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Developing Low Cost Embedded Products as a Small Team

Sai Yamanoor - Watch Now - Duration: 27:45

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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Score: 0 | 5 months ago | 1 reply

Hi Sai,

In the Q&A you discussed low cost development, but what about when it comes to things like certification and EMC testing? How can you perform these on a budget in order to take your product to market?


Score: 0 | 5 months ago | no reply

Hi Ben - Because of the nature of my projects, I typically go for FCC-certified products in my design. I just have to do conformity testing on my design. I can get away with paying for the conformity testing with the development budget.

Score: 0 | 5 months ago | no reply

Enjoyed your presentation. Thank-you.

Score: 0 | 5 months ago | 1 reply

Nice presentation! The topics discussed certainly cover the range of criteria required. It’s pretty clear that you’ve had quite a bit of discussions around supply chain, which normally seems to get missed!

Score: 0 | 5 months ago | no reply


Score: 0 | 5 months ago | 1 reply

Hi Sai,
great talk! Regarding the enclosures, could you share some of the resources/manufactures you use? I use 3D printed enclosures for my personal projects and I normally need more than one (two.. three!) iteration to achieve perfect match between PCB and enclosure. I liked what you said about your enclosures manufacturer, that provides the PCB shape that you have to use in your design so the PCB fits nicely. That would safe me tons of time of 3D design!!

Score: 0 | 5 months ago | no reply

Hi Javi - I use polycase.