Zuken Pulling Ahead in Automotive PCB Design

Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine | 05-07-2018

Zuken has been developing PCB design tools for the automotive market for years. With automotive electronics worth over $200 billion globally, and growing every day, Zuken is preparing for a brave new world of smart cars, and autonomous and electric vehicles. I spoke with Humair Mandavia, chief strategy officer with Zuken, and asked him about the challenges facing automotive PCB designers, and the trends he’s seeing in this constantly evolving segment of the industry.

Andy Shaughnessy: Humair, tell us a little bit about Zuken's work with automotive PCB design. I was at Zuken Innovation World a few years ago, and all of these automotive people were there, from Ford to Continental Automotive Systems, and the attendees were from all around the world.

Humair Mandavia: We’re fortunate to be working with most of the major OEMs and the tier one suppliers supporting the automotive industry globally. Zuken has been engaged in this market for over 20 years now, and it's been an area of significant growth year-over-year. As part of that growth, there are three key technology concentrations that have been part of our enablement to support the automotive market. First, we have the CR-8000 solution for PCB and electronic system design; second, there is the E3.series for electrical system design; and lastly, DS-2 for engineering data management. Our technology and partnerships with leading automotive companies have helped us deliver products to the market that allow these companies to collaborate intelligently and securely anywhere in the world between engineering teams or their suppliers. With our core focus expanding from PCB design to the complete electronic and electric system design, working with key partners in the mechanical and CAE space to offer a best-in-class engineering platform and bridging PCB design to new engineering disciplines, automotive companies are placing their trust in Zuken, and that is evident with their growing presence at our annual ZIW event.

To support the design process for automotive, we have been focusing on four key areas for the last 10 years or so:  automotive compliance, traceability and documentation, linking new engineering disciplines, and tighter integration with mechanical. Zuken was the first EDA company to offer ISO 26262 verification for PCB design with CR-8000 to help companies achieve their compliance requirements. Engineers can easily design and manage assembly variants necessary to support their customers or suppliers, with complete traceability of any design element throughout the process. To support model based design, we are linking MBSE (model-based system engineering) solutions to our architectural planning tools to enable a seamless flow from conceptual design and requirements definition to detailed product design. CR-8000 allows easy collaboration for electromechanical design with the ability to bi-directionally exchange and accept complete PCB and mechanical data models, and author your PCB in a native 3D environment with accurate MCAD models.

Shaughnessy: Which segment of automotive do you think is driving the electronics market right now?

Mandavia: In the past, we had infotainment systems and collision detecting sensors driving the increase of electronics in a car. With the collaboration between traditional OEMs and companies in Silicon Valley, the push for autonomous vehicles and having integrated “smart” features for safety, entertainment, and fuel efficiency is driving the growth for electronics in automotive. We’re seeing more sensors, cameras, and wireless applications, along with better integration with other electronics that many drivers already own. I am personally amazed by how some companies are evolving and dominating new markets in the semiconductor market. Take Nvidia, for example. They have not only dominated the big data and AI, but they are leveraging their GPU technology to drive autonomous systems. We see most chip makers focusing many of their new products on automotive in response to expanding demand and implementation of electronics in this area.

To read this entire interview, which appeared in the April 2018 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.