Top-Down Design: An Introduction for New Engineers

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  • Author: Gary Breed
About 20 years ago, I heard a young engineer lament, “I don’t want to be stuck in a cubicle for the next five years designing one thing!” At that time, the most common engineering career path was, quite literally, starting at the bottom—the bottom of the flow chart of product development. Things have changed, especially in the past five to ten years. Changes in types of products and company staffing are certainly a big part of the change. In addition, the nature of design has changed as well, with chipsets that replace discrete designs and modules that perform several functions that were previously designed from scratch.