Dassault Systemes/ ENOVIA/ MatrixOne/ Synchronicity PLM for EDA

Editor: After this interview I happened to be talking with an EDA executive who had been at part of the Windchill operation at Parametric Technology, PTC. When asked why PLM had not been a big success in EDA he opined that Synchronicity was the one company that was catering to PLM for chip design. PLM is really a software problem by and large. With boards it is more a bill of material management issue. In the case of mechanical it is a different beast. What I have seen is that vendors of mechanical products have knowledge about the way in which the assembly comes together for mechanical devices. In order to be able to create value for a PLM environment you need to be able to manage a piece of that assembly and have it work in the context to rest of the assembly. People are using PLM to manage their product development process and changes on the development process. First and foremost mechanical design companies generally do not have experience in electronics. When they try to use PLM to manage electronic data, typically what they do is tar balls. They are effectively using PLM system as a glorified source and revision control system. For the value you get, I have released version 1 of the product and here is the mechanical piece and here is the electronic piece. You have a bill of material of the electronics. The design data is typically balled up in a compressed file. It would be one entity inside the PLM data. It would not give you generally the ability to do anything with it. Some of these systems will also display a bill of material but you do not have the ability to change the bom and have it reflected in the design. You do not have the context between the actual bom and the design scope itself. They are not integrated. In order to do that they have to have an engine that would interpret a schematic or an HDL hierarchy. By and large they are glorified revision control systems. People nowadays doing very sophisticated electronics have their own systems for managing their process. They are not going to go to a PLM system unless there is something catered and built specifically for them.

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