Electronic Products & Technology

Exploring the impact of AI in electronic design

By Brian Sathianathan, co-founder & chief technology/digital officer, Iterate.ai   

Automation / Robotics Electronics Engineering AI artificial intelligence engineering Iterate.ai

AI’s capability to automate intricate tasks, sift through extensive datasets for insights, and foster innovation in design is revolutionizing the way engineers and designers will approach their work. From refining the architecture of printed circuit boards to advancing predictive maintenance in manufacturing, AI’s role is extensive and impactful. As we examine the potential of AI, it becomes evident that it is set to redefine the electronics industry, offering unprecedented opportunities for growth and innovation.

One of the most significant benefits of AI in electronic design is its ability to automate repetitive tasks. Using machine learning algorithms, AI can quickly analyze vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and make predictions, freeing up engineers and designers to focus on more creative and high-level work. For instance, AI can aid in the design of printed circuit boards (PCBs), automating the routing process and optimizing component placement for maximum efficiency.

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AI is also being used to improve the manufacturing process. By analyzing data from sensors and machines, AI can identify potential issues before they become problems, reducing downtime and increasing productivity. For example, AI-powered predictive maintenance can detect anomalies in machine performance, allowing engineers to address issues before they cause equipment failures or production delays.

Industry goes beyond just design

Another area where AI is making a significant impact is in the design of electronic devices themselves. AI-powered tools can help engineers and designers create more sophisticated and innovative designs, such as AI-generated PCB designs that can reduce production costs and improve performance. AI can also help optimize power consumption, thermal management, and other critical factors in electronic device design.


But AI’s impact on the industry goes beyond just design and manufacturing. AI-powered tools are also being used to enhance the user experience of electronic devices. For example, AI-powered voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant have become increasingly popular, allowing users to control their devices with voice commands. AI is also being used to improve the visual interface of devices, such as AI-powered display adjustments that can automatically adjust brightness and color based on ambient lighting conditions.

Adoption of AI in the industry

The potential benefits of AI in the field of electronics and design are staggering. According to a report by ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global AI in electronics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.4% from 2020 to 2027, reaching a total market size of $10.4 billion by 2027.

However, the adoption of AI in the industry also raises some challenges. One of the biggest concerns is the potential loss of jobs for human engineers and designers. However, while AI may automate some tasks, it’s unlikely to replace the need for human expertise entirely. Instead, AI is likely to augment human capabilities, enabling engineers and designers to focus on more complex and creative work.

Another challenge is the need for high-quality training data. AI algorithms require vast amounts of data to learn and make accurate predictions, and the quality of this data is crucial. The industry must invest in collecting and labeling high-quality data to ensure that AI-powered tools can make accurate predictions and decisions.

Industry impact

As the industry continues to evolve, it’s crucial to invest in high-quality training data and address concerns about job displacement. By leveraging AI’s potential, the industry can create more sophisticated and innovative designs, improve manufacturing processes, and enhance user experiences. The symbiotic relationship between AI and human expertise will shape a more innovative and efficient landscape, and the future of electronics and design will look brighter than ever.

AI’s ability to process and analyze data at scale allows for the exploration of design configurations previously deemed unattainable. Notably, AI’s role in generative design illustrates this point vividly. By optimizing for multiple objectives, AI-driven tools can yield design solutions that balance conflicting requirements, such as minimizing weight while maximizing structural integrity. Research published in the “Journal of Machine Learning in Engineering” highlights cases where AI-generated designs outperformed traditional solutions by 10-15% in efficiency metrics, underscoring the potential for innovative breakthroughs.

In the domain of materials science, AI’s predictive capabilities are ushering in a new era of electronic component development. AI algorithms, through their analysis of vast datasets, can forecast the properties of novel materials, potentially revolutionizing the industry with materials that offer superior performance and sustainability. A study in “Advanced Materials Technologies” showcases how AI identified a new composite material that improved battery life in electronics by 20%, a testament to AI’s transformative potential in material innovation.

Showcasing AI efficiencies

Quality assurance and product testing also benefit markedly from AI integration. Traditional testing methodologies often fall short in their coverage of potential failure modes, whereas AI, by learning from historical data, can predict future failures with heightened accuracy. This predictive approach not only enhances product reliability but also significantly reduces time to market. Data from a report by the “International Journal of Electronic Quality Management” indicates that AI-driven testing strategies can reduce testing cycles by up to 30%, showcasing AI’s efficiency in ensuring product quality.

Discourse surrounding AI in electronics also necessitates a discussion on ethical considerations and the imperative for responsible AI usage. The adoption of AI solutions must be guided by principles of transparency, fairness, and accountability to prevent biases and ensure trustworthiness in AI-powered decisions. The IEEE’s guidelines on Ethically Aligned Design offer a framework for addressing these concerns, emphasizing the importance of ethical standards in the development and deployment of AI technologies.

The shift towards AI-enhanced electronic design demands a recalibration of skills and knowledge within the workforce. As AI technologies evolve, so too must the competencies of engineers and designers. The necessity for continuous education and skill development in this area is critical. A report by the World Economic Forum predicts that 85% of jobs in 2030 have not yet been invented, highlighting the urgent need for adaptive learning and training programs focused on AI and its applications in electronics.

The integration of AI into electronic design and manufacturing presents a multifaceted opportunity for innovation, efficiency, and quality enhancement. Supported by empirical data, these points underscore the profound impact AI is poised to have on the electronics industry. As we navigate this technological evolution, addressing ethical considerations and investing in workforce development will be pivotal in realizing the full potential of AI in shaping the future of electronics and design.

Where do we go from here?

The changes brought about by AI span across automation, data analysis, design innovation, and even the fundamental approach to problem-solving within the sector. Engineers and designers are now equipped with tools that not only enhance efficiency but also open new avenues for creativity and innovation. Automation can relieve engineers from the tedium of repetitive tasks and advanced data analysis capabilities have led to more informed decision-making, drawing on insights that were previously inaccessible due to the sheer volume of data.

Brian Sathianathan, co-founder & chief technology/digital officer, Iterate.ai

AI-driven design tools have introduced a level of optimization in product development that was once beyond reach, resulting in products that are not only more efficient but also more aligned with goals. The predictive maintenance capabilities of AI have shifted manufacturing processes, reducing downtime and increasing productivity. However, these advancements also come with their set of challenges, including the need for continuous learning and adaptation among professionals to keep pace with rapidly evolving technologies.

As the sector continues to navigate these changes, the focus must remain on leveraging AI’s potential responsibly and ethically, ensuring that the benefits of these advancements are realized broadly across society.


Iterate.ai is a Silicon Valley-based software firm that develops artificial intelligence-powered low-code software designed to accelerate innovation projects within large enterprises.




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