How Reference Designs Accelerate Your Project

Reference designs are an important part of a design. They save time and resources. In this blog article you learn what reference designs are and how you can benefit from it in your daily work.

What are reference designs?

Reference designs are developed by semiconductors companies such as Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, or Microchip for designers. They are comparable to blueprints of an IC circuit in a specific application. The reference designs are developed to be copied by the designer, just like a recipe for today´s dinner including all information about ingredients, amounts, and preparation instructions. They usually include all the circuit information such as the schematics, Gerber files, BOM - but also the design performances under different test conditions.

Benefits of reference designs?

A reference design allows a designer to copy the IC design into their system without designing everything from scratch. Examples include the power supply section of a design or the LED controller.

It saves the customer time and resources by eliminating some designing and testing steps. In addition, most reference designs provide information about the circuit performances under different operating conditions. If the customer copies exactly the reference design, it ensures that the IC performs as expected.

How to find the best reference design for your application?

There are thousands of reference designs on the market that you can use, making it incredibly challenging to find the right one. It is best to use a search engine like Würth Elektronik’s “Reference Design Search” for more than 10,000 reference designs in the market. All the big semiconductor companies are included - from Texas Instruments to STMicroelectronics, Analog Devices / LT, Infineon, Microchip, ON Semiconductors, and many more.

Searching, filtering, ordering

The search engine allows users to search a reference design for a specific IC Houses or a specific IC part number. In addition, the newest features enable more specific filtering. Therefore, reference designs can be filtered by Topology (Buck, Boost, Flyback…) but also by operating conditions (Vin, Vout, Freq) allowing the user to find the design fitting its requirements. On the detail page you can now find even more details and information. In addition to the design description, key features, and typical applications, the users will find direct access to the design’s datasheet and IC product webpage on the semiconductor website.

If you have found the suitable reference design, you can easily order all featured Würth Elektronik components as free samples right away and build up your prototype. Good luck!

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