Though once a novelty, electronic devices are now ubiquitous and a necessary part of every day life. Demand for everything from cell phones to printers, insulin infusion pumps to hand-held GPS units, is on the rise. And complicating the market is the growing demand in more recently developed countries for the digital life style. Increased consumer spending power in countries like China, India, and Brazil is driving development, innovation, and customization in many electronic systems markets. Manufacturers have almost insurmountable challenges in meeting market demand and competition for new technology.

The perfect storm of consumer demand converging with design constraints is on the horizon. More demand for electronic devices means more demand for semiconductors. Time-to-market for high-demand products must be slashed. Design lead times have met the same fate. Design teams are squeezed between a rapidly changing market and the inherent limitations of their design processes. They are reaching the limits of current technology with no clear alternative.