EDA-Electronic Design Automation
Electronic design automation (EDA), also referred to as electronic computer-aided design (ECAD), is a category of software tools for designing electronic systems such as integrated circuits and printed circuit boards. The tools work together in a design flow that chip designers use to design and analyze entire semiconductor chips. Since a modern semiconductor chip can have billions of components, EDA tools are essential for their design.
This article describes EDA specifically with respect to integrated circuits (ICs).
Current digital flows are extremely modular (see Integrated circuit design, Design closure, and Design flow). The front ends produce standardized design descriptions that compile into invocations of "cells,", without regard to the cell technology. Cells implement logic or other electronic functions using a particular integrated circuit technology. Fabricators generally provide libraries of components for their production processes, with simulation models that fit standard simulation tools. Analog EDA tools are far less modular, since many more functions are required, they interact more strongly, and the components are (in general) less ideal.
EDA for electronics has rapidly increased in importance with the continuous scaling of semiconductor technology. Some users are foundry operators, who operate the semiconductor fabrication facilities, or "fabs", and design-service companies who use EDA software to evaluate an incoming design for manufacturing readiness. EDA tools are also used for programming design functionality into FPGAs.
F.A.Q about EDA-Electronic Design Automation
What does Electronic Design Automation (EDA) mean?
Electronic design automation (EDA) is a term for a category of software products and processes that help to design electronic systems with the aid of computers. These tools are often used to design circuit boards, processors and other types of complex electronics.
Electronic design automation is also known as electronic computer-aided design.
Electronic design automation tools have largely replaced manual methods for circuit board and semiconductor design techniques. In the past, technicians used tools like a photoplotter to render drawings of circuit boards and electronic components.
Many engineers and others would say that electronic design automation has really improved the construction of electronic components, mainly through universal design techniques that eliminate different kinds of bugs or defects in chips, circuit boards, etc. However, there are still trade-offs – and some experts point to situations where a circuit board might work despite not being transparent to modeling in an electronic design automation system. In general, these tools have standardized and streamlined the creation of circuit boards and chips through automation processes.