Online Chip Reference Trims The Fat


Quick: which pins are used for I2C on an ATmega168 microcontroller?

If you’re a true alpha geek you probably already know the answer. For the rest of us, ChipDB is the greatest thing since the resistor color code cheat sheet. It’s an online database of component pinouts: common Atmel microcontrollers, the peripheral ICs sold by SparkFun, and most of the 4000, 7400 and LMxxx series parts.

The streamlined interface, reminiscent of Google, returns just the essential information much quicker than rummaging through PDF datasheets (which can also be downloaded there if you need them). And the output, being based on simple text and CSS, renders quite well on any device, even a dinky smartphone screen.

Site developer [Matt Sarnoff] summarizes and calls upon the hacking community to help expand the database:

“The goal of my site isn’t to be some comprehensive database like Octopart; just a quick reference for the chips most commonly used by hobbyists. However, entries still have to be copied in manually. If anyone’s interested in adding their favorite chips, they can request a free account and use the (very primitive at this point) part editor. Submissions are currently moderated, since this is an alpha-stage project.”

14 thoughts on “Online Chip Reference Trims The Fat

  1. I normally don’t like negative posts. But I hope that they get a lot more data in there before long otherwise unless you are an Arduino nut there isn’t that much in there !

  2. This is kind of a CSS redo of the GIICM from way back in the early 90’s, basically as soon as the Web existed, people were building pinout lists. I definitely want to see this get more popular, it’s a pain to load a 400-page PDF every time you want to check a pinout of a chip. I do agree that it should be used for the most common chips, not every esoteric IC that four or five people would ever use for hobby electronics.

  3. well,I think its sounds great.
    So All parts I got datasheets for are getting in there.

    so someday, when I find this rare ic I still can find a pinout or datasheet. thx to a 13 year old kid from mars… XD

  4. Thanks for this, I always get confused about which end is W1 and which is W2 – :-)

    I was thinking of hacking something together a little J2ME app for my phone to do this the other day but gave up when I thought about the amount of effort involved in converting all of the data sheets. I wonder if they’ll allow the underlying data to be exported so it could be used in other tools?

  5. Thanks for the feedback! (I’m the author, btw) For those who’d like to make an iPhone app or use the data in some other way, I can code up an API that vends the raw part data. It’s stored as YAML, so you’d need a parsing library for Objective-C. Look for it in the future!

  6. If you want to keep it maximally useful for hobbyists and professionals alike, have some conditions for inclusion. As an example, at least two of:

    1. More than 1000 in stock at Mouser or Digi-Key at any given time

    2. Available in through-hole

    3. Second-source available

    That would limit things pretty well to common, readily available parts.

    Otherwise, get ready for scope creep until you’re competing with Octopart.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.