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techtrends C ble nd h rness EDA

power switching circuitry from each source to each ter mination. Then, you must de termine all paths that allow bidirectional current flow through components along the path. Any such path could potentially alter the system’s functioning, creating glitches that could prove dangerous.

But even the most thorough analysis may not find all of the problems. During normal service life, all wire systems are subject to aging. Errors can occur during maintenance op erations.You need a way to test the system while it is in the field. Just as many electronic systems perform a self test at start up, electrical distribu tion systems need to test themselves when they are turned on. Engineers would

Figure 3

approach to the design of electrical systems. It offers Manufacturing Cable and Capital H, a product it ob tained through last year’s ac quisition of Harness Soft ware Ltd. E3LCable provides the interface to the CATIA mechanical design tool. Mentor has developed DC Analyzer to address wire harness electrical behavior analysis and also offers OEMs the Scat dc loading and sneak path analysis tool from SoHaR of Germany. Innoveda also provides TransDesign, a comprehen sive design, engineering, and manufacturing system that offers a built in connection to corporate parts informa tion systems and connects to both CATIA and I DEAS,

like to be able to check the re sistance through a wire to de

CATIA and I DEAS help engineers visualize the electrical system in a vehi cle to optimize performance and minimize costs (courtesy Zuken).

depending on the customer requirement. Zuken’s Ca

termine whether fatigue or

bling Designer supports the

rust has altered its operation. They would also like to check for electromagnetic ra diation caused when a broken insulation turns a wire into an antenna. Deteriora tion of the electrical system or even re visions to components that are near but not part of the electrical system could turn a marginally operating system into a failing one.


EDA tools to support the development of an electrical system dramatically shorten a product’s time to market. Whenever two or more engineering dis ciplines must interact to design, produce, and manufacture a system, the complex ity of the problem increases dramatical ly. The car manufacturers are leading in the development of new standards for the specification, design, and development of automotive electrical systems. Toward that end, vehicle manufacturers have formed the AMI C (Automotive Multi media Interface Collaboration) to stan dardize protocols and to provide the crit ical technological mass for their development (see sidebar “Car makers put the pedal to the metal”).Although no architectural tool yet exists to allow the integrated design of the electrical system with the electronic system, BMW is

working with Cadence using the Cadence VCC architectural tool to explore possi ble practical applications (Reference 2).

All three EDA companies in the cable design market have active partnerships with automobile manufacturers. Zuken is working with Toyota, Innoveda is working with Ford, and Mentor has part nerships with Daimler Chrysler and oth ers. All three are or will soon be working on Formula 1 cars. Zuken and Toyota have built a Formula 1 car, but it will not compete until 2002. Innoveda is with the Jaguar team, and Mentor is working with Ferrari, the current world champion. Both Innoveda and Mentor provide tools for designing, engineering, and interfac ing with mechanical design functions, whereas Zuken is in the final stages of de veloping its engineering tool set. Al though all three companies have initial ly targeted the automotive market, both Mentor and Innoveda are also active in the aerospace, shipbuilding, electronics equipment, and even consumer prod ucts markets. Zuken will address all mar kets when it completes its tool set.

Designers and technicians have ad dressed and for the most part solved the discontinuities and obstacles they have encountered. Mentor, through its Logical Cable product, provides a comprehensive

design, engineering, and manufacturing of automobiles. It offers bidirectional in terfaces to both I DEAS and CATIA me chanical packages. It is now developing more functions to make its offering the equivalent to those of its two competi tors. Given the increasing contents of electronics in most systems, engineers can expect increased attention by EDA ven dors to this area. Analysis and verifica tion of electrical sys tems are becoming more important with each improvement in IC design and manu facturing. Competi tion will be higher, tool development will accelerate, and more functions will emerge, especially in the analysis, verifi cation, and test of electrical systems. You can reach Technical Editor Gabe Moretti at 1 303 652 0480, fax 1 303 652 0479, e mail gabe@ dimensional.com


1. White House Office of Science and Technology Policy,Review of Federal Pro grams for Wire Systems Safet , November 2000, www.ostp.gov/html/wire_rpt.pdf.

2. Bordenaro, Mike, “Auto electronics calling EDA,” Electronic News, Jan 29, 2001, pg 34.

110 edn | March 29, 2001


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