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techtrends C ble nd h rness EDA

from 36 months just a few years ago to 18 months today. Formu design, engineer, and manufac ture an electrical system. The electrical system in a vehicle or piece of equipment contains one or more harnesses. A har ness is a group of cables that is fabricated together. To better il lustrate the characteristics of EMDA as it applies to cable de sign and development, see Fig ure 2. The development of the elec trical system starts with design ers drawing the logical repre sentation of wires using a graphical editor. This tool may either be the same as the one used for electronics design but with additional functions en abled or a different one whose database is completely compat ible with the schematic editor. The design team then begins to introduce electromechanical at tributes in the design, converting the ap propriate logical nets to wires and splices by assigning attributes to each net and connectivity point. Designers can then route wires between pins of physical components and splices created when multiple wires are connected. Designers can then assign wire sizes or postpone as signment until architectural layout. They need to insert multiple terminations when routing multiple wires to a com Figure 1 la 1 race cars go from design start to first competitive start in about six months. Because cables are electro mechanical devices, software to support their development must deal with both the electronics and the mechanical disciplines. System architects would like a tool that allows them to design an entire system and evaluate choices. You can find a tool that allows you to perform the task from an electronics point of view, and you can find a tool that allows you to plan a mechanical system. However, you cannot find a tool that allows you to concurrently do both. Electronics engineers and me chanical engineers do not talk the same jargon and have differ Design and development of cables present many challenges (cour tesy Mentor Graphics). ent physical rules to consider. They need tools in their respective disciplines that can communicate relevant data and in formation to the tools in the other disci pline while keeping track of the progress and status of the entire design as a unit. Even more important, the development flow is separate from the manufacturing and procurement flow, a situation that often leads to errors and delays. The chal lenges are many: Designers select wire gauges and create wire interconnects by hand, and the process is difficult to reuse. Many organizations within the company use the design data.Without an integrat ed computerized flow, designers must enter the data multiple times and store it in various databases. Modifying the de sign data is, therefore, an error prone and a time consuming task. address the market. All three vendors are bullish about the potential of this market and compare it with the pc board mar ket in the early 1970s. HOW THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM IS BUILT A new discipline, EMDA (electro mechanical design automation), com bines elements of electrical design, me chanical design, and manufacturing methods with the functions you need to FOR MORE INFORMATION... For more information on products such as those discussed in this article, go to our information request page at www.rscahners.ims.ca/ednmag/. When you contact any of the following manufac turers directly, please let them know you read about their products in EDN. Structural Dynamic Research Corp 1 513 576 2400 www.sdrc.com Enter No. 353 IBM Corp 1 800 395 3339 www.ibm.com/solutions/plm Enter No. 350 EDA companies do not develop or sell SUPER INFO NUMBER For more information on the products available from all of the vendors listed in this box, enter No. 355 at www.rscahners. ims.ca/ednmag/. mechanical tools, and mechanical tool companies do not sell EDA tools. To en sure that the interface between the tools is complete or at least sufficient, tool de velopers must implement functions out side the company’s primary market. De velopment, maintenance, and support costs for each tool are much higher, and the engineering team responsible for de velopment and maintenance must pos sess unique skills. As a result, few estab lished EDA companies, including Innoveda, Mentor Graphics, and Zuken, Innoveda Inc 1 508 480 0881 www.innoveda.com Enter No. 351 Zuken Inc 1 408 467 3876 www.zuken.com Enter No. 354 Mentor Graphics Corp 1 800 547 3000 www.mentor.com Enter No. 352

106 edn | March 29, 2001


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