manufacturers using the same tools. And, they let designers compare the contents of the ECIX-compliant documents in a reasonable way.

The ECIX Project is a project within the CFI, Inc., dedicated to creating ECIX standards as a means of exchanging component information. The ECIX Project will build on existing standards activities where appropriate, and will place the results of its work in the public domain as open standards.

The ECIX Project currently has two standards in progress, the Pinnacles Component Information Standard (PCIS) and the Component Information Dictionary Standard (CIDS). Additional work is anticipated in the areas of CAD integration, etc.

Project Technical Advisory Board

The ECIX Project Technical Advisory Board (PTAB) provides direction, technical review, and decisions for development and changes to the Pinnacles Component Information Standard (PCIS) and the Component Dictionary Standard (CIDS). The PTAB may elect to create additional standards as needed. The intended result of this work is a set of proposed standards for submission to a standards body.

ECIX Standards

The Pinnacles Component Information Standard (PCIS)

The Pinnacles Component Information Standard is an application designed for the interchange of technical information (such as datasheets, databooks, and application notes) about semiconductor and electric components, based on SGML, the ISO8879 information markup standard. It is a highly subject/content oriented, with a great deal of structure to describe the characteristics of electric components.

PCIS version 1.2 was released in Nov. 95 and is now being implemented by project member companies. Software products to support the creation and viewing of PCIS documents are also becoming available.

The Component Information Dictionary Standard (CIDS)

The aim of the Component Information Dictionary Standard is to provide authors and users of component information with a computer sensible dictionary of characteristic properties of components, allowing a for common and unambiguous understanding of those characteristics. CIDS is an SGML application, integrated with PCIS, that will initially be based on the contents of the IEC1360 dictionary.

This work was started by a Dictionary Working Group formed in early 1991 under the CFI in its Component Information Representation (CIR) subcommittee. The CIDS working group first met in its current form in March, 1996, to define its goals and objectives. The deliverables expected from this effort include an SGML description of the format of the dictionary, a dictionary filled with terms and definitions imported from IEC1360 and other sources, and an organization for the maintenance of the structure and the dictionary.

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For more information, contact: teets@si2.org