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techtrends By G be Moretti, Technic l Editor

WIRING IS SO FUNDAMENTAL THAT WE FORGET THAT IT IS A SYSTEM UNTO ITSELF.

Cable and harness EDA enables advanced electrical system design

At a glance ..........................104

ngineers who design and implement ICs have the atten tion of the EDA vendors and can choose from various tools tar geted to every facet of their jobs. Developers of pc boards enjoy al most the same quality and amount of support. Yet, in almost every case, ICs, pc boards, and the systems they are part of are useless without cables. But few EDA vendors provide software to help de signers and manufacturers develop and build cables. Until now, no one has needed sophisticated development and analysis tools for E

Car makers put the pedal to the metal ........................104

For more information........106

cables. With the exception of few com panies dedicated to high volume pro duction, small companies and consult ants design and develop most cables. These designers achieve reliability by em ploying conservative design rules and guidelines they learn through on the job training.

However, this situation is quickly changing. Many subsystems that once employed mechanical controls now use

electromechanical controls. Each gener ation of cars and planes have more elec tronics subsystems, and the integration requirements among those parts are also growing. Cables must carry more signals at a higher frequency and with more power. The conservative rules that once kept engineers out of trouble are no longer applicable because the design margins have decreased. Stringing a wire between two points is no longer just a

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March 29, 2001 | edn 103

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