Three Tier Component Model

All Ciiva technology is built on a concept called the three tier component model. This model neatly resolves the dilemma where companies managing bill of materials often have their own internal part numbering system they use to refer to a specific component, and similarly, manufacturers and suppliers also maintain their own part numbering system. By using a three tiered structure, it is possible to accurately represent and manage component second source, substitution and many-to-many relationships between them.

The three types of component in the three tier component model are referred to as Base, Manufacturer and Supplier components, as shown in the image below. In Ciiva, they can be easily identified through the use of different icon colours which are blue, orange and green respectively.

The Three Tier Component Model allows the one component to maintain all required component reference data.

The Base Component

When a component is selected for use in a design, it may be given a unique reference or part number which is company specific. For instance, a new RAM selected for use on a new product might be given the part number DDR2-533MHz-x8-1MBit. There may be various different manufacturers who supply components which can be used as a suitable component. This company part may reference a specific manufacturer part, or it may be a virtual part, not relating to a specific manufacturer part but instead defining a set of characteristics. If your company doesn’t have its own part numbering system, then the base component part number could simply be the manufacturer component part number.

The Manufacturer Component

A manufacturer component is exactly as defined – it is a specific electronic component part provided by a specific manufacturer. It has a unique manufacturer part number assigned to it, which is a unique identifier for that part. Manufacturer components are usually produced and packaged by the manufacturer and then shipped to one or more suppliers for distribution. Examples of some manufacturers are NXP, Texas Instruments, Intel, Fairchild, ST, Tyco, etc.

The Supplier Component

Often manufacturers do not sell components directly to the end user, instead employing suppliers that specialise in distribution for selling their products. Suppliers often generate their own unique part number for manufacturer components which you must reference when ordering a part. Examples of some suppliers are Farnell, Digikey and Mouser. Multiple suppliers are often used to distribute the same manufacturer component.


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