Hardware Architecture System Design and Validation

CR-8000 System Planner

System Planner is the industry’s only hardware architecture design and validation tool that is fully integrated with detailed PCB and wire harness design. As products become more complex, optimizing the architecture choices are more critical than ever.

System Planner provides optimization and validation of your design across four domains: functional, PCB, mechanical and parametric requirements. Easily determine if this is a 2 or 3 PCB design. Will the design fit in the mechanical enclosure? Have you hit the cost and weight requirements? Answer these questions before you enter detailed design where architecture changes could delay or possibly cancel a project.

How It Works

System Planner is a multi-discipline design and validation tool built to operate across multiple workstations simultaneously to maximize team collaboration.  The systems engineer can be performing functional design while the PCB designer is doing multi-board partitioning and planning.

Domain experts can work independently but collaboratively.  Design data is synchronized across the four discipline with a push and accept mechanism.  As the functional design is developed the changes are seen in the PCB planning and parametric visionary.

Functional blocks can be pulled directly from your corporate library along with the component metadata providing product level BOMs and costing information.

Once the functional and PCB planning is complete, seamlessly move to the detailed design phase with no data re-entry.

Functional Design

System Planning fully supports modular design. The functional design can begin with your previous generation schematic. Simply draw a functional block and attached the schematic. Icons on each block will indicate the block’s content. Additional blocks can be added directly from your corporate library which are typically used for modular design or design reuse.

Functional blocks can also contain a parts list if the detailed design is not complete. The parts list can contain a few required parts along with prices, weight, power consumption, etc. Or a functional block can be a place holder with the intent to have the contents defined during detailed design.

Multi-board Planning

Many products or systems today are comprised of multiple PCBs. For an optimal architecture those boards need to be designed as a single system and not independent boards. The Physical Visionary enables multi-board partitioning, planning and validation.

Begin with your initial assumptions – 3 boards and 3 board outlines. Simply drag the functional blocks from the functional design onto the desired board.  You can move functional blocks from board to board anytime.  System Planner will tell you have much surface space is being utilized for a routability assessment. After some analysis, you determine that the design can fit on 2 boards which lowers cost dramatically.

3D Mechanical Validation

The 2 board system is now ready for a mechanical fit check. The mechanical enclosure can be imported from any number of popular MCAD tools including Siemens NX, PTC Creo, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, etc.  And you always have the option of directly loading a STEP file.

The boards from the Physical Visionary are dragged into the Geometric Visionary where they can be placed within the enclosure. The fit can be inspected along with some clearance and conflict. The PCB shape can be modified at this time to meet a clearance requirement.  That board shape change automatically propagates back to the PCB planning tool.

Parametric Validation

The Parametric Visionary maintains an up to date report as the design evolves. As the systems engineer adds design modules, the BOM, cost, weight and any other listed parameter is automatically updated accordingly.

Requirement targets for cost or weight can also be set. As the design is evolving, the design team can see actual cost and weight compared to design requirements.

Transition to Detailed Design

A powerful capability of System Planner is to move the functional and multi-board PCB design directly into Design Gateway (schematic design) and Design Force (PCB design) respectively.  Unlike other PCB design systems, Design Gateway and Design Force support system or multi-board design processes. The multi-board system is maintained and managed throughout the detailed design process.

The product or system that you have optimized and validated in System Planner moves directly into the detailed design process without any data re-entry.


Developing an Integrated Electronics Manufacturing Process

Historically, companies like Lockheed Martin and Fujitsu design the boards and contract with suppliers like Sanmina to build and test them. Inevitably, issues arise during manufacturing that necessitate back and forth communication and design changes. Lacking a proper standard to facilitate bi-directional information flows, suppliers resort to ad-hoc and often inefficient means such as e-mail and phone calls to relay these design changes. It is the subsequent manual transcription and reentry of this data – and the error-prone nature of the task – that wastes time and money for both the OEMs and the PCB manufacturers.


CR-8000 2018 Boosts Process Efficiency in Advanced Single and Multi-board PCB Design

The latest release of Zuken’s system-level PCB design environment, CR-8000, has received numerous enhancements aimed at ensuring performance, quality and manufacturability.


Zuken Pulling Ahead in Automotive PCB Design

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 the constantly evolving segment of the industry.


Design Discipline Convergence Continues with the CR-8000 2017 Release

If you haven’t noticed, the electronic design process is evolving with the rise of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) and the demands of the Internet of Things (IoT). The standard 2D single board PCB design process can’t keep up with the demands of system-level design required by today’s more complex products.


Translating New Product Requirements into Hardware Architecture

Defining initial hardware architecture requires many decisions, most of which impact a variety of different stakeholders and requirements – including multiple design tools – circuit design, PCB layout, mechanical design, spreadsheets, etc. that are used to track different elements of the design. It sometimes seems that by the time you determine the impact of a decision on all the requirements, the design has changed to a point that your decision is irrelevant.


Webinar: Transitioning from Architecture Design to Detailed Design

This webinar is Part 3 of a 3 part series covering the systems engineering process of converting product or system requirements into a viable and robust hardware architecture and then moving that architecture directly into detailed design without any manual re-entry.


Webinar: Creating and Optimizing a Hardware Architecture

This webinar is Part 2 of a 3 part series covering the systems engineering process of converting product or system requirements into a viable and robust hardware architecture and then moving that architecture directly into detailed design without any manual re-entry.


Webinar: Product-based Virtual Prototyping Just Got Easy

This webinar will demonstrate a virtual prototyping solution that validates a set of product requirements against a proposed detailed design.


White Paper: End-to-end Hardware Architecture Design and Validation

This white paper explores the benefits of bringing all these design domains together in a single tool that enables the translation of product requirements into an initial hardware architecture, ready for detailed design.


Hardware Architecture Design Becomes the Next Competitive Requirement

After a lengthy quiet period, the hardware design process is suddenly experiencing numerous changes in the form of design discipline convergence and process extension. The widely used 2D single board PCB detailed design process is being replaced by a 3D multi-board and multi-discipline one. What is happening in detailed design is a great blog topic, but I want to talk about what is happening upstream from the detailed design process – hardware architecture design.


Turning System Requirements into a Viable Hardware Architecture

What does it take to develop a successful new product in today’s highly competitive global electronics marketplace? It all starts with a systems architect tasked with seamlessly moving between the many different disciplines – functional block diagramming, floor planning, space planning, cost estimating, etc.  required to define the hardware architecture. This special guy or gal then must work the magic needed to define a hardware architecture that meets all of the targets – functionality, cost, weight, style, battery life, etc. – required to ensure that success of the product.


System-level Design Planning

Often, the planning of an electronic system is done with disparate tools that were not designed for electronic system planning. This is not only inefficient, requiring many workarounds, but later forces you to re-enter your design planning data into the design authoring tools.

    System product design

    Hardware Architecture Design and Validation

    Hardware Architecture System Design

    Datasheet: System Planner

    System Planner is a system-level design environment for architecture of electronics systems and products.