Arena Blog

Choosing the Right EDA Tool for Your Design

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Whether in medical device, consumer goods or any industry in between, companies that design electronic products need to be confident in the electronic design automation (EDA) tool used in their designs. Without the right EDA software, even the best electronic design won’t make it far from the sketchpad.

To help electronic design companies weed through the variety of EDA tools on the market, we recommend our partner EDA Direct—a firm that specializes in the sale and support of EDA products. EDA Direct is also a leading reseller for companies such as Cliosoft, Concept Engineering, Downstream Technologies, Mentor Graphics, MunEDA, DfR Solutions and Arena.

Below is an interview with Sanjay Patel, owner of EDA Direct, who walked me through the ABCs of EDA software.

Interview with Sanjay Patel, owner of EDA Direct

What should a company look for when selecting an EDA tool?

The right EDA tool selection is highly dependent on the type of chip an engineer is looking to design, so there is no black and white formula for choosing the right tool. It can also be tough to understand the difference between EDA software upfront. 

For this reason, we stress the importance of education before purchasing an EDA tool. We host a number of complementary product videos, monthly webinars and training courses on the variety of EDA software offerings, and we work with clients to help them choose the EDA tool that will complement their exact design needs.

What is the difference between the multiple EDA vendors you work with?

Each vendor we support provides a unique EDA solution, and we’ve carefully chosen and vetted our EDA vendor pool over the last five years to reflect the diversity of EDA software tools out there. By supporting such a variety of tools, we have the right tool for just about any company involved in electrical design.

What are the benefits of buying EDA from a reseller like EDA Direct?

It’s easy to feel lost when evaluating the array of EDA options, so resellers help a company sift through the noise. EDA Direct works with a handful of vendors who offer a spectrum of EDA solutions—which helps us provide objective guidance to a company in need of the right tool for a project. 

Our goal is to help shoppers feel confident they are receiving sound advice and choosing between genuinely good products.

As part of our commitment to providing objective advice, EDA Direct offers a 30-day free evaluation of any EDA tool, so that a company can get familiar with the software before purchasing.

How does EDA and PLM software fit together in the design process?

In general, design research and development happens in an EDA tool, while product lifecycle management (PLM) becomes important when a company starts thinking about manufacturing. That’s why our partnership with Arena works well for our customers—we help companies choose the right EDA tool to use when designing, and then help them implement PLM when ready.   

I recommend that a company start shopping for PLM when it needs a way to centralize product data and collaborate with multiple engineers. Every customer of mine, whether small or mid-sized, realizes in time that Excel is a temporary data management tool and starts to need a more effective tool to manage its product data. Excel simply doesn’t cut it after a certain point of growth.   

For more information on how EDA Direct can help you select the right EDA tool for your design, check out the EDA Direct website.