Essentially all modern circuitry in use today has been designed using the capabilities of electronic design automation (EDA) tools to meet the intended requirements. Generations of EDA tools have followed each other into engineering departments of every serious firm, and an entire industry has developed to supply these tools and support their use by these firms. Virtually every EE student in the last two decades and well before 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. “Strategic engagement” business models involving million-dollar-levels of annual contract fees allow EDA firms to deliver very deep involvement in design houses’ engineering efforts. This pattern results in effective performance, and 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 and the engagements are so complicated, firms restrict the usage of the tools within the design functions, and other organizations that are active in the product life cycle, either in parallel or later in… Read full this story
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