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Automating product development - from design through to manufacture and test

Electronic Specifier, May 2016, Increasing design automation requires an appreciation for the challenges incurred and complexities involved at every stage of product development. EDA tools targeting complete product design offer many benefits, including the ability to increase functionality through extensions and plug-ins. Robert Huxel, Technical Marketing Manager, Altium and Philip Ling, Technical Marketing Manager, XJTAG explain.

As the sophistication of electronic products increases, the complexity involved with their design also escalates. Design tools must evolve to keep pace with the demand for greater automation, without restricting creativity.
Automating even part of the engineering process is an effective way of addressing both the cost and complexity of product design. Given that the electronic design automation (EDA) industry is estimated to be worth around $7bn, it is clear EDA tools are now essential in minimising the cost and complexity of electronic product design.

The design, manufacture and test of PCBs fundamentally underpins product development and while each stage flows into the next, PCB design drives the entire process. The application of EDA tools at the schematic capture and PCB layout stages of design can bring major benefits, and now those benefits extend beyond design, to include the stages of manufacture and test.

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