Skip to Main Content
white paper

Compress electronic board systems design with ECAD/MCAD collaboration

Despite increasing product complexity, engineering management seeks to further shorten development schedules, including those of electronic systems. One way to compress the development of electronic board systems is to enable earlier and more continuous collaboration between ECAD/MCAD. Such a change would resolve design issues earlier in the development cycle, allowing compression of the overall cycle. However, the established approach is too error-prone to accomplish this goal. Instead, engineering leadership must look to broader and more novel approaches.

Drivers of change for electronic board systems design cycle

The pressures driving engineering leadership to compress the design cycle of electronic board systems are quite complex. In fact, there are a myriad of conflicting evolving constraints that make it difficult to realize any schedule or productivity gains in development. These drivers of change are:

  • The many innovation opportunities in embedded software

  • Validating that software runs on target electronic hardware

  • Model-based software development: A partial solution

  • The exploding complexity of modern electronic board systems

  • The competing constraints of electronic board systems development

Opportunities to compress the design of electronic board systems

To find ways of compressing the development cycle for board systems, engineering leadership can pursue a number of different strategies. One such initiative is to improve collaboration and coordination between ECAD/MCAD around the design of circuit boards within enclosures. There are three collaborative activities between these engineers that can be improved.

  • Planning and verifying board fit and form in the enclosure

  • Predicting, adjusting, and validating thermal performance

  • Predicting, adjusting, and validating structural performance

The established approach for a traditional ECAD/MCAD collaboration: manual and sequential

  • The established approach of facilitating interaction between ECAD/MCAD relies on file-based exports and imports.

  • The significant manual effort involved in this approach drives ECAD/MCAD to delay their exchange of design changes. It also postpones structural and thermal simulations until late in the design cycle.

  • This behavior undermines engineering leadership’s efforts to compress the development cycle of board systems.

The novel approach for an improved ECAD/MCAD collaboration: automated and concurrent

  • The novel approach of facilitating interaction between ECAD/MCAD relies on the associativity and interactive highlighting of integrated pairs of ECAD and MCAD applications.

  • These capabilities allow ECAD/MCAD to share their design changes more continuously, with far less effort, and earlier in development.

  • The progressive technology enabler allows ECAD/MCAD to collaborate earlier and more continuously during development. It also enables earlier thermal and structural simulations, resulting in better products and fewer prototypes.

  • The novel approach aligns very closely with engineering leadership’s efforts to compress the development cycle of board systems.

Download the report to get the full details of both approaches and the recommendations.

Learn more about ECAD/MCAD collaboration.