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Electronic Systems Design: The Need For Integrated Software Simulation

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.225.1 - 4.225.6

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Paper Authors

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Rhonda Moore

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Ray Bachnak

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3147

Electronic Systems Design: The Need for Integrated Software Simulation Ray Bachnak/ Rhonda Moore Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi/ Johnson Space Center


The continuous increase in complexity of electronic systems is making the design of such systems more challenging than ever before. As a result, designers are finding it impossible to design efficient systems without employing an integrated software simulation environment and using sophisticated Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools. This paper describes the benefits of an integrated software simulation approach and presents the industry design trends. These trends include concurrent design, system level design, virtual prototyping, design verification, design for test, fault simulation, and design for manufacturing. The paper also discusses the importance of teaching integrated simulation methodologies in engineering and engineering technology programs.


Over the last 10 years, electronic systems have grown more complex and designers have been moving from the traditional sequential design approach to a concurrent methodology1. The concurrent design methodology employs an integrated software simulation environment where the electronic designer takes into consideration the physical layout, manufacturing, and assembly issues of a product2,3. This environment is facilitated through the use of EDA tools4-9. These tools are capable of simultaneous simulation of the electrical and manufacturing features of a product and provide advanced design capabilities such as virtual prototyping, rapid prototyping, and hardware-software co-design. The proper uses of EDA tools have been proven to produce complex designs, reduce development time, and improve product quality.

The need for integrated simulation is obvious when considering hardware design and software development. In this case, testing hardware and software independently does not normally lead to complete verification, and delaying system integration until the hardware design is finished may impact the cost and time schedule. In a similar way, separating the electronic design phase from the manufacturing and assembly issues may create costly problems that can be prevented. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that the design is completely correct before the manufacturing and testing stages.

To be able to produce graduates who are prepared for industry, engineering and engineering technology programs should be aware of the latest industry design trends and ready to incorporate into their curricula the relevant materials and techniques. While this paper mainly addresses electronic design, the concepts apply to other engineering and engineering technology fields. As

Moore, R., & Bachnak, R. (1999, June), Electronic Systems Design: The Need For Integrated Software Simulation Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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