Electrification – The Need for Optimizing Power, Performance and Cost

The electrification of our world continues at a rapid pace. Having established a strong footprint across the globe via communication technologies, the high tech industry is now forming alliances with automotive companies to make our cars smarter. You need look no further than the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, where the automobile industry stole the show with their demonstrations of autonomous vehicles, which are moving ever closer to market.

Just within the last few weeks, Amazon and Google have announced partnerships with Ford and GM; Tesla has added more autonomous driving capabilities in its cars; and three Mercedes Benz autonomous vehicles are now permitted for public testing in the state of Nevada.

To support all this automation, high tech companies are investing heavily in processing capabilities. Automation platforms, such as NVIDIA’s PX2, are crucial. With 12 inputs for all types of sensors –— from video cameras to ultrasonic sensors — and the processing capacity of 120 MacBook Pro computers, the PX2 platform is just one example of complex systems needed for modern electronic automation.

These exciting innovations hide the complexity that design engineers must overcome to meet strict power, performance and cost specifications. These are not just buzzwords for chip designers — they are the critical success factors for every engineer along the entire value chain linking semiconductors to self-driving cars.

power performanceThe chip designer must ensure that the RTL code has been written to deliver the best IC performance; the PCB designer must address all signal and power integrity issues; the communication system engineer needs to produce a  robust antenna design; and the software engineer needs to guarantee low latency and high reliability. Many of these these parameters must be verified by tests conducted across a range of operating conditions, such as temperatures and voltages. And this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of analyses that engineers perform to deliver affordable and reliable products to us.  (See one of my earlier posts for more discussion of these processes.)

ANSYS simulation tools play an important part in this journey. From semiconductor design to structural integrity and aerodynamic performance, high-fidelity 3-D simulation using ANSYS tools enables engineers to converge on the best solutions faster, gain insight into the trade-offs quicker, and minimize over-design with ease.

Read how Chemering Technology improved antenna efficiency by 67% and won CES 2013 Design and Engineering award.

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Sudhir Sharma

About Sudhir Sharma

Sudhir Sharma is the director of high tech industry strategy and marketing at ANSYS. Prior to joining ANSYS, he served in key managerial and technical roles at MathWorks, Texas Instruments, Cirrus Logic, and Compaq Computer Corp. He has designed more than a dozen ASICs and authored 19 U.S. patents for innovative wireless communication, computer networking, video and image processing, and semiconductor memory designs.