In our previous blog post, we demonstrated how your enterprise can harness Flux and artificial intelligence to bring your project from idea to architecture. Once you’ve landed on an architecture, it’s time for the next major step in your design process: Component and Technology Selection.

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At this point, your team has a block diagram. Still, your project is mostly abstract. The Component and Technology Selection phase is where things start to get tangible. With a detailed block diagram as the phases’ input, it's time to start selecting components and putting a real system together.

With Flux, your team can use AI to expedite everything in this phase, from component selection and design review to cost estimation and sourcing. 

Let’s discuss how AI can take your team’s architectural ideas and help them select components and identify core technologies.

Selecting Core Components

The first step in this phase is to start selecting components, and that’s one place where Copilot really shines. Copilot is guided by your company’s guidelines, including regulatory requirements, pricing, power consumption, operating conditions, and more. With these parameters defined in a Template, Copilot finds the best components that fit your specific project requirements. 

Start by providing Copilot with your architecture as a block diagram and asking:

@copilot, here’s my system block diagram. What major components will be necessary to make it work?

Right off the bat, Copilot can provide clarity, insight, and direction to your project by identifying the major components and subsystems necessary for your project. Maybe your system needs an MCU and numerous sensors. Or maybe a single, highly integrated SoC can meet your needs. Copilot will provide options and specific component possibilities to help you make these decisions.

Copilot will also make sure that you have many options. To get a breadth of options and achieve greater design flexibility, just ask Copilot:

@copilot, please provide me multiple component options for each different block in my diagram

By analyzing vast databases of technical specifications and performance metrics, Copilot can help your team choose the most suitable components based on your unique needs for performance, cost, and supplier reliability.

Cost Estimation and Supply Chain

If supply or cost becomes an issue, Copilot can help your team compare parts and evaluate potential alternatives. Just ask Copilot:

@copilot, could you please provide me with drop-in replacement alternates for U1?

Copilot can evaluate multiple parts and alternatives for the same component, comparing manufacturer availability so that you can guarantee your design will withstand the challenges of a volatile supply chain. 

Copilot also aids the business side of things. With access to Flux’s native cost estimation tools that help project your BOM’s cost, Copilot can provide your team with a comprehensive understanding of the project’s financial aspects from the outset. With Flux’s real-time integration with manufacturer databases, your team can access real-time pricing and availability data to ensure that your components are under budget and easily sourced.

With Copilot’s help, at the end of the component selection phase, you should have yourself a high-level schematic diagram.

High-Level Design Review

Once you have a schematic, it’s time to double-check your work. Flux Copilot can use your requirements to perform an initial review of the first schematic draft, identifying potential design inefficiencies, compatibility issues, and areas for optimization.

Component Validation

One aspect of this is component validation, where Copilot can help ensure that your components are interoperable, based on requirements like voltage range, communication interfaces, and clock speeds. For example, ask Copilot:

Copilot will then read through your parts datasheets, review their schematic interconnections, and provide you feedback on their interoperability.

Architectural Validation

Architectural validation is where Copilot can review the block diagram generated in the previous step and validate that the core components selected match the target use case. For example, you can ask Copilot:

@copilot, here's the block diagram I've created and here is my schematic. Do things match up?

Or, Copilot can help evaluate candidate parts to match the project’s requirements and standards, including your organization-specific standards. For example, if your project is operating under a tight power requirement, you could ask Copilot:

@copilot, does my schematic meet my power requirements?

Copilot will read datasheets and interpret your schematic to estimate the system’s power consumption. It can then offer suggestions to help lower the power consumption, if necessary.

Defining the Path Forward

Once the schematic has been reviewed and ironed out, your engineers and product team must work together to define the project’s path forward. From the engineering side, you’ll want to identify the PCB technology requirements to make such a system work. 

While your team is still early on in the design process, this kind of foresight can help you create accurate and realistic timelines and budgets for your project. At this point, Copilot knows all of your project requirements and has context for all of your core components. With this knowledge, Copilot can help your team get a feel for the project’s necessary investment concerning development time, costs, and revisions. The engineering and product teams can be aligned on the project outlook and understand the steps necessary to bring your product to market. 

For example, based on the design requirements and constraints, Flux Copilot can recommend the most suitable PCB technologies for your project. By taking into consideration factors like layer count, material, and manufacturing capabilities, Copilot can make sure that your team is working towards a manufacturable design from the very beginning. Ask Copilot a question like:

@copilot, given this schematic, roughly what’s the ideal stack up for my PCB design?

Reimagining Enterprise Hardware

With Flux, enterprises can take their architectural ideas and use AI to transform those ideas into actionable items. With Copilot, your enterprise can generate schematics, perform AI design reviews, and even identify PCB technology, budgets, and timelines well in advance of any manufacturing. 

Want to learn more about how Flux’s AI can help revolutionize enterprise hardware design? Contact sales today. 

If this sounds interesting to you and you'd like to request a demo or learn more, please contact sales.

Contact Sales
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Jake Hertz

Jake Hertz is an Electrical Engineer who works with Flux. He has his M.S. and B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and previously worked for MakerBot Industries where he worked developing the electrical systems for next-generation 3D printers. Find him on Flux @jakehertz

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Flux is a better way to build PCBs
Go 10x faster from idea to PCB by reducing busy work, never starting from scratch, and keeping your team in sync. All from the browser.
Screenshot of the Flux app showing a PCB in 3D mode with collaborative cursors, a comment thread pinned on the canvas, and live pricing and availability for a part on the board.
Flux is a better way to build PCBs
Go 10x faster from idea to PCB by reducing busy work, never starting from scratch, and keeping your team in sync. All from the browser.
Screenshot of the Flux app showing a PCB in 3D mode with collaborative cursors, a comment thread pinned on the canvas, and live pricing and availability for a part on the board.
Flux is a better way to build PCBs
Go 10x faster from idea to PCB by reducing busy work, never starting from scratch, and keeping your team in sync. All from the browser.
Screenshot of the Flux app showing a PCB in 3D mode with collaborative cursors, a comment thread pinned on the canvas, and live pricing and availability for a part on the board.
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Join leading Fortune 500s and over 300k hardware engineers revolutionizing the way they build PCBs with AI