Using Electronic Design Automation Throughout The Product Life Cycle
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Essentially all circuitry in use today has been designed using electronic design automation (EDA) tools to meet the intended requirements. Virtually every EE student in the last three decades has been introduced to these tools in school, and there is general familiarity with their usage paradigm. As their capabilities have evolved, the thrust of the EDA firms has been toward higher performance, more functionality, and more cost, and the emergence of a cadre of highly specialized and skilled professionals who are the houses’ de facto gurus for the circuits they design and move into production. However, because the EDA software is so pricey, other organizations active in the product life cycle often have poor access to design files, e.g. for stress analyses and FMEAs by reliability engineers. TAAF projects, detailed pattern failure assessment, and sneak-circuit incidents, also can benefit from the ability to “tweak” an EDA model of a circuit instead of pen-and-paper analyses of schematics. EMI properties,severely degraded, totally out-of-spec scenarios, are best atacked using a broadened-EDA-access approach. These are expansions that bring more of an organization’s professional talent into contact with the design modeling and characterization when a worthwhile reason arises. Thus,analysis software and design files can also serve well during the rest of the product lifecycle (PLC).
Keywords: RAMS 2010 Proceedings - Conceptual Design - Product Reliability - Software Reliability