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Advantage of making own hardware without using development boards ?

Kulunu , 09-04-2021, 01:24 AM
Dear friends,

This is a general question which pop up in my mind when I'm working as a Hardware Design Engineer. I would like to know your valuable ideas related to hardware design industry.

As an example, let's take NXP IMAX series processors. We can see different companies like Toradex, Variscite, Rex and etc. They are making application boards for different kind of industry (Even NXP provide dev. boards). Some are making SOM (System on Module) type boards or base boards. So, any company who like to use NXP processor can use this development to develop their own product.

Once they succeed with Proof of Concept with their own idea using development board do you think it is better to do their own hardware if they have capability of designing (If they decided to do mass production with their own application). What are the advantages if moves with own hardware rather than using SOM and Base Board which already available in the market ?

According to my point of view we can remove unwanted sections from the design (as an example if someone doesn’t want ethernet) and reduce cost in mass production. If we want to reduce the size of the design by specifying most wanted sections of the processor and if we need to have different connector types, we can have our own hardware for mass production. These are some points which come to my mind.

Or else do you think there is no advantage by considering the time and workforce we have to put ?

I would like to know your opinions as hardware design engineers or experienced industry level manufacturers.

Best Regards.
Thank you.

robertferanec , 09-05-2021, 11:19 PM
What are the advantages if moves with own hardware rather than using SOM and Base Board which already available in the market ?
If you ask different people (accountant, manager, engineer, ...), you may get different answers ... In my opinion, SOM is a very good solution, but not everyone will agree and it is not always suitable.

qdrives , 09-08-2021, 08:08 AM
"It depends..." (copyright Eric Bogatin)
- What is the quantity you need?
- Is 'modification' required? (size, connections, functionality, etc.)
Thinking that it will be cheaper to do ones own board by leaving the ethernet off, and only producing 100 boards is counter productive. Do note that some of those boards are produced in very high quantities.
binayak , 09-09-2021, 12:49 AM

I'll provide some different perspective to your question. It may be a deviation from what is better for the company you work for.

First thing first - If you are a hardware design engineer, then you should know how to design hardware!
This, in itself, is a broad field. In case of digital designs, it has many areas - circuit design, signal integrity analysis, power integrity analysis, EMI/EMC, and PCB design. Which cap from these areas do you wear?

All I can say is that going through the entire design cycle of design, simulations, up to till board fabrication will expose you to the wealth of knowledge that you will never get from working on bought-out boards.


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