The challenges and pitfalls of designing a new PCB design solution – CR-8000 (Part 2)
The most difficult part of developing our new system was defining the specification for a new design process and tools. This is because neither we nor our customers had experience with a multi-board or system-level way of designing. This led to many meetings with our customers to polish the specification of the new process and solution.
We struggled to define the new user interface for multi-board design with 3D graphics. For ideas, we played many 3D computer games and tried numerous types of input devices to determine what would be best for operating our next generation system. We had many discussions with a peripheral production company who was producing 3D mouse, touch pads, and touch screens before deciding on the best solution.
Zuken’s engineers had the experience of developing CR-3000 and CR-5000 under their belts. Our high quality software development process (efficient code writing and structure, low defect rate once in production) meant we didn’t have many problems implementing a big suite like CR-8000 from the software engineering side. The software quality was very good from the start.
The quality of CR-5000 software was already number one in the EDA industry. For example, the number of defects requiring a patch release with CR-5000 Rev.12 was just one in the past three years. As a result, we could frontload the quality control process into the early stages of the software development process.
One of the big challenges was how to implement a better design process and easier operation of the user interface which would be well accepted by engineers and layout designers. Our partner customers evaluated our software in their design process to test its functionality and the feasibility of the new process. They were specifically checking for:
- Operation of each function by electrical designers
- Usability and ease-of-use in their design process
- Smooth integration of the tools and functions
- Feasibility of the process and performance
CR-8000 Design Force is the result of a decade of research and development with careful attention to all aspects of the system – performance, user interface, integration, functionality, and process.
For more information on CR-8000, visit our website: www.zuken.com/cr-8000