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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:
- Long publishing lead times leave designer's with out-of-date databooks
in their hands
- Designers must rekey the information for CAD systems
and component databases
- Lack of standardization means that extensive
interpretation is required
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.
- Electronic production and distribution means that information gets into
designers' hands faster
- Component information can be imported directly
into designers' CAD systems
- ECIX-compliant documents can include
purely machine sensible components, like CAD models (VHDL, IBIS, SPICE, etc.),
audio, and video
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.
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.
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.
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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