We're all aware, some of us painfully so, of the pervading effects of globalization in the electronics industry. Fueled by the restructuring effects of the economic recession, the highly competitive world market means that the electronic product design you develop is likely to coexist in the market with a low-cost equivalent that could have been designed by anyone, from any part of the globe.
As emerging nations educate and tool up towards engineering-based economies, the number of competitors for a given electronic product is now extremely difficult to anticipate. It is however likely to be large. For those developing products in the traditionally tech-focused countries, a competing device will often appear to come from nowhere, and in some instances, may be disturbingly similar to their own.
But that competing product is not necessarily any better. As new players in the global electronics village develop and ramp up product manufacturing, the key part of the process " innovative design " is arguably still in its infancy. The effect is that a large proportion of those electronic product designs tend to be derivative, for the moment.
This situation can and will change from a global perspective, where a region's mass engineering capabilities alone will not guarantee success. Electronic design knowledge, techniques and systems are relatively easy to acquire, and as competition ramps up, innovative system design will become the crucial differentiator amongst comparable products in the market.
treat programmable hardware design as a high-level system task