Can analog designers be as creative today as they were five, ten, twenty, or fifty years ago? Are they able to solve today's problems in a world filled with significantly more complex technological issues? Can analog designers continue to harness and enhance their creativity?
As I think of today's world of electronics and how it changes every day, I wonder if analog designers are able to use the same principles and techniques in design, problem solving, and troubleshooting as they did in the past. Maybe this is nothing new — maybe analog designers have been adapting to changes to technology for years and just adjusting the principles.
Is analog design an ever changing environment? I guess if we use the fundamentals of a design process, understand the technology, and understand the application our analog circuit will be in, then the ever changing world may not matter. I think that, compared to digital design, analog can be much more difficult, since there are many more unknowns and not enough equations to find the perfect answers to the problems.
Is analog getting harder to design? Maybe. Is it still important, still relevant? I personally believe it will never go away. It will become more critical in our industry. I just think you have to stay with the fundamentals and learn, learn, learn the ever changing and new technologies.
I hated story problems back in high school. I always seemed to know the answers, just never knew how to work them out. I think designing analog circuits and systems is similar: I find it is best done when working backwards from a solution.
I feel that analog design will always be needed and a critical part of our world, especially with clock speeds and sample rates increasing. Even some of the simpler designs — LCD back lights, some sensors, and battery-management circuits — rely heavily on analog. I am just pondering whether analog design is getting more difficult. I wonder if analog engineers are becoming a rarer entity. Are they still in high demand or do companies just want digital and software engineers?
Digital design probably takes over the majority of the market so there are probably many more digital designers out there. We have lost a lot of analog designers. But will we ever be able to do without?
Let me know your thoughts. Is analog becoming more difficult, yet more critical, and will we have enough analog designers to keep enhancing our technology? Have those analog designers changed their ways of thinking through a design?