The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

February - 2003 - issue > Cover Feature

Reinventing Electronic Design

Himanshu Singh
Thursday, January 30, 2003
Himanshu Singh
A FEW YEARS AGO DESIGNING A CHIP WAS A rather simple affair, since designers functioned almost independently. This was the era when the four distinct features that constituted chip design - digital logic, embedded software, PCB design and analog design were approached separately and in a different manner. These barriers are fast disappearing with rapid convergence of the digital design chain taking place. The electronics design industry is continually searching for new ways to break down barriers and develop improved methods to build tomorrow's products. With the emphasis on smaller and smarter chips, which consume less power and allow for a longer battery life companies have two key challenges to meet:
• Rapid evolution of technology and dramatic increases in complexity are changing the electronic design ecosystem.
• Convergence of design processes driven by the proliferation of System-on-Chip (SoC) and mixed signal SoC devices.

It would be almost impossible to design highly integrated devices without removing the barriers between today's four distinct design domains. The three major areas where convergence needs to be addressed are:
Hardware-software convergence: Hardware and software interactions present a difficult design trade off. Designers must find ways to maximize intellectual property use and stay consistent about the accuracy of models throughout the design process. The success and profitability of a design process are determined by design decisions made early in the design process.
Digital- Analog Convergence: The percentage of mixed-signal ICs is expected to rise from 20% to nearly 75% over the next 5 years. Designers must tale strategic ROI decisions including the digital-analog ration to run on a chip.

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