Today, the hardware development process acts as a driving force for embracing digital disruption. Usually, the hardware design process is a complex one. With limited experience and knowledge, it takes time to meet the target product requirements and reach the desired outcome.

So, whether you want to upgrade your existing embedded hardware design or develop an end-to-end hardware solution, this blog perfectly guides you through the hardware product development process.

It’s technically challenging, and the hardware systems market is an ever-evolving one. Hence, the correct hardware development process model not only reduces your project budget but also prevents you from future downtimes and breakdowns.

Software comes from heaven when you have good hardware- Ken Olsen

Stages of Hardware Design Development Process

Feasibility Analysis

A unique product leads to development. The product revolves around finding an opportunity and proof that your proposed idea can work in the market.

Besides that, other factors aid in the hardware development services of your product. For instance, you should be aware of the following things before you embark on your product journey.

  • BOM cost analysis & optimization
  • Non-recurring engineering (NRE) cost analysis
  • Component benchmarking & selection
  • Obsolescence management
  • Form factor restriction & miniaturization
  • Power management & optimization
  • Value analysis and Value engineering

Let’s briefly discuss these topics.

1. BOM(Bill of Materials) cost analysis & optimization: It’s the list of raw materials, sub-assemblies, sub-components quantities required to manufacture the end product, and the instructions for procuring and using these materials.

Your Bills of Materials can become an indispensable tool for creating an innovative product in the market. Think of your BOM as a digital map for your manufacturing navigation device.

2. Non-recurring engineering (NRE) cost analysis: NRE means a one-time cost to research, design, develop or design a new product. It’s done at the start of any product, especially when you are building a customized product.

3. Component benchmarking & selection: Benchmarking is the process used to measure a product’s quality and performance or service.

4. Obsolescence management: The process is all about being proactive instead of reactive. Obsolescence management is an additional task while freezing and procuring components and materials for your hardware product development life cycle process

Understand that whatever you are buying from the vendor ensures that the product will be available for an extended period. However, if the product requires replacement, the image guides you on the obsolescence management process. It saves you from future headaches of upgrades and repairs.

5. Form Factor Restriction & Miniaturization: A form factor is a hardware design that prescribes and defines the size, shape, and fixing of other physical components, particularly while developing the hardware. Meeting firm factor restrictions also calls for added effort, time, and engineering cost.

6. Power Management & Optimization: Power optimization, just with performance, requires due diligence around design aspects, improvements, and changes at several levels of hardware architecture.

A power-efficient design requires reducing power dissipation in all parts of the design and during all stages of the designing process. It allows you to control the amount of electrical power consumed by a device with minimal impact on performance.

For instance, a wearable device may need to go to a sleep or deep sleep mode unless the integrated sensor detects a new reading and the processor needs to be woken up.

7. Value analysis & Value engineering(VA/VE): VA/VE is to weigh the cost/benefit ratio of every single product and component of a product. The analysis proposes to use alternative materials, design, manufacturing, and more to gain maximum benefit. Hence, it reduces cost while maintaining or improving functionality.

Hardware Design, Development & Prototyping

PCB: Here comes the backbone of every electronic device. You can assume that PCB is a crucial task. We are all aware of the green board used in every electronic device. Yes, manufacturing the board is not possible without a PCB design.

Firstly, a layout is created, which is called the schematic capture and PCB design. You need skilled designers who can develop PCB design services. Understand, there are various components, processors, and materials used in designing and manufacturing abroad.

Types of PCB like Rigid, HDI, Flex- Flex rigid are being used for various consumer electronic product design and development applications, IoT, RF product, Medical, and Automotive.

Hardware System Architecture: It’s a physical representation of your engineered product or to be engineered product, the process, and discipline for electronic hardware systems.

Moreover, it identifies the system components and their interrelationships. The system gives the software engineers the required information needed to develop the software. Hence, the software runs on it.

The best architecture available in the market is the ARM and X86.

ARM (previously known and an acronym for Advanced RISC Machine) provides the foundations of designs of the processor or the core, things we refer to as processing elements. It’s used in an array of technologies, for instance, microcomputers, smartphones, servers and embedded devices.

X86 architecture defines that how a processor handles & executes instructions. Mainly passed from the operating system and software programs. It’s based on intel’s 8086 microprocessor and its 8088 variant.

Platform and O/S Selection: Choosing the appropriate OS can affect the aspect of development projects.

Do you need a high level of determinism? Then going for a Real-time operating system(RTOS) is the best choice. Under some circumstances, Linux and Windows may serve, mainly if the use of real-time extensions is acceptable.

Android is your best choice for better mobility solutions as it is a modified version of the Linux kernel.

Functional Testing: As we discussed earlier, in the first stage, we analyzed the costing of the product, then one step further we discussed the hardware architecture and PCB, next we decided which OS would best suit our product.

Now, it’s time to test our concepts; yes, functional testing is about how the product functions per the designs. The main aim of functional testing is to verify whether your product works as expected and documented, typically as per technical specifications.

It proves that your idea, concepts, technicalities pass or fail when put into their suggested ideal condition.

Hardware EVT (Engineering validation and testing) and DVT (Design validation and testing)

It costs a penny to change engineering, a dime in production, and a dollar after a product is in the field.

An EVT is the first engineering prototype in the process. However, it ensures that your product meets the primary unit forms of designs and specification goals.

  • Verification ensures that the design meets the requirements.
  • Validations ensure that the created product meets the user’s needs and objectives.

EVT includes:-

  • Functional test (basic)
  • Power measurement
  • Signal quality test
  • Conformance test
  • Electromagnetic interference (EMI) pre-scan
  • Thermal and four corner test
  • Basic parametric measurements, specification verification

Design Verifications Includes:-

  • Functional and stress testing
  • Environment testing
  • Hardware security/encryption testing
  • Electronic design automation
  • Pre-compliance testing
  • Automated/manual test fixture design

Certifications & Manufacturing

There are various certifications you need to acquire before launching your product into the market. The certificate you need depends solely on which type of product you are establishing. Multiple types of hardware product certification are there. Upgrade your knowledge about which one best suits your product.

Over to You….

Excellent Webworld has been active in the software development and product engineering space for years.

By choosing us, you can leverage the experience of a decade-old global embedded hardware development firm and guarantee work.

Get started with consumer, industrial, and automotive hardware design & automotive hardware design & development  services from prototype to production, all under one roof b connecting with our experts.

FAQs

Why Is Hardware Development Important?

Certainly, the hardware development process not only aids you in reducing the project budget but also with the correct hardware designs; one can save multiple breakdowns and downtimes in the project.

What are Hardware Development Tools?

In simply terms, hardware development tools are not integrated with the hardware devices. Conversely, these tools are associated with developing hardware boards—for instance, supplementary boards or other hardware devices.

What is a Hardware Development Engineer?

Hardware development engineers are solely responsible for handling the manufacturing part of the hardware. Adding components, upgrading, designing are some of the core responsibilities of the hardware development engineer.