In working with the semiconductor and custom ASIC industries the design challenges that keep coming up are time to market, complexity, and cost of recall/redesign. These issues have become more acute as the rise of mobile platforms (smart phones, tablets) has increased the demand for the industry to put more functionality into small packages.
What makes this even more challenging is the need for hardware and software teams to work closely together to build a complete and coherent end product. The question is: what solutions are there to alleviate these issues? Having a good common design and architecture laying out everything is one key, but another factor is having a way for entire team to get access to all the design artifacts and have a common way to review them. In the end, having all of this will lead to the ability to easily reuse artifacts from one product to the next enabling faster time to market with working designs.
Companies that adopt specific electronic design solutions can expect a more streamlined, automated and repeatable workflow, thus allowing them to be more productive and reduce their overall development costs.
What does a good solution for electronic design look like?
A good solution for electronic design focuses on high-level (system level) design for electronic devices using SysML, electronic design management for revising IP blocks in libraries and electronic design management for revising analog designs. We believe there is benefit in a solution that provides a set of industry practices and project and work items templates so the practices can be enacted. This then enables corresponding system and software engineering solution core tools to then support those practices.
In summary, you need an electronic design solution that provides:
- A solution that brings the benefits of our existing solution for systems engineering to electronic design, while adding specific support tailored to the technology domain.
- Traceability through the development artifacts and automate report generation to lower the costs of showing compliance.
- Improved quality by identifying defects early through continuous testing and visual simulation capabilities that reduce costs.
- Streamlined communication with a collaboration framework that unifies various stakeholders in real time and improves project transparency.
- Increased productivity by reducing the number of status meetings.
IBM Rational recently released their Solution for Electronic Design, an extension of the IBM Rational Solution for Systems and Software Engineering. This release focuses on support for the system level design of electronic devices using Rhapsody; electronic design management, including configuration management of hardware and software design assets using ClearCase; and workflow using Rational Team Concert.
About the Authors
Dr. Keith Collyer is a subject matter expert in requirements and systems engineering. He trained as an electronic engineer and later moved into software development. His interest in the "people" aspects led him into project management, quality assurance, and processes, never losing sight of the need to develop systems that meet real needs. Throughout much of his career, he has concentrated on helping both large and small organizations introduce requirements management. The key aspects of this are ensuring that the client understands the needs for and benefits from requirements management, clarifying and defining with the client the processes involved, including the necessary information and inter-relationships, and defining an IBM Rational DOORS implementation to best support the client's needs.
Martin Bakal is at the forefront of the embedded industry, contributing to industry conferences, journals as well as conducting podcast and webinars on a regular basis. Examples of conferences include the Embedded World conference in Germany, IBM Innovate. Marty’s thought leadership extends to various industry magazines, where he has contributed several articles. The articles span a range of topics from an extremely technical to features focused on high-level process, solution and business concerns. His topics area includes embedded design, agile development, systems modeling as well as product line engineering.