The Evolving Digital Journey Of The Electronics Value Chain

Bridging the chasms separating product engineering teams from component supply and electronics manufacturing.


Digitally transforming how the electronics value chain is traversed will unlock the full innovative potential of system design companies all over the world. By augmenting desktop authoring tools with integrated, native cloud applications that seamlessly connect companies with the electronics value chain, design teams will be empowered to confidently deliver on aggressive requirements, schedules, and budgets.

Although design files continue to be stored on network drives and shared via email and FTP, the electronics value chain has evolved considerably over the last 25 years. Shelves filled with data books have been replaced with easily accessible/downloadable PDF files. Product selector guides have been replaced with parametric searches using powerful, vertical search engines hosted by design and supply chain aggregation websites. Desktop EDA tools have become more powerful and automated—including analysis and verification of complex functions such as signal integrity, thermal, and manufacturability. For manufacturing, multiple files for each function and machine have moved to a single product model based on standards that all EDA tools output and all manufacturing machines recognize.

However, even with these advances, chasms remain, separating product engineering teams from their partner stakeholders in component supply and electronics manufacturing. The problem isn’t a shortage of powerful tools or lack of access to copious amounts of useful information; the chasms persist due to five absent or inadequate factors:

  • A trusted and traceable digital twin of an electronic component (think digital data sheet) that is directly consumable by downstream tools and useable throughout the product creation lifecycle.
  • A workspace where complex components can be discovered and explored quickly in a system
  • A collaboration cockpit that securely connects cross-functional design teams with internal and external stakeholders all along the value chain based on the single source of design data.
  • Access to component intelligence and models, accelerating product realization directly from the EDA tools.
  • Cloud-aggregated training models that bring the experience of many design years to the fingertips of engineers.

Fig. 1: Today’s electronics value chain.

Companies have established methodologies and created roles to compensate for these inefficiencies in the value chain. But even with the best intentions, these methodologies—which vary from company to company and more broadly from small to big companies—are merely expedient, temporary measures for persistent, systemic issues. The past couple of years have highlighted the wild variability of the component supply chain, grossly extending lead times for electronics-dependent products. Risk is increased when the void for a component shortage is filled with suspect semiconductor components including counterfeits.

These conditions are aggravated by the increasing complexity of each successive generation of electronic products, by the underlying components used, and by the high expectation placed on processes and organizations to bring a successful, new product to market on time, on budget, and on requirement. Further digital transformation is vital to eliminate the inefficiencies and delays that lead to cost over-runs, while mitigating the risks that impede the innovation necessary to fuel top-line revenues and achieve operational excellence.

Siemens EDA’s Electronic Systems Design and Manufacturing segment fully understands how to bridge the chasms in the electronic product creation value chain. Our solution will hard-wire your company to component manufacturers and suppliers as well as design and manufacturing services via a high-bandwidth digital thread, enabling access to an open and flexible ecosystem for electronic systems design.

Fig. 2: Digitally transformed electronics value chain.

With Siemens EDA as your partner, your company can optimize not only your systems design process but also every link to the stakeholders in the value chain to achieve higher levels of digitalization and profitability. To learn more about how you can begin engineering a smarter future faster, check out the full paper Digitalizing the Systems Value Chain: How Siemens Will Help You Engineer a Smarter Future Faster.

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