The primary drivers behind todays high-density electronic systems are time-to-market and cost. The very existence of many commercial products depends on finding quick design solutions that meet increasingly challenging performance and cost requirements. Central to the success of these products are highly developed design methodologies and tools that facilitate first pass success.
The earliest stages of the design process provide the best opportunity to significantly impact a systems characteristics. This notion has lead to the concept of virtual prototyping, which allows system attributes to be defined and tested prior to large investments in design or fabrication. The integration of packaging tradeoff analysis with functional verification and architectural design, results in a complete virtual prototyping solution that can be used to optimize complex electronic systems. This paper discusses the role of packaging tradeoff analysis within the system design methodology.
One key to minimizing the cost of a system without adversely effecting the time-to-market, is combining manufacturing information with application specific design information as early in the design process as possible. Including an analysis of the manufacturing costs associated with the implementation of systems, within the system design methodology avoids leaving money on the table at the end of development, without increasing the design time. Methods of estimating system economics are introduced and several design examples that highlight packaging design tradeoffs involving system cost and manufacturability are presented.
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