I have to admit, I’ve been curious about this for quite some time. Most of the marketing-speak in the industry talks about how common engineers could use simulation to drive design decisions. I’ve always harbored a few doubts, but it turns out I’m a bit more callous than reasonable. This finding, coming from our Hardware Design Engineer study, shows that engineers who are responsible for making design decisions are in fact using simulation. In fact, some 30% or so are doing so very frequently and consistently. However, another 6 in 10 are using it inconsistently and infrequently.

So what is the takeaway here? I still believe that there are some serious skill and knowledge barriers to casual use of simulation and analysis. I think that is manifesting itself in this finding. But, to be clear, this finding doesn’t definitively prove that. We know that engineers making design decisions are using simulation at some rate. But we don’t know that they are using simulation to make design decisions. That is a very nuanced but very important point. This is one of the issues I want to take on in our new Simulation and Analysis Study.