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I often recall a colleague rather wistfully describing his early days in the industry when everyone was on one floor and people could walk over to colleagues' desks to discuss work, the weekend, or the latest movie. Those days are long gone. Now, geographically distributed teams are the norm – at least in the field of electronics – and this makes collaboration that much more of a challenge. The reasons are many.
Cost is one of course. Designers, manufacturers, and suppliers are often located worlds away from each other. But another reason is the merging of functions into systems-on-a-chip (SoCs). With this, the lines between digital logic, analog circuits, software, and PCB design are becoming ever more blurred. Consequently, different design teams—hardware-software, digital-analog, and silicon-package-boards—need to work ever more closely than before. That's a big team!
If you thought planning a vacation with your family is difficult, multiply the decisions and collaboration that must be done within a large team - thousands of files, multiple versions, people from all over the world, different time zones.
Keeping track of who did what, when, and where is a gargantuan task. Back in the day, when teams were on one floor or in one building, you could have gotten away with one person tracking it all. Today, you need a software solution. So, OK, you think you can manage with version control software and custom scripts. Before you know it, the custom scripts have multiplied, the person who created some of them has quit, they need to be constantly updated, and you need a solution to store all the scripts. This is turning out to be a software project itself!
With Allegro EDM Team Design, multiple design engineers or PCB designers can collaborate in the development of a logical design or PCB. You define a shared area (a central location) for version control, such as a file system, SharePoint server, or a PLM system.
Schematic designs can be user-partitioned at the hierarchical block level, and assigned to specific members of a team, providing them with an isolated workspace for the development and verification of their partitions, blocks, or subdesigns. Assign a manager/integrator who can decide who should work on which page or block of a schematic design.
Because Allegro Design Management manages schematic and board files separately, it offers the ability to manage multiblock hierarchical, and flat designs, with multiple users concurrently modifying portions of the logical and physical design including secure shared areas for local and globally dispersed design teams.
Using the Team Design dashboard, view the state of various sub-designs and the current versions of the 'master' project versus a local working project, and manage sub-designs using a set of functions. This reduces configuration management since many people can work concurrently on the same project using a common dashboard.
Furthermore, by isolating changes to the master design through a work-in-progress area for each user and by versioning design objects during check-ins and check-outs, tracking changes becomes far easier.Sure, team work is hard, and you can't fully avoid stepping on someone's toes, but Allegro EDM provides very effective features that enable seamless collaboration. To know more about team design, go through the following Cadence Rapid Adoption Kit (RAK): Allegro Data Manager – Team Design 17.2.
Cadence RAKs are easily available by going to support.cadence.com and selecting Resources — Rapid Adoption Kits.