Farnell launches the “element14 knode” – the world’s first interactive design automation hub

21 JUNE 2011

Through a single interface the element14 knode gives the design engineers immediate access to a world of electronic design solutions. Automating the creation of project design from initial concept to full realisation, increasing productivity and accelerating time to market as another unique aspect of the element14 global engineering community.

In line with Farnell’s business strategy focused on providing engineering design solutions, driving business to the web and growth in emerging markets, the company announced the launch of the element14 knode, a revolutionary online design platform that is exclusively focused on the needs of electronic design engineers. Unveiled last week at the Design Automation Conferenc in San Diego, USA, the element14 knode provides one interface to a world of engineering design solutions. It supports the complete design flow from concept to final production and is unique in enabling engineers to research, design, develop and prototype manufacture in a single, intelligent environment. Products get to market more quickly, and by automating the configuration of product design flow solutions, valuable engineering resource can be increasingly focused on application design and IP creation.
In the course of creating electronic products, design engineers visit multiple sites to gather relevant technical information and to begin assembling the correct hardware and software solutions for their design. The element14 knode is unique in providing a single on-line platform for performing all of these activities. Based on an engineer’s initial specification it automates the creation of explicit dependencies and inter-relationships with other system level components to quickly build a custom design flow – whether it be development kits, design tools, operating systems and stacks, Intellectual Property or services such as PCB design and manufacture. These have all been integrated into one convenient place: the element14 knode – KNOwledge for Design Engineers.

“The element14 knode offers a world of solutions in one single interface and is another exciting industry first for us offering a new and different approach to design solutions. Innovation is vital for design engineers and as their partner in innovation, we are re-defining the delivery of the solutions they need,” commented Harriet Green, CEO of Premier Farnell.

The services offered in the element14 knode v1.0 release include:
• search automation and configuration for project specific design flows
• development platforms and kits
• operating systems and stacks
• development and CAD tools
• PCB services; and test solutions
• an online ‘Learning Centre’
More exciting roadmap features will follow in future releases as the wave of innovation continues.

A video introduction to the element14 knode is available at: www.element14.com/knode

The element14 knode – An Overview

Search Like Never Before
An engineering-focused alternative to standard search engines, the knode search function helps engineers find relevant design information and the latest technology quicker than ever before. Designers can use the element14 knode to quickly research, evaluate and purchase solutions, software and services. The availability of reliable technical information and solutions can save the designer hundreds of hours typically spent in searching and
validating information. Further, the innovative search engine returns all relevant and related contents for the search performed – in one click. The search bar allows users to enter keywords by supplier, architecture or part number, while Search results can also be refined using categories and tag filters such as core architecture and silicon manufacturers.

Expert Learning Centre
The element14 knode Learning Centre provides a library of rich content to help a user research various technologies, platforms and associated core components. This includes “How To” videos, application notes, technical documentation and much more. Forums host discussions in areas ranging from product/technology and applications to design recommendations, and technical support and designers can post questions to subject matter experts from element14’s enhanced technical support team and from suppliers across a number of industries and design environments.

Development Platforms and Kits
A wide variety of development platforms and kits are available including:
• Pre-built boards to test the latest technology and protocols
• Hardware solutions to accelerate the design process
• Search for instant prototypes for embedded systems
• New technology and industry exclusives such as the Freescale™ XL Starboard

Operating Systems and Stacks
Access Operating Systems, RTOS, Stacks and middleware for application software execution and interoperability.

Development Tools
The element14 knode provides access to a comprehensive suite of software development tools for embedded systems: These include Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), compilers and debuggers and the latest software design solutions from leading technology providers.

CAD Tools
Through the knode, PCB design tools are available that enable designers to develop PCBs within a highly productive, scalable and easy-to-use environment. Solutions cover the spectrum of PCB development, from schematic entry to manufacturing. PCB Tools include the award winning CadSoft EAGLE. This powerful and easy to use PCB software offers high-end functionality in a schematic editor, layout editor, and autorouter.

PCB Services
The element14 knode delivers high quality, low risk solutions for PCB fabrication and assembly in partnership with industry leaders. element14’s partners not only provide rapid turn-around manufacturing using advanced technology and the application of state-of-the art design for manufacture (DFM) and test software, but they also deliver fabrication services at globally-competitive, affordable prices.

Test Equipment
The element14 knode offers leading hardware analysis solutions for embedded systems or prototypes including oscilloscopes, multi-meters, signal generators and more.

For more information, visit www.element14.com/knode

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