Understanding Universal Design Methodology (UDM)
This article describes the Universal Design Methodology for planning and designing hardware. This methodology is based on my years of experience designing ASICs, FPGAs, CPLDs, and PCBs for large and small companies in different industries. While there are some specific differences for different types of hardware design, the basic procedures remain the same. Yet rarely have I found the entire process detailed in a written document or set of procedures. At most companies, the process is divided between departments and sometimes resides in the brains of select individuals. This makes planning and scheduling very difficult and leads to poor communication, and thus wrong expectations, between engineers. UDM lays out the entire process that guarantees that you will be able to schedule the design accurately, allocate resources correctly, and not overlook any steps. Following UDM means that you will maximize your chance of creating a device or system that functions correctly according to your requirements and works reliably over the life of the product.