EDA / PCB Design

The world of electronic design automation is broad, covering everything from the simplest PCB to the most complex custom device. But without such tools, designers would be unable to create innovative consumer and industrial products.

In this section, New Electronics provides technical insight on the latest PCB design packages, as well as on the design tools essential to the creation of devices such as FPGAs and ASICs.

Examining whether to gel or pad

New electronic product generations bring new challenges associated with thermal management and there are two general types of thermal interface materials: gels (or dispensable gap fillers) and gap filler pads which can be used.

Extreme boards!

“Extraordinary circumstances often bring along with them extraordinary strength,” wrote the political philosopher William Godwin.

Trust no-one

Over the past decade, concern has grown over hardware Trojans: malicious circuitry placed in chips or boards.

Thermal evolution

Two years ago, a team of HP was faced with the challenge of getting more airflow out of a duct used to cool the print-heads of an upcoming inkjet printer.

A question of scale

Is Moore's Law dead, dying or in rude health? It depends who you ask. In turn, it depends on how they are applying the ruler when it comes to measuring the scaling factors as semiconductor processes move down the nanometre curve.

Keeping it clean

Wearable medical devices allow people more control over their own health by letting them monitor themselves

Time holds the key to 6G

5G is still in the early stages of its rollout but the attention in R&D is now on the next generation to come, even if its launch may be some way off.

Analogue AI feels the power

Deep learning has an energy problem. Model sizes have been spiralling up, and doing so at an increasing rate as users exploit cloud servers armed with graphics processing units to crunch the numbers.

A clearer roadmap

There are four trends now shaping the automotive market and in a report published in 2016 by McKinsey & Company (“Automotive revolution – perspective towards 2030”) these were identified as autonomy, connectivity, electrification and diverse mobility.

A partnership in design

Although most electronics engineers understand the principles of an AC to DC power supply (PSU) and could probably design one to work, it takes specialist knowledge and skills to fully optimise it for cost, size and performance.

A modular revolution

A quiet revolution is taking place in electronics hardware design and, as silicon integration has continued (fed by the economics of Moore’s Law), engineers are gradually moving from developing mostly at the component and circuit level to working more with board, modules and subsystems

A supply chain in flux

In the coming years, Tier 1 automotive suppliers have an enormous opportunity with the development of autonomous vehicles (AVs) but there are challenges - the whole supply chain is being disrupted by new participants and new technologies.

Keeping production on track

For semiconductor manufacturers, compound semiconductor manufacturers, raw wafer material suppliers, and R&D labs, utilising wet process cleaning equipment is critical when it comes to producing extremely reliable products.

Hardware progress

A DVCon Europe 2019 conference paper, jointly authored by Renesas and OneSpin Solutions, considered innovative chip safety analysis. In this article Jörg Grosse and Sergio Marchese discuss its findings.

Board Meeting

The stacking and direct interconnection of PCBs is becoming increasingly popular. What are the benefits of developing the boards needed for a multi-board assembly on a single CAD canvas?

Hardware progress

In today’s vehicles, according to AUDI, microelectronics enable over 80% of vehicle innovation and high-end cars may contain more than 100 electronic control units (ECUs) controlling both safety-critical and entertainment functions, as well as implementing advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

Faster FPGA verification

Launched in 2015, and used by about 20% of all VHDL FPGA designers, UVVM is one of the fastest growing verification methodologies in the EDA industry.

Passives’ push for circuit integration

Integrated passives have a lot going for them. They take up less space on a PCB, they simplify design and they can, with the right processes shrink circuit tolerances thanks to closer component matching. The downside is that, as with semiconductors, volume is everything.

The stretchy electronics revolution

Could the days of the hard computer chip be numbered? Covered in transistors and other semi-conducting elements, these rigid devices likewise render the devices in which they are found similarly inflexible.

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