You've made it! You're on the parts.io site! It's finally here! So now what?
Well, let's take a look at your first search and how you can start drilling down.
Normally I like to search from a high level. Typing something like "op amp" really gives a good feel for the range of filters and options that are available (it doesn't hurt that I love op amps):
You'll notice that as you type, the search tries to guess which category you're searching for. As you begin typing it will actually offer up multiple categories as suggestions and you can narrow it down by clicking if you would like (note: searches must have at least 3 characters to be valid). Once you hit return or click the "search" button, it will kick off the search query.
The standard results screen will be mostly filters at the top. You have the choice of clicking or dragging any of the showing filters. Note that this screenshot was taken mid October 2014 and may be updated at some point in the future:
Each action will load up a new page and track your search criteria (great for tracing your search steps). You can see as you select multiple filters and start to narrow your search that the search criteria you give will be tracked at the top of the filter boxes:
You can also remove filters to broaden your search:
What if there are things that are not shown in these 8 boxes though? Well, you need to check out the "Show All Filters" Tab
Within the select boxes there, you can choose as many different filters as you would like and apply them all at once. Be careful though, as having too many filters on at once may return no results.
At any point, you can scroll down the page and see the results of your filtering. How your filters are set and what you are using as a search term will determine how many results you get. You can see how many results there are at the top tabs of the result page.
Unlike many other parametric search engines out there, you aren't constrained to a single category. If you think you might be searching in the wrong category, just click the link at the top and the filters will be applied to that new category.
Looking at the search results, there are some interesting actions you can take. Scrolling right and left will give you relevant parametric data for the components you're viewing. This data should fall within the filters you have set above. You can also click the "More" button to expand the description of individual components:
Clicking on the price of a component will also load up data from a wide range of distirbutors using the FindChips API. This gives real time pricing and availability, vs the averaged data that we show with each component result:
You can also click on the PDF icon at any time to download the datasheet with a single click. No hassle and no shady datasheet websites from a random link on Google.
Finally, clicking on the manufacturer part number is a link to the detail page. This opens up an entire set of data for you to better make your decision, including easy to understand images for a quick judgement call on whether this is the right part for you:
From here you can scroll down the page to get functional equivalents, more parametric data, reference designs and once again view pricing data from distributors. You can even click through to finally buy that perfect part:
So that's a brief walkthrough. It becomes second nature once you do it once, but the flow of a new search site can always be confusing, especially with the amount of data presented to you, the user. If you have any questions, please ask below.