You have been working hard to bring a new product to market. The team has been busy for months to prepare the best component layout. And your software team used state of the art algorithms to bring your idea to life.

The product is now ready to hit the market. Right ..?

This article explains why proper prototyping is key to the success of your embedded application.

It is no secret that theory and practice are two different things. A universal rule of thumb that even the best might overlook in the heat of the action. When the time to market is of the utmost importance and the option of cutting corners becomes a possibility.

Printed Circuit Boards use very thin traces that carry multiple signals. As well as power and ground to most of the components. Your circuitry may work out just fine on a breadboard. But serious challenges arise when you squeeze signals so close together like you’d do on a PCB. Because the inductance and capacitance of the transmission lines are no longer negligible. And to add to the challenge, your circuitry may experience electric or electronic phenomena that were not accounted for in the first place (interference, current surges, back EMF, impedance mismatch..)

Today, more and more embedded systems operate on batteries using BLE or LoRaWAN protocols. The power consumption of your circuitry becomes a selling factor then. In some cases it may even be the USP of your product.

While developping a technical solution without the need for testing is theoretically possible, the industry shows that it is practically unfeasible. Design errors always arise during the testing phase : The clock signal may get phase shifted for some reason, the IC may break due to high current demand, a pullup resistor may be needed somewhere to prevent floating voltage, the ADC sampling rate may be too low, software debugging in real industrial conditions may be required ..

That is the World of PCB in a nutshell. But rest assured, we have the recipe for you to overcome all of those challenges :

1. Design your hardware and software 2. Make your first PCB testing batch 3. Start debugging your embedded system 4. Optimize the power consumption until you reach your target power efficiency 5. Congratulations, your product is now reliable enough to grant you a solid market position.

We can help with the second ingredient of the recipe. Contact us to know more.

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