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There’s one lesson that all designers have learned over the past few years: Components might be here today and gone tomorrow, so tracking your parts is more important than ever. Any resources that help you keep tabs on your required parts are invaluable in these days of 40-week lead times.
Earlier this year, Altium released one such resource: the Electronic Design to Delivery Index (EDDI) report. Assembled from millions of bytes of data gleaned from the Octopart search engineer and the Nexar platform, the monthly EDDI report provides part availability histories going back years, as well as a real-time snapshot of global inventories. It’s free to download.
We asked Dan Schoenfelder, head of Nexar sales, to discuss the EDDI document and why PCB designers should take advantage of this handy report.
Andy Shaughnessy: Dan, welcome. You all have been talking about this EDDI report. I had the chance to review it, and it's pretty interesting. Would you walk me through it?
Schoenfelder: Yes. Altium has a really interesting place in the market, where we have user experiences that span design, supply chain, and manufacturing workflows. Because of that, we have a lot of interesting data that we collect and which we mine to provide trends back to the electronics industry. Any stakeholder in the electronics space can benefit from this information. One of these products is the Electronic Design to Delivery Index, affectionately referred to as the EDDI.
We have two major signals: One is an industry supply signal and the other is an industry demand signal. They're both intended to give stakeholders a view of where the things stand today relative to history for availability of components and how challenging it might be to source components.
Shaughnessy: It was interesting to me that it had a running historical ledger of where parts were. How far back does it go? How granular can you get? Give us some details.
Schoenfelder: The report itself, and the indices that are a part of it, are pegged to a baseline of January 2020. We intentionally did that because it's pre-pandemic and probably the closest thing that any of us can remember to what was normal. The reports that we generate monthly show two years of history compared to January 2020.
In the EDDI, you'll find that we look at an aggregate signal for both demand and supply, but then we break it down further into key categories. These nine categories include integrated circuits, passives, and discrete semiconductors, among others.
Shaughnessy: That's really good. I'm curious where this idea came from.
Schoenfelder: We had this idea to give back to the industry some of the analytics that we’re able to capture. Under the Altium umbrella, we have design tools, a powerful API, and Octopart, the component search engine.
All these different user experiences have user interactions with data. The EDDI takes those interactions and signals of intent that data exhaust, and aggregates and normalizes that into a product that shows trends in demand and supply relevant to stakeholders of the electronic component space.
Shaughnessy: I imagine a lot of this comes through Octopart, right?
Schoenfelder: Most definitely; portions of the EDDI are fortified by Octopart, such as inventory trends and search activity.
Shaughnessy: And Nexar also includes other search engines, so you've got a wide universe to cull this data from.
Schoenfelder: That’s a good point. We like to talk about our signals as having both breadth and depth. Octopart itself sees several million unique visitors per month. The Nexar API receives about 15 million calls per week. So there's significant activity that provides us a broad but granular signal of what's happening in the industry. There’s no question that market conditions have driven a lot of activity over the last 18 months or so.
To read this entire conversation, which appeared in the September issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.