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How long it takes a Junior Engineer to design an Advanced board?

imx rex6 module top HR
Here are the real numbers from designing the iMX6 Rex prototype

*Note:These numbers don’t include 50 hours of work spent by a Senior engineer to check the work.
iMX6 Rex Timesheet - Total
iMX6 Rex Timesheet - Schematic
iMX6 Rex Timesheet - Library
iMX6 Rex Timesheet - PCB
Detailed description
  1. Specification, comparison with similar project, finding reference design [Duration: 03h 49m]
  2. Working on schematic [Duration: 01h 03m]
  3. Replacing pin designators for iMX processor [Duration: 05h 09m]/span>
  4. Changing and creating schematic [Duration: 21h 54m]
  5. Power management, power up sequencing [Duration: 11h 28m]
  6. Updating ports and nets [Duration: 07h 13m]
  7. Drawing block diagram [Duration: 01h 15m]
  8. Working on connector [Duration: 03h 48m]
  9. Changing Ethernet PHY interface [Duration: 02h 26m]
  10. Schematic preliminary checking [Duration: 00h 57m]
  11. Updating and creating components [Duration: 05h 15m]
  12. Updating and creating footprints [Duration: 04h 33m]
  13. Fixing compiled errors and warning [Duration: 01h 48m]
  14. Schematic checking [Duration: 00h 23m]
  15. Preliminary Component placement [Duration: 10h 49m]
  16. Finding handsome 3D model of component [Duration: 02h 13m]
  17. RF: Checking schematic [Duration: 00h 35m]
  18. Updating schematic after preliminary checking [Duration: 05h 01m]
  19. Schematic symbol checking [Duration: 15h 15m]
  20. Schematic browsing [Duration: 31h 56m]
  21. Ordering components [Duration: 03h 45m]
  22. Footprint checking [Duration: 06h 50m]
  23. Component placement V2 [Duration: 02h 27m]
  24. Preliminary layout [Duration: 07h 39m]
  25. Processor power fanout and preliminary layout [Duration: 17h 00m]
  26. Memory data signal fanout, first layout [Duration: 19h 23m]
  27. Memory address signal fanout, first layout [Duration: 09h 32m]
  28. Ethernet PHY replacement and connection [Duration: 08h 59m]
  29. Processor signal fanout – processor, connector J1 [Duration: 18h 21m]
  30. Processor signal fanout – processor, connector J2 [Duration: 23h 16m]
  31. Providing changes from RF checking [Duration: 15h 11m]
  32. Finishing preliminary layout [Duration: 02h 42m]
  33. Memory length matching – data [Duration: 38h 00m]
  34. Working on mechanical layers [Duration: 02h 56m]
  35. Optimizing layout [Duration: 28h 21m]
  36. Checking conflict in IOMux [Duration: 02h 45m]
  37. Memory length matching – address [Duration: 27h 23m]
  38. Memory length matching – clock [Duration: 04h 02m]
  39. Optimizing layout – inner layers [Duration: 26h 56m]
  40. Memory layout checking [Duration: 15h 51m]
  41. Optimizing layout – top & bottom [Duration: 08h 37m]
  42. Manufacturing layers optimizing [Duration: 03h 01m]
  43. Releasing board [Duration: 06h 08m]
  44. Ordered components checking [Duration: 02h 13m]
I need to say, Martin had no previous experience with advanced electronic design. He started working on this project in April 2013 and we have got the prototype boards in October 2013. He graduated at University in Jun 2013. It took 7 months to get the board.

You can easily compare the numbers with a very similar design which I have done some time ago: How long Schematic design and PCB layout take – Check here

When you compare:
  • Schematic design 95 hours (TI C6 board) vs 96.35 hours (IMX6)
  • Libraries 50 hours vs 45.22 hours
  • PCB 215 hours vs 296.57 hours
These numbers are very similar, so you can easily predict how long it will take you to design this kind of board. And … “It is very interesting to see, that Junior Engineers can work very well and quite efficiently. This is the proof.”
How is it possible, that an inexperienced engineer could design this kind of board? He is really good. Martin is also taking a part in our new training program which we are developing at FEDEVEL Academy. The program will help everyone interested in hardware design to get a real experience from real projects. We hope, this will help students & young engineers to find a job or to get a better paid job. If you have a company, the FEDEVEL Academy training will help you to prepare your junior & young engineers to start working on your projects as soon as possible.
A good junior hardware design engineer can work very effectively.