Design Force

Reactions to Zuken’s PCB Design Revolution, CR-8000 Design Force, but What Do You Think?

Last week we concluded our annual Z-DAC User Conference in San Antonio Texas.  While this event is always well-received and marvellously interactive between Zuken and our ever-growing family of customers, this year was truly special, as Zuken unveiled the first real paradigm shift in electronic design since those heady days of EDA yore: CR-8000 Design Force.

I’m hoping you’ve seen some of the teaser ads from Zuken, the very kind words in the press, or maybe talked to someone who’s seen this.  If not, just Google CR-8000 Design Force or take a stroll over to and you’ll get the gist of what I’m talking about.

One of the trickiest bits of rolling out a product like this is there is so much there– it’s perplexing for our Marketing gurus to come up with a single message to explain it.  Though I reside in engineering, my office is right down the hall from Steve Chidester, Zuken’s Head of Product Marketing, and believe me – I get yanked into plenty of conversations (or just barge in on them).  I’ve been hearing this for months…

“How do we explain this in xx words or less?”

“What’s the single most important message?”

And the answers kept coming back:

“You can’t and there are at least fourteen important messages.”

That’s tough for those Marketing folks to swallow.

Being rather ignorant of all matters marketing, I’d crash these parties with some pretty lame ideas.

“You want a single message?”

How about…

“A design system that plays like a video game with extreme performance and graphics, real-time 3D with the ability to design a whole product instead of just a PCB right from the early planning stages while supporting the latest embedded and SiP technologies and combining all interactive and automatic functions into one GUI while plugging into your PLM system and supporting ANY design flow you can dream of even if your librarians can’t keep up with your engineers and heck – you can even serve the stuff from your company Cloud…”

This, of course, is when the Marketing folks politely thank me for my ideas and find another conference room.

CR-8000 Design Force creates childlike excitement in those who see it, leading it to being branded ‘a design tool every PCB engineer will want to experience. – Select to enlarge

So back to Z-DAC.  After drawing back the curtain and letting our customers see this up close and personal, our customers taught us that maybe, just maybe, we can describe CR-8000 in a single word:  excitement.

Watching a big room full of professional engineers and designers suddenly dissolve into a playground full of little kids, “excitement” was the word that summed it up, or to put it in a few more words, as an editor has described it ‘a design tool every PCB engineer will want to experience‘.

A few months ago, Kazuhiro Kariya, Zuken’s CTO and the man behind the vision, told me he wanted “people to fall in love with Design Force at first sight.”  I think at Z-DAC he may have gotten his wish. Between “excitement” and “a design tool every PCB engineer will want to experience” maybe we’ve found our most important messages.

But tell us what you think. We’d love to hear from you.

In case you have not seen it yet, below is a short introduction to Design Force, or you can find out more from our website:

If you were are Z-DAC, or any of the other Engineering Day’s across Europe, it would be great to hear your initial reactions to CR-8000 Design Force.

Written by

Kent McLeroth is President and CEO of Zuken USA.

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