The hardware development process today acts as a driving force for the adoption of digital disruption. Usually, the steps of the hardware design process are complex. With limited experience and knowledge, it takes time to meet the target product requirements and achieve the desired result.
So whether you want to upgrade your existing embedded hardware design or develop a comprehensive hardware solution, this blog will guide you perfectly through the hardware product development process.
It is technically demanding and the market for hardware systems is constantly evolving. So, the right hardware development process model not only reduces your project budget, but also protects you from future downtime and failures.
Stages of the hardware design and development process
A unique product leads to development. Product revolves around finding an opportunity and proving that your proposed idea can work in the market.
In addition, other factors help in the development of the hardware of your product. For example, you should be aware of the following before embarking on a product journey.
- BOM cost analysis and optimization
- Analysis of non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs.
- Comparison and selection of components
- Obsolescence management
- Form factor limitations and miniaturization
- Power management and optimization
- Value analysis and value engineering
Let’s briefly discuss these topics.
1. Cost analysis and optimization of the bill of materials (Bill of Materials)
It is a list of raw materials, sub-assemblies, the amount of sub-components needed to produce the final product and instructions for the acquisition and use of these materials.
Your BOMs can become an indispensable tool for creating an innovative product on the market. Think of your BOM as a digital map for your factory navigation device.
2. Analysis of Nonrecurring Engineering Costs (NRE)
NRE means the nonrecurring cost of research, design, development, or new product design. It is done at the beginning of any product, especially when you are creating a customized product.
3. Benchmarking and Component Selection
Benchmarking is a process used to measure the quality and performance of a product or service.
4. Obsolescence Management
The whole process is about being proactive instead of reactive. Obsolescence management is another task in freezing and procuring components and materials for your hardware product development lifecycle process
Be aware that anything you buy from a retailer ensures that the product will be available for a longer period of time. However, if the product requires replacement, the image guides you through the obsolescence management process. It will save you from future worries about upgrades and repairs.
5. Form factor limitation and miniaturization
A form factor is a hardware design that prescribes and defines the size, shape, and mounting of other physical components, especially during hardware development. Meeting fixed factor constraints also requires more engineering effort, time, and cost.
6. Power management and optimization
Optimizing power, only with performance, requires due care regarding design aspects, improvements and changes at several levels of hardware architecture.
Energy efficient design requires reducing power dissipation in all parts of the design and during all stages of the design process. It allows you to control the amount of electrical energy consumed by the device with minimal impact on performance.
For example, a wearable device may need to enter sleep or deep sleep mode if an integrated sensor does not detect new data and the processor does not need to be woken up.
7. Value Analysis and Value Engineering (VA/VE)
VA/VE is to consider the cost-benefit ratio of each individual product and product component. The analysis suggests the use of alternative materials, design, manufacturing and more to obtain maximum benefit. It therefore reduces costs while maintaining or improving functionality.
Hardware design, development and prototyping
Here comes the backbone of any electronic device. You can assume that PCB is a crucial task. We all know about the green board used in every electronic device. Yes, board manufacturing is not possible without PCB design.
First, a layout is created, which is called a schematic capture and PCB design. You need experienced designers who can develop PCB design services. Understand, different components, processors and materials are used in design and manufacturing abroad.
PCB types like Rigid, HDI, Flex-Flex rigid are used for various applications for design and development of consumer electronics, IoT, RF products, healthcare and automotive.
Hardware System Architecture
It is the physical representation of your designed product or product, process and discipline for electronic hardware systems.
In addition, it identifies the components of the system and their interrelationships. The system provides software engineers with the required information needed to develop software. So the software runs on it.
The best architecture available in the market is ARM and X86.
ARM (formerly known and short for Advanced RISC Machine) provides the foundations of processor or core designs, things we call processing elements. It is used in a variety of technologies, such as microcomputers, smartphones, servers, and embedded devices.
The X86 architecture defines how the processor processes and executes instructions. It mainly transitions from the operating system and software programs. It is based on the Intel 8086 microprocessor and its 8088 variant.
Platform and O/S Selection
Choosing a suitable OS can affect the aspect of development projects.
Do you need a high level of determinism? Then a real-time operating system (RTOS) is the best choice. Linux and Windows can serve under certain circumstances, especially if the use of real-time extensions is acceptable.
Android is your best choice for a better mobility solution because it is a modified version of the Linux kernel.
As we discussed earlier, in the first phase we analyzed the costing of the product, then we took it a step further to discuss the hardware architecture and PCB, and then decided which OS would best suit our product.
Now is the time to test our concepts; yes, functional testing is about how the product works as designed. The main goal of functional testing is to verify that your product works as expected and documented, usually according to technical specifications.
It proves that your idea, concepts, technical details will pass or fail when they reach the proposed ideal state.
Hardware EVT (Engineering Verification and Testing) and DVT (Design Verification and Testing)
An engineering change costs a penny, a dime in production, and a dollar after the product is in the field.
The EVT is the first design prototype in the process. However, it ensures that your product meets the primary design unit forms and specification goals.
- Validation ensures that the design meets the requirements.
- Validations ensure that the product created meets the user’s needs and goals.
- Functional test (basic)
- Performance measurement
- Signal quality test
- Compliance test
- Electromagnetic interference (EMI) preliminary scan.
- Heat and four-corner test
- Basic parametric measurements, specification verification
Design verification includes:-
- Functional and load testing
- Environment testing
- Hardware security/encryption testing
- Electronic design automation
- Preliminary compliance testing
- Automated/manual test fixture design
Certification and production
You need to obtain various certifications before launching your product on the market. The certificate you need depends only on the type of product you are establishing. There are several types of hardware product certification. Upgrade your knowledge on which one best suits your product.
Over to You…
Xekera Systems has been in the field of software development and product engineering for years.
If you choose us, you can take advantage of the experience of a ten-year global company engaged in the development of embedded hardware and guarantee work.
Get started with consumer, industrial and automotive hardware design and automotive hardware design and development from prototype to production, all under one roof in conjunction with our experts.