/ 2 min read
Be on top of things – structure your high-level requirements right
posted on November 3, 2021
The demanding step of interpreting the written requirements in order to choose components and draw a schematics in a CAD-tool needs to be facilitated. How can you bring your high-level requirements into a practical and useful structure without losing context in the process?
In order to develop electronics, the basis on which electronics engineers work are always requirements and functional specifications. However, engineers are usually left alone with the input formulated in an office tool trying to cope with the extremely complex process to translate written descriptions into electronic circuits. Here, mistakes appear often as the requirements are not connected to digital engineering tools, which not only leads to a higher chance of mistakes but also a longer design time. Since such mistakes are mostly recognized at a later stage, they are causing severe delays in the timeline.
The problem is not the engineer’s fault but rather the process itself. The information loss can have large impact as even a missing character can lead to a later functionality problem within this circuit. One can even think of this as the children’s game “chinese whispers”, in which one person comes up with a rather complex word and whispers it into another person’s ear. This one whispers it to the next and so on until the last one speaks it out loud and no one knows which information is still part of the final outcome.
Eliminating mistakes with the right format
The solution is to define high-level requirements directly in a digital format. A specific tool created only for this reason can avoid time-consuming misunderstandings. As office tools are no dedicated tools for electronics requirements, sometimes, even trivial mistakes may appear due to this. For example, one engineer received requirements in Excel with a specification of 3 Volt for the interface. After a long investigation of why the prototype is not working, it then turns out that Excel did not display all decimal digits and the interface should actually had 3.3 Volt – a dramatic time loss for a trivial reason.
Consequently, a digital electronics tool should be easy to use and give the chance to explicitly describe all functional requirements and specifications in an interactive interface. A visual hierarchy can also support engineers to decide on priorities and structure the project in the most efficient way. This can be approached with a block diagram of functional components, in which all specifications are directly implemented. High-level requirements made clear.
Your Solution: The CELUS Engineering Platform
The CELUS Engineering Platform enables you to jump from high-level requirements directly to CAD-design. In the CELUS Supernova interface, you can define your high-level requirements without thinking about specific components or their implementation yet. Rather, the tool offers you to create an abstract first architectural diagram.
In the picture, you can see the Design Canvas. Easily add the blocks via drag and drop and define connection and interface requirements by connecting the blocks accordingly. You can also use the block hierarchy to divide responsibilities on design definitions while maintaining a top-level overview over the whole project. Due to this level of abstraction, you can structure your high-level requirements in a proper format. This can be done either by the person who defines the requirements directly or by the engineer who can skip the process of translating the written requirements into concrete electronic components.
This first architectural diagram can now be used by the CELUS Platform to save even more time. After a few more steps of defining technical specifications and board shape, the Supernova algorithm searches the CELUS Orbit database for the ideal components and Cubos. You are then able to download fully automatically generated PCB-Floorplanning, schematic and Bill of Material. You can then export the results in a native CAD-Format and even edit and optimize them on your preferred CAD-Tool. Currently, CELUS Supernova supports the most common CAD-tools, such as Altium Designer, Autodesk Eagle, or Zuken Cadstar and currently integrating compatibility to all high-end tools from major players.
Boost your efficiency
Structuring your high-level requirements in an abstract and practical way will boost your development process. The CELUS Engineering Platform allows the full integration from requirements until the final adjustments in a CAD tool. Never worry about the integration of high-level requirements again. Be on top of things and work on the market lead in your area more effectively than ever before.