Electronic Design Automation(EDA) is a method used by circuit board designers to design the layout of electronic circuit boards. The main advantage of EDA is that it preserves all information pertaining to the design,which makes it much easier to incorporate changes in the design itself.
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Before invention of EDA, integrated circuits used to be designed and laid out manually. Some designer used geometric software which produced the digital copies of mechanically drawn diagrams. During the mid-1970s, placement and routing tools were invented,which started automate not only drafting but design also. By the end of 1970s, Very Large Scale Integrated(VLSI) systems,which used programming languages for chip design, were introduced. Consequently,design verification tools, which used logic simulation,came into being to facilitate VLSI design. Since the ship designs could be simulated much before fabrication, the probability of errors in the final product reduced considerably. This method of describing the chip function in textual programming languages and then allowing the tools to generate the elaborate physical design became a common practice, which is still followed today. Berkeley VLSI Tools and Espresso heuristic logic minimizer are the earliest examples of EDA. In early 1980s, various companies like Valid Logic Systems, Mentor Graphics, Daisy Systems, which focused only on EDA, were set up. Gateway Design Automation introduced a high level language named Verilog in 1986. In the next year,US Department Of Defense created VHDL, a hardware description language for programming Field Programmable Gate Array(FPGA) and Complex Programmable Logic Device(CPLD).
Net List Creation From Schematic Diagram:
The first step of EDA is to convert the circuit diagram into net list. The net list shows the circuit nodes and component pins. The design engineer generates the net list from Computer Automated Design tool and feeds it into the Printed Circuit Board(PCB) layout design process. Net list creation process could be made easier with the assistance from a PC support provider.
The next step is how to position the device. The best way of positioning a device is to specify a grid of numbered columns and lettered rows. Once the positioning is done, the first pins of all devices will then be assigned to outlined grid positions by the design software. The circuit design engineer decides the areas in which the devices are placed. Device positioning is a very critical task and should be done under the guidance of a network support provider.
Device List Compilation:
After finalizing the device positions, the design software compiles the device list into a pin list by employing specific templates. The device manufacturers provide these templates in libraries,which come as parts of design packages related to the particular device. The template displays the pins of the particular device with complete drill hole layout and pad. If the designer face any compilation problem, an experienced PC support provider should be consulted.
High Power Components Identification:
The design software is capable of identifying the high power components in the device library. These components are marked to draw the attention of the circuit design engineer because these components require wider path to carry current of high magnitude. After that the pin list is merged with net list. The physical co-ordinates of the pin list is transferred into the net list,sorted by a net name. This whole process is complex and needs guidance from a network support provider.