The methodologies of soft computing (fuzzy logic, neural networks, evolutionary computation, etc.), represent a new computational paradigm which may usefully complement the conventional digital computing approaches in the application to real life problems. This paper considers the potential role of soft computing (SC) in electronic product engineering. The problem is first treated on general grounds, using electronic design as example. Then a more specific discussion is presented, concerning the use of SC methodologies (fuzzy logic and neural nets) in a representative problem of testing, the analysis and interpretation of infrared thermal maps.