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Should Reference Designs Be Free?

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antedeluvian
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Ah, but they are
antedeluvian   5/12/2014 3:33:06 PM
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Max

But what about a non-hardware reference design -- should this also come with a cost involved or -- if using the design involves your purchasing that vendor's components -- is it more appropriate for the reference design to be provided for free?

But they are available for free. Scroll down to the bottom of the Alameda page and you will find "Hardware files" for free download. You don't even have to register.

antedeluvian
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Others use the same model
antedeluvian   5/12/2014 3:40:46 PM
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Max

 

Analog Devices Reference Design use the same model- hardware reference prodicts for sale and free schematics etc.

I think the price is to filter out frivolous requests, but I do know if you can make a good enough case or you are a good customer you can probably persuade them or their distributors to give you one.

Also when you go to the seminars there are often free boards and/or requests for boards.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Ah, but they are
Max The Magnificent   5/12/2014 3:43:20 PM
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@Antedeluivan: But they are available for free.

I realize that now. And, in fact, my question "should non-hardware reference designs be available for free" was not targeted at the Maxim folks.

The thing was that when I first saw their announcement, it wasn't obvious that there was a hardware component -- they just waffled on about schematics and layout files and then said "call to see howe much it is"

It was only when I really got into it that I realized that hardware was involved and that indeed the schematics could be downloaded for free -- but by then my mind was thinking about reference designs in general, so my question was more general in nature along the lines of "should any reference design from any vendor that does not have associated hardware be mnade available for free" -- my bad that I didn;t word this better.

 

_hm
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Fully tested reference design?
_hm   5/12/2014 7:13:04 PM
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No, that is never true. Reference design is good only for coneptual prototype. Generally speaking they have many short comings and it need designer much effort to make it product worthy.

baybal
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Re: Ah, but they are
baybal   5/12/2014 7:15:58 PM
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Free reference designs are important because smaller clients are becoming bigger portion of revenue stream for bigger companies with each year. And most of them will be manufacturing products for themselves, rather tham OEMing.

betajet
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Re: Fully tested reference design?
betajet   5/12/2014 7:41:59 PM
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I have usually found the opposite to be true.  In particular, I've found Linear Technology has excellent reference designs and demo boards.  Remember, the quicker a vendor can get a part working in a customer's design, the quicker orders for those parts start rolling in.  It's to a vendor's advantage to make designing with the part as easy and reliable as possible.

Etmax
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Re: Fully tested reference design?
Etmax   5/13/2014 11:55:18 AM
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I don't think "NEVER" is a fair comment, I have had a number of issues with various circuits from different manufacturers, but I have also had very good ones. Also condsider some integrators actually buy a bunch of OEM modules and stitch them together for an actual final product, so I'm inclined to disagree with you on a few fronts.

Etmax
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Free designs
Etmax   5/13/2014 11:57:07 AM
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Ah jumped the gun a bit :-) I was already getting worked up and then it fizzed out in the last paragrah :-)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Free designs
Max The Magnificent   5/13/2014 12:03:02 PM
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@Etmax: Ah jumped the gun a bit :-)

Me too -- I was building up to a very righteous indignation (and I'd almost finished the column) when I discovered the reference designs themselves were free -- it was the hardware that cost -- so I was left foaming at the mouth with nothing to foam at LOL

Garcia-Lasheras
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Re: Fully tested reference design?
Garcia-Lasheras   5/13/2014 4:25:19 PM
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@Betajet: "I've found Linear Technology has excellent reference designs and demo boards"

I totally agree!! About 5 years ago I was involved in the design of an embedded Linux system and the deadline was in danger. I used Linear Technology components in the board power system design, despite the fact that some providers had offered me cheaper alternatives.

What was the point about doing this? My Linear's FAE sent me some specific linear reference design and associated dev kits and I just copied the main layout features. Zero-risk design and fast time-to-market worth the little BOM cost increase!!

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