What Is Electronic Design Automation? Everything Explained 

What Is Electronic Design Automation

Electronic Design Automation, also known as the EDA, comprises the software, hardware, and services combined to define, plan, design, implement, verify, and eventually manufacture electrical devices, including semi-conductor devices and electrical chips. The complex EDA is owned and operated by semi-conductor companies and can also be operated as an independent manufacturing facility. EDAs can be described as business models that facilitate the transfer of concepts into reality, especially in the electrical manufacturing world.

How Does EDA Works?

Electronic Design Automation, according to Integra Sources, can be described as electronic software that matches electronic designs with business. It functions in three primary ways to facilitate the design and manufacture of electrical chips and other products;

  • Simulation
  • Design
  • Verification

The EDA contains simulation tools that describe a proposed circuit and then predict its behavior before it is eventually implemented.

The Design tools will describe a proposed circuit function before assembling the collection of the circuit’s elements that will implement the function. The procedure followed by the design tools comprises both logical and physical processes.

The logical process used by the design tools involves the assembling and connecting of the circuit’s elements. The physical process involves creating the inter-connected geometric shapes that will eventually implement the circuit production during the manufacturing process. All the tools used in the design of EDA are delivered as a combination of fully-automated and guided capabilities.

The verification tools of the EDA will examine either the logical or the physical representation of the chip to determine if the final or resultant design is connected correctly and will eventually deliver the required performance.

EDA products are generally delivered as software, and in some cases, the technicians may deploy physical hardware for enhanced capabilities. Hardware components are used in cases where enhanced performances are required. For instance, large hardware is used when many data must be processed during simulation and verification exercises.

A dedicated hardware model of a circuit will perform faster than software that is executing the same model. Hardware provides an increase in speed, ensuring the entire process is completed within shorter periods. There are two primary delivery vehicles of EDA, these are. Rapid prototyping and emulation.

What Are The Types Of EDA Tools?

There are three types of EDA tools: Simulation tools, Design tools, and Verification tools.

1. The Simulation tools

Simulation tools are those tools that will take the instructions and descriptions of the proposed circuit before predicting the behavior that will lead to its implementation.

This description is often presented in a standard hardware description language like the Verilog or VHDL. Simulation tools work by mimicking the behavior of circuit elements at various details and then performing various operations with the purpose of predicting the resultant or final behavior of the circuit.

The level of detail required by the simulation tools will depend on the circuit type being designed and its intended use. If a large amount of input data must be used, hardware procedures like emulation and rapid prototyping can be used. Sometimes a processor’s operating system must be run against real-world scenarios to complete the simulation process.

2. The Design Tools

The work of the design tools is to take the description of a proposed circuit and then assemble the circuit element collection before implementing the function. The assembling process can be a logical one where the correct circuit elements are chosen and interconnected to implement the desired functions of the EDA project.

The process of using design tools can be logic synthesis, and it may also be a physical process where the geometric shapes that are implementing the circuit within the silicon are assembled, positioned, and routed together. In broader terms, the use of design tools can be said to be the “Placing and Routing” process. This process can also take a form of an interactive procedure guided by a designer in what is now referred to as a custom layout.

3. Verification Tools

Verification tools will examine the logical and physical representation of the electrical chip to ascertain if the resultant design has been connected correctly and will also deliver the required performance.

There are many procedures where verification tools can be used; the physical verification of simulated and designed projects is one of such. This physical examination will determine whether the interconnected geometries will obey manufacturing standards with their placements. These physical requirements have become very complex and, in some cases, may contain thousands of rules.

Verification in EDA may also take the form of comparing all implemented circuits to the initial description to ensure they reflect the required function. Comparing the layout with Schematic or LVS is an example of the use of verification procedures in EDA.

There is also the functional verification of an electronic chip, and this involves the use of simulation technology to compare the actual behavior to the expected behavior. This approach is limited by the completeness of the input stimulus that has been provided.

One other approach deployed through verification tools is to verify the behavior of the circuit algorithmically without the need for input stimulus. This approach is termed “equivalence checking,” and it is a part of the formal verification procedure.


Electronic design automation is no doubt a desirable program for designing electronic chips and many other products. These tools play critical roles in diverse ways. First, EDA tools are used to design and validate the semi-conductor manufacturing process to ensure that the right density and performance are delivered. TCAD or technology computer-aided design is used in the EDA process for the design and validation process.

Secondly, EDA tools verify that a design will meet the requirements of a manufacturing process. Any deficiency in this area may cause the chip to malfunction or function at reduced capacities. Thirdly, after a chip is manufactured, some EDA tools will monitor its performance from the post-manufacturing launch to the eventual deployment of the device in the field. One of the purposes of EDA is to ensure that the manufactured device continues to perform as expected long after its deployment.