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Developing Low Cost Embedded Products as a Small Team

Sai Yamanoor - Available in 6 days, 6 hours and 39 minutes (2021-05-14 07:00 EDT)

With the advent of open hardware prototyping platforms, it is easy to build a prototype but prove a concept. It is something else to build a product that meets a certain target cost. There are several factors to consider including assembly costs, power options, battery life, device provisioning, product lifecycle management etc. Problems in hardware development tend to surface either during the later phases of development or during pilot manufacturing of the product.

As a member of a three person team, we have developed three low cost products and encountered different challenges. I would like to share some lessons learned. They include:

  • Navigating supply chain constraints during the pandemic
  • Estimating bottlenecks in components costs
  • Utilizing rapid prototyping tools to effectively iterate hardware design
  • Criteria to consider while selecting embedded hardware platforms
  • Product lifecycle management including planning for hardware obsolescence & parts approaching end-of-life
  • Planning time investment in projects when it comes to smaller teams
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