Worst case circuit analysis (WCCA) is a cost effective means of screening a design to ensure with a high degree of confidence that potential defects and deficiencies are identified and eliminated PRIOR TO and DURING test, production and delivery.
Worst case circuit analysis is not an after-the-fact exercise but a cost-effective integral part of the design process. In fact, when engineers perform a worse case circuit analysis correctly, it can result in the savings of millions of dollars for companies as well avert potential disasters both monetary and political.
More specifically, a WCCA is a quantitative assessment of a circuit or systems functional performance, accounting for manufacturing, environmental, aging and, in the case of Space applications, radiation tolerances.
The value of an effective WCCA cannot be minimized. Through a worst case analysis many aspects of a design’s performance are computed and the risks and margins of key metrics calculated. It examines the tolerance induced effects on electronic circuits caused by potentially large and unknown magnitudes of variations of electronic piece-parts beyond their initial nominal value.
The variations can be the result of manufacturing, aging or environmental influences, which can cause circuit outputs to drift out of specification. Worse case circuit analysis also determines the mathematical sensitivity of circuit performance to these variations and provides both statistical and non-statistical methods for handling the variables that affect circuit performance.
Results such as these can be invaluable in helping to improve product quality.
If a WCCA is not done, engineers should ask themselves:
- How much risk can the program accept?
- What is the cost of failure?
- What is the heritage of the circuitry?
- Are you using new technology?
Bottom line: The typical cost of performing a rigorous WCCA is generally less than 1% of the program cost. The cost of not doing the WCCA can cost 100% of the program cost or more.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Worst-Case Circuit Analysis Training for Engineers, a 3-day course that provides a review of worst-case circuit analysis, process and best practices.
Participants will learn about worst-case circuit analysis as a cost-effective means of screening a design to ensure with a high degree of confidence that potential defects and deficiencies are identified and eliminated prior to and during test, production and delivery.
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.