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20 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 today. I think the biggest challenge designers face today is simply trying to learn everything they need to know and analyze to make sure their designs work as intended. We'd like to help ease that burden a bit. Shaughnessy: I know you like to take devic- es apart around the house. Have you had any more epiphanies, like the one you shared with me at DesignCon about the new Ether- net switch and the need for designers to know how to do a "cost-reduced" design? Westerhoff: As it turns out, I've been both tak- ing things apart and putting things together. As far as taking things apart, I had an LED bulb fail in my home office and decided to take a look inside (Figure 1). It's official: We've reached the point where we commonly have integrated circuits inside light bulbs! Thankfully, this par- ticular bulb is a commodity item that doesn't take up an IP address on my wireless network, although I'm sure that some bulbs do. As far as putting things together, I decided to build a machine to run 3D electromagnetic simulations, and I didn't want to pay an arm and a leg for server-grade hardware. Thus, the task became seeing how far I could get with consumer-grade components. In the consumer computing market, performance and gaming are pretty much synonymous, so I started with a gaming motherboard and built it out as far as I could. I ended up with a 16-core, 32-thread, they can't route "according to pre-defined rules," but they don't necessarily have access to the analysis support they need. That sug- gests that basic design simulation needs to be part of the designer's desktop toolkit, al- though progress has been slow in that area. I would maintain that the same is true for oth- er disciplines. It's not just SI—you can add power integrity (PI), EMI/EMC, thermal, and others to that mix. A designer needs to know a lot about many different disciplines to be successful today. In most companies, the "design review" is how designers get feedback on their work by having it reviewed by peers and experts. De- sign reviews take significant time and effort, but they're quicker and less resource-inten- sive than full-scale modeling and simulation. But there's still a rub; running a design review requires check-pointing the design, sending something out for review, and waiting for peo- ple (who are already busy with other tasks) to review the material, and then pulling all that feedback together. That represents a consider- able delay in a project schedule that's already packed. Ideally, we'd combine the ability to perform first-order analysis on the engineer's desktop, allowing the evaluation of design tradeoffs with automated multi-domain design reviews to provide feedback in near real-time. That way, designers could minimize the risk and delays they experience with the ways we do things Figure 1: A disassembled LED bulb from Todd's home office.

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