Viable Hardware Architecture

Turning System Requirements into a Viable Hardware Architecture

What does it take to develop a successful new product in today’s highly competitive global electronics marketplace? It all starts with a systems architect tasked with seamlessly moving between the many different disciplines – functional block diagramming, floor planning, space planning, cost estimating, etc.  required to define the hardware architecture. This special guy or gal then must work the magic needed to define a hardware architecture that meets all of the targets – functionality, cost, weight, style, battery life, etc. – required to ensure that success of the product.

And the systems architect can’t just try a few ideas and wish upon a luck star. They typically need to consider scores, or hundreds, even thousands of possible approaches to find just the right trade-offs needed to hit the market sweet spot. For each of these alternatives they need to produce a functional block diagram, bill of materials, allocate the components across printed circuit boards and fit everything into an enclosure.

Searching for a seamless process

A difficulty faced by today’s systems architects is that this process requires the use of many multiple tools that don’t play well with each other. For example, a typical systems architect might use Visio for functional block diagramming, Excel for parametric studies, AutoCAD for 2D space planning, etc. Data for each approach needs to be manually entered into each tool to check it out. The time required for this approach reduces the number of different alternatives that can be evaluated and also creates the potential for errors.

That’s why so many systems architects are excited about a new tool that has been developed specifically to improve this process by integrating all of the functional disciplines they need to do their job. This new generation of tools provides a single system where factors such as cost, number of PCBs, weight, size, enclosure fit and others can be evaluated collaboratively with the ability to make trade-offs before committing to detailed design.

Webinar series on developing hardware architecture

We have just released a new on-demand webinar entitled “Hardware Architecture Design and Validation” that explains how to develop a hardware architecture from the system or product requirements using a single tool. Click to view the webinar here and also check out our entire series of webinars covering the systems engineering process of converting product or systems requirements into a viable and robust product architecture and then moving that architecture directly into detailed design without any manual re-entry.

Click here to find out more about our latest webinars.

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