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Time for online?

Everything, it seems, is going online. But will electronics design follow? By Graham Pitcher.

It’s not exactly news to note that the internet is pervasive. And the boom in the use of MP3 players, to name just one technology, is helping to weave the internet inextricably into our lives.
Bill Gates provided one of the keynote addresses at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Part of this presentation focused on the availability of an HD-DVD for the Xbox 360. In announcing this, Gates also noted it would probably be the last hardware upgrade and that everything in the future would be a download.
Whilst this might be fine for the consumer world, how likely is it that electronics design of the future would move to a download model? An ideal topic for an Expert Panel!
So, just how feasible is it for electronics design to be conducted on the web? Immediately, we got a split between the experts – two from the supply side and one design house.
“Completely feasible,” said Phil Gibson, vice president of technical selling and web tools for National Semiconductor. “The more reliable the network, the more feasible it is and point solutions are available for everything today. The issue is managing the white space between.”
Agreeing somewhat was Steve Lane of design house Triteq. “This will be driven by the extent of the design requirements, but using supplier and other web based design tools for basic circuit design will play an increasing role in the design process.”

Graham Pitcher

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