5 Ways AI Will Revolutionize Hardware Design in 2024

From speeding up the brainstorming process to catching design flaws before mistakes are made, here are five ways AI will impact hardware design in 2024.

Written by Matthias Wagner
Published on Mar. 12, 2024
5 Ways AI Will Revolutionize Hardware Design in 2024
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Every hardware team’s mission dream is to build category-defining products and ship them on time and under budget. But a confluence of the inherently slow design and iteration times for hardware, along with inefficient processes and a lack of team resources, often threaten this dream.

5 Ways AI Will Impact Hardware Design

  1. More effective brainstorming.
  2. Catch design errors early on.
  3. Faster iteration times.
  4. Automate part selection.
  5. Speed up the learning process.

When applied correctly, AI has the promise to change this narrative. Unfortunately, in most corners of the hardware market, AI is still very much in its infancy. While other industries are adopting AI at lightning speed, the hardware world seems to be dragging behind. Only recently have hardware teams begun expressing serious interest in the potential of AI.

Here’s what the future of AI looks like in hardware.


How AI Will Impact Hardware Design


1. More Effective Brainstorming

Brainstorming is where all great designs start. But, to be effective, the brainstorming process requires a team of engineers with a collective breadth of experience, expertise in a variety of different areas, and hours or days blocked off on everyone’s schedules. 

AI design assistants have the potential to provide a unique and expansive set of ideas that can shed light on the best way to solve your team’s problems. For example, they can enter a prompt describing the project and ask AI to supply it with ideas or brainstorming questions. 

This way, the team can evaluate more options and focus on optimizing them to find a solution that works. 

Ultimately, AI has the potential to add a new set of eyes to the initial brainstorming sessions. That allows hardware teams to go from idea to prototype quicker than ever before, bringing you that much closer to shipping your product.

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2. Catch Design Errors Early On

AI can help reduce design errors by suggesting corrections and improvements as your project is being developed, just as another design engineer would. Similar to a senior engineer, AI can review your design, validate calculations or find components’ limits. That way, your team can catch errors before the design gets to production, saving you wasted time and money.

For example, our AI tool allows you to provide your AI design assistant with Presets, where you can declare project requirements like operating temperature, voltage or compliance standards. This allows the tool to track the design process and alert your team in the event that mistakes are made. 


3. Faster Iteration Times

One of the most painstaking aspects of hardware design is that iteration has historically been a slow and arduous process. 

Each iteration often requires building a new prototype from scratch. Engineers need to meticulously test each prototype for flaws and areas of improvement. Any modifications, no matter how minor, can necessitate a return to the drawing board, leading to further delays. Before you know it, months have passed by and your target deadline is looking less and less feasible. 

Using AI in PCB design, teams will be able to quickly generate new design ideas, explore different design process options and iterate designs faster. AI can connect complex parts, identify design options, and provide a bill of materials for your project. 

In the future, AI will simulate various scenarios and configurations, offering insights into the most efficient layouts, optimal component placements, and effective signal routing strategies. This capability will speed up the design process and enhance the quality and performance of your final product.

4. Automate Part Selection

One of the most tedious and time-consuming stages of the design process is choosing your parts. It requires understanding the project requirements, reading hundred-page datasheets, and comparing hundreds of comparable options on the market. 

AI completely changes this process. These systems are optimized to sift through vast data sets to make crucial decisions. In the context of PCB design, this means that they can search through huge databases of parts and find the specific components that best fit your team’s needs. PCB designers just need to provide their AI with a set of design criteria, including power consumption, area, and cost, and let their AI do the menial work.

Whether you’re looking for components for Rev-1 or finding alternatives for production, AI has the potential to save your team hours and let them focus on more important tasks.

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5. Speed Up the Learning Process

When your team is designing cutting-edge tech, one of the hardest parts is learning new technology. Not every team has the luxury of a seasoned expert leading the charge.

AI will operate like a design expert at your disposal. Whenever your team doesn’t understand a concept or just simply needs some guidance, AI can research it and provide insights. All hardware engineers will need to do is ask it a question and receive clear and detailed answers.

It’s a new way to learn, helping your team get over the initial hump faster and get to shipping products in less time.

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