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RS Components unveils DesignSpark, a new and unrivalled gateway to online design support and resources

05.07.2010

Free design tools including PCB software, reviews and information provide an authoritative design environment for engineers

Oxford, UK, 5 July 2010 - RS Components today announced the launch of DesignSpark, the centrepiece of its initiative to provide an authoritative online design environment for engineers. DesignSpark is an online gateway that gives engineers trusted and reliable information and resources, bringing together design information, user generated reviews and new free-of-charge tools to speed up the design process.

Developed in partnership with FreshNetworks, a leader in social media development, the site can be accessed at www.designspark.com, and is being launched initially in English, German, Chinese and Japanese, with further language versions to follow throughout 2010.

Glenn Jarrett, Head of Electronics Marketing at RS Components commented "DesignSpark cuts through the mass of inconsistently presented design information on the internet, providing engineers with a reliable gateway to information, reviews and resources they can trust at every stage in the design process. DesignSpark is more than just a website, it provides the electronic engineering community with an environment where they can not only find design tips and reviews that help inform the start of new designs, but also connect with partners, exchange ideas and contribute to a variety of valuable information sources available from across the internet which are relevant for the whole design cycle."

A major feature of DesignSpark is a library of independent reviews for development kits and evaluation platforms, provided by engineers, for engineers. This feature will allow users to post comments and star ratings for each kit. Initially, it will cover a range of up to 1100 microcontroller, microprocessor, analogue and FPGA development kits, with new kits being regularly added.

DesignSpark also gives users' access to a dedicated Design Centre, containing technology tips and hints posted by DesignSpark members. The centre will keep engineers up-to-date with the latest design trends, as well as containing links to the range of RS website tools, making component selection and integration into design software packages fast and simple.

The partner portal has been specifically created in order to allow DesignSpark members to connect with companies and individuals who can help provide information, support or resources that will enable faster design development. Featured partners already include a mix of component manufacturers, design consultants and contract electronics manufacturers, with new partners being added on a daily basis.

DesignSpark also offers free-of charge access for members to a range of design tools, hosted in the Spark Store. Included in the store is the first of a range of new tools launched by RS, DesignSpark PCB; a fully featured PCB design tool. Visitors simply need to register as a DesignSpark member to unlock the full functionality of DesignSpark PCB.

DesignSpark PCB comes with a component library that can be extended and shared - through DesignSpark - with other engineers. Details of the components used from the library form the basis of the Bill of Materials generated by DesignSpark PCB. This can then be used to create an order or quotation request through the usual RS web portals.

As part of an ongoing commitment to deliver an unrivalled authoritative design environment for its customers, RS launched three new platforms in May this year. Component Chooser - the world's largest and most extensive parametric search engine of electronic components, the introduction of 20,000 downloadable 3D CAD models onto its website and a strengthened Embedded Development Platform (EDP) product line which enables rapid prototyping and proof-of-concept through a new partnership with ARM to target microprocessors based on the mbed virtual development environment.

The new platforms launched today, DesignSpark and DesignSpark PCB, are available to any engineer at www.designspark.com. Users will be invited to register in order to join DesignSpark and have access to thousands of development kit reviews, design centre information and free applications in the Spark Store, as well as connecting with other engineers and online resources supporting new designs.

About RS Components

RS Components is the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, the world's largest distributor of electronics and maintenance products. The Group serves nearly 1.5 million customers worldwide. Through operations in 27 countries and 17 warehouses, RS distributes 500,000 products from over 2,500 suppliers. The Group has an annual turnover of over £972 million and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more details on the Group please visit the corporate website (www.electrocomponents.com).

Editorial contacts:

Andrea Barnard
RS Components

Tel: +44 1865 207464
andrea.barnard@rs-components.com

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