Designing a new electronic software or firmware product can be a daunting process, but an experienced development partner such as LX Innovations can help.
Electronics Design House LX Innovations specialise in electronic product development. They design new electronic products from concept through to commercial production and have helped enthusiastic people take their electronics concepts and turn them into viable products.
The electronic design process involves:
Conceptual development is the first phase in the electronic design process. It is a crucial, and often overlooked, stage of the electronic design process. It incorporates activities such as developing the business case, conducting a needs analysis, undertaking key technology research and intellectual property landscaping. Thorough evaluation and assessment in the conceptual development phase can significantly lower the occurrence of costly changes later in the process.
Simon Blyth, director and founder of award-winning LX Innovations believes that the first step is to really understand the problem that’s being solved. “The more we understand the problem and the market, the better the solution” Blyth said. “We partner with our clients to really understand the heart of the problem.”
Product Requirements Document (PRD) & Acceptance Test Plan (ATP)
Following the investigatory phase, a Product Requirements Document (PRD) and Acceptance Test Plan (ATP) are developed. The PRD details the product that is to be designed and includes specific requirements that the engineers must incorporate when designing the product. The ATP provides an objective measure at the completion of the development to ensure that the electronic design meets each item in the PRD.
Electronic Design & Prototypes
The design phase follows, based on the PRD and ATP. This includes the hardware, firmware (embedded software) and the software components, and is the phase that takes the greatest engineering effort. The design is manufactured, and an alpha prototype is born. The alpha prototype is the first revision of the hardware. Several iterations of the prototype may be required to ensure it meets all aspects of the PRD and ATP – this is a normal part of the design process.
Testing & Verification
Once the ATP has been verified, the product undergoes extensive testing. This can include EMC compliance testing, stress testing, user testing, life cycle testing, etc.
After the design and testing phases are complete, the attention turns to production. Test jigs can be developed, and the factory is setup ready for production. A pre-production run confirms that everything is in place, including processes, suppliers, in-line system testing, programming, etc. This avoids any manufacturing issues.
Ongoing support, of both the product and client, is essential during and after product development. LX Innovations support structure is personal, easy to access and includes ongoing support to end-users, product life cycle management, as well as generic technical support.