Exclusive Interview—Flux Partners With Ultra Librarian to Tap Its Ecosystem

March 06, 2024 by Jeff Child

We talked with Flux’s co-founders about their new partnership—announced today—with online electronic parts ecosystem firm Ultra Librarian.

It’s been almost a year since Flux rolled out its Flux Co-Pilot design assistant. The company has continued to enhance its AI-powered design assistant tool, adding multi-modal AI features late last year. 

A key thrust of the Flux’s efforts is to simplify the PCB design engineering tasks that are important yet tedious. Along just those lines, today Flux is announcing a strategic partnership with online electronic parts ecosystem firm Ultra Librarian.


The new partnership gives Flux users access to Ultra Librarian’s huge library of electronic parts.

The new partnership gives Flux users access to Ultra Librarian’s huge library of electronic parts.


In this article, we discuss the details of the partnerships, how it off-loads key tasks for design engineers, and we share insights from our exclusive interview with Matthias Wagner, Flux CEO and co-founder, and Lance Cassidy, Flux co-founder,


Access to Electronic Parts Info

The goal of the new partnership is to open the doors to the digitization of the $1 trillion dollar semiconductor ecosystem connecting Ultra Librarian’s huge library of electronic components with Flux’s growing user base—a user base now comprising 250,000 engineers, according to the company.

The plan is to gradually bring all of Ultra Librarian’s partners to the Flux platform. Doing this means that designers can eliminate the need to create digital versions of parts from scratch or download and import them into their design tool. Those processes traditionally can eat up hours or even days, depending on complexity.

According to Flux, with Ultra Librarian providing access to the world’s largest online electronic component CAD library, Flux users can have virtually unlimited access to any component they might need. The components are directly published and accessible in real-time within the Flux platform.


Easing the Process

Meanwhile, Flux’s in-tool AI design assistant, Flux Copilot, can also access Ultra Librarian’s parts. That means users can research and choose components without digging through datasheets.

Cassidy puts the situation into perspective. “Generating digital versions for parts is kind of a pain in the butt,” he says. “We hear it all the time from customers that we talk to. It's just an annoying part of building hardware that a lot of people have to build it from scratch. That's just because they don't trust the parts, or they're concerned their footprint might be off.”

Cassidy explains that many organizations end up tasking engineering staff to manually create the digital parts and manage their own parts libraries. With all that in mind, Flux is attacking the problem from two angles.


Two-Angled Strategy

The first angle is an AI-generated component launch in Flux. It allows you to take a datasheet, upload it, and then extract the information. “The Flux tool then creates a list of orderable parts and then we're able to turn that into a part that's complete—with a footprint and 3D model properties—in just a few minutes,” says Cassidy. Super cool. We surprised even ourselves with how well this works.”


“The tool is one that can be used by all stakeholders—manufacturers, distributors, partners—everyone can now use that to create parts easier.”


The second angle to Flux’s strategy is bringing partners onto its platform, starting with Ultra Librarian as a direct partner as announced today. “We see that the hardware industry is kind of disjointed,” says Cassidy. There's a lot of different players—manufacturers, distributors, factories—and we just want to stitch everything together and get everybody playing on the same page in real time,”

The idea is that partners can upload in bulk, live integrations,—everything to make it easier for them to plug in. “We want to make it easy for them to serve their customers, make it easy for the customers to use their parts,” he says.

Cassidy points out that this information sharing goes beyond parts and components. “This also opens up the ability to access reference designs, design examples—things that users can access within Flux. just fork to them and use them immediately. They don't have to download or do anything,” he says.

When a part’s information is updated, users get notified that there's an update to the part. Users are in full control over accepting or rejecting that change. There's a version control system that's automatic and just built in.


Shown here is the organization page with Flux for Monolithic Power Systems.

Shown here is the organization page within Flux for Monolithic Power Systems. (Click image to enlarge)


Meanwhile, users can use the Flux Co-Pilot AI assistant to ask questions about that part. And, because Co-Pilot has access to the datasheets, to the part's properties, it has knowledge of the part. “It can use that data to answer pretty impressively, like pretty advanced questions,” says Cassidy.

The first Ultra Librarian component vendor to be integrated into the Flux system is Monolithic Power Systems (MPS). To get a feel for the system, check out the MPS Organization Page on Flux.


Finally, Real Digitization of Part Data

For his part, Flux CEO Matthias Wagner puts these efforts into historical perspective and describes the broader picture. “[Until now,] the biggest advance we've seen is to move from paper to pdfs, but the information isn't digitized, it  isn't unified,” says Wagner. “For the majority of projects every day, the design tool is the point-of-sale for designers and manufacturers.”

“What's really exciting here is that for the first time they get that access to their actual customers, to the user who makes the decision whether to buy or to buy their product,” he continues. “And we've seen that with the partners that we already have on the platform. That's a great tool for their marketing and sales and self support teams to engage with their users.”

It’s all about a one-to-one channel, according to Wagner. Component suppliers can give helpful insights, such as “Hey, look, you can just change this here. This part could be cheaper.” or  We have better components here.


”This is really creating a one-to-one channel between suppliers and design engineers. We think it's incredibly exciting to enable that,” says Wagner.


All images used courtesy of Flux