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Why Should Electronics Designers Embrace the Benefits of Circuit Design Simulation?

Circuit design simulation enables better planning and troubleshooting, shortening design time frames.

Emily Newton

August 3, 2023

4 Min Read
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matejmo/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Circuit design is generally a time-consuming process that requires input from multiple parties. However, running a circuit design simulation can significantly streamline the process, making collaboration easier and faster.

Get Products on the Market Faster

Design teams are under continuous pressure to create products more efficiently, meaning they will be available to buy sooner. Complications can result because many newer designs are smaller and more advanced than their predecessors. Circuit simulations provide a controlled environment where people can see the likely effects of design decisions before implementing them.

That information is especially beneficial when designing circuits that push the boundaries of what people thought possible. A design simulator shows what to rule out and which efforts will likely have good results. Eliminating much of the trial-and-error process can reduce the time before products are ready for release.

In one case, a design team had to create an amplifier containing a microwave-integrated circuit. This product was different from what already existed in the marketplace, making the process more challenging. However, the group used a digital twin to assess the effects of electromagnetic impacts on the proposed circuit. This approach enabled a 30% reduction in the design process time frame, making the product reach the market faster.

Collaborate Regardless of Geographical Boundaries

Succeeding with designs in progress often requires getting feedback from multiple parties in different locations. That might mean checking with a client to verify their expectations or asking for advice from a designer in another state and time zone. Circuit simulations are typically accessible to all authorized parties, no matter where they are.

Many vendors offer cloud-based and highly secure solutions. For example, people can find products with built-in encryption, robust access controls, and more. A tool that allows multiple simultaneous logins also saves time because several people can watch the simulations and provide immediate feedback. That benefit can save hours normally associated with back-and-forth communications.

Some designers use cloud-based project management tools along with circuit simulations. Then, all applicable parties can see who approved specific changes after viewing the simulation results. That data feed increases accountability and can make troubleshooting easier if problems appear.

Identify and Solve Issues Earlier

People can keep costs down when they become aware of potential problems as efficiently as possible. One of the main reasons to use circuit design simulations is to check whether specific designs will work as intended before they get prototyped. Careful planning while creating an electrical system facilitates dependability and better cost-effectiveness.

However, even the best-laid plans can result in unintended consequences. That is particularly true as process changes happen. For example, people have begun using 3D printing to make circuits and circuit boards. That approach is often faster than traditional prototyping but still requires adequate forethought.

Simulation tools do not replace the planning stage, but they can make people aware of possible problems so they have enough time to address them, and save time and money. One product on the market lets designers use algorithms to guide their decisions while juggling competing specifications. It also has a built-in interactive editing tool to help people tweak their designs without slowing down their processes.

Learn the Reasons for Problems in Context

It is usually insufficient for designers only to use such simulations to identify unexpected issues. That is a starting point, but it would be even better if circuit simulations went further by diagnosing what caused the problem. Some next-generation products can do that.

One option tells designers the reason behind problems and how to fix them. It also has predictive analytics and triage components. These offerings give designers more information to aid their efforts and reduce mistakes.

These tools help them do their jobs better and more efficiently, resulting in more satisfaction for everyone involved. Relatedly, once designers know what caused a particular problem, they can use that information to steer clear of similar issues in future designs. That benefit allows continuous improvement, bringing progressively more advanced, high-performing techniques.

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How Will You Use Circuit Design Simulation?

These are some of the many benefits of using simulation tools when designing circuits. If you are considering trying any of these tools, many options are available and some are free. That low barrier to entry makes it accessible to see how simulation tools could enhance your workflow.

After choosing at least one tool, set aside enough time to learn how to use it confidently. Doing so will help you feel excited about using it for the first real-world project. Even after reaching that point, recognize that you will gradually learn more ways to use the tool the longer you spend with it.

Stay focused on how much time you save, and how simulations allow you to spot and fix problems sooner. Remaining aware of the positives will help you stay upbeat while navigating the learning curve that accompanies most efforts to utilize new tools.

About the Author(s)

Emily Newton

Editor-in-Chief, Revolutionized

Emily Newton is an industrial journalist with more than five years’ experience writing articles for the engineering and manufacturing sectors. As editor-in-chief of Revolutionized, she also discusses how tech innovations are changing many industries around the world.

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