How do I choose parts for my design?

There are so many chips that perform similar functions that I’m finding it hard to decide what’s best for my product. How do experienced hardware engineers approach this?

Since there are so many choices available, the component selection process does require some manual work. The method I use, which has been working well, is:

  1. For the given type of device (Bluetooth chip, buck switching regulator, clock buffer, etc), use Google to find all the vendors who make devices in that space.
  2. Use the search features on the vendor website to narrow the list.
  3. Read the datasheets and create a shortlist

I wrote up this post with more actionable tips a little while go.

@anandh that is a great post!

I would like to add that when you are starting out it is really important that you pick components that are available from a local distributor like or when you are dealing in small quantaties.

I’d recommend taking a look at the Common Parts Library which is a list of about 200 parts that are commonly used in connected device applications. We are trying to solve this exact problem, helping design engineers choose components that are widely available in the supply chain and are commonly used.

Full disclosure, I’m one of the Octopart people working on it.