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Move up the design value chain

Posted: 03 Nov 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:electronics design? design value chain? unified design?

Douglas: To support innovation, the industry must have 'value-added' design strategies.

The traditional silo approach to electronics design, where specialist hardware and software engineers work in virtual isolation, is no longer sustainable as the world becomes more interconnected and designs move into the soft design realm. To support innovation and sustainable product differentiation into the future, traditional industry specializations must be replaced with more "value-added" design strategies. We, as designers, have to move up the design value chain.

Technologies that create and maintain innovation leadership in light of global connectivity are the first link in the design value chain. Mobile communications, navigational and pocket devices are just the initial wave of largely cut-down versions of their laptop and desktop cousins, increasingly connected through the ubiquitous Internet. Their potential isn't even completely realized, yet the drive for these technologies has never been greater.

Technologies that deliver on the increased need for device intelligence, which creates real product differentiation, are the next link in the design value chain. It's not enough to rely on bringing products to market faster and managing complexity. Designs are not based solely on hardware as the boundaries between hardware and software become increasingly blurred. Reconfigurable hardware platforms are driving the momentum for redefining the electronic development paradigm and account for an increasing interest in "soft design." A soft approach offers the advantages of more complete design synchronization and design reuse.

Connecting the process
The last link in the value chain is a unified approach to electronic design. A unified approach fits easily into the new world order, breaking down traditional barriers and giving designers flexibility to create products in new ways that can make the most out of concurrent design processes. A unified approach allows designers to focus on higher-level applications, and reuse existing work and third-party technology without sacrificing innovation or increasing design time. By moving away from disparate tools based on outdated and fragmented work flows, designers can focus on creating the next generation of electronic designs, translating their design value into an actual return on business investment.

- Marcelle Douglas
Technical Marketing, Altium Ltd

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