Background on challenges in electronic design

Electronic Design Automation (EDA) and Industrial Automation has seen an enormous growth over the last couple of years. EDA tools are crucial to the development of Printed Circuit Boards (PCB), Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) and application- specific integrated circuits (ASIC). A similar place has been taken by the CAE tools in the development of control systems for the Industrial Automation. The demands and requirements for EDA and CAE tools have increased due to the constant emerging new technology and complexity of the designs. Therefore EDA and CAE vendors have adapted themselves by introducing open systems, allowing customers to select a (sub)set of tools optimal for their design flow. In addition to the increasing complexity of the designs, one can also see a global demand for shorter time to market and therefore a shorter development cycle. Yet another constraint on top of this all is the requirement to also have a predictable development cycle. These trends put a heavy pressure on engineers, managers and executives involved in development of electronic products or industrial automation.

These trends have caused an increased complexity of the design environment that is often constructed of a variety of tools from different vendors. The integration of tools from different vendors is key to a successful deployment and operation of the overall design environment. This is often left to the responsibility of your support group or end-user. Due to the variety of systems a high level of expertise is required in order to use or support the entire design environment. This is not limited to the expertise of the EDA or CAE systems, but also to the surrounding systems (e.g. Software development, Mechanical engineering, ERP, PLM, etc) that already exist in your environment. Real in-house expertise is therefore difficult to establish to all tools and systems due to the incidental usage of some of them.