7 Ways Hardware is Easier Today Than Ever

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Although hardware is known for being “hard” for good reason, it has never been easier to turn an idea in your head into a real-world product ready for sale.

Don’t get me wrong, hardware is still hard, in fact any new business venture is hard. But it’s so much easier today than in the past to introduce a new hardware product to the world. READ MORE...


How to Hire the Best Engineers to Develop Your New Product

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As a designer for Texas Instruments, and through Predictable Designs, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the smartest engineers in the world.

I’ve worked with or hired people from India, China, Russia, the U.K., Germany, Mexico, Malaysia, Canada and others. So, don’t discount a potential engineer because of the country they work in. Don’t assume that hiring a developer overseas is always too risky. READ MORE...


How Much Should You Charge for Your New Product?

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Choosing your product’s optimal price is an extremely important decision that should be made as soon as possible. In general, if your product is priced too high then it won’t sell well. If your product is priced too low, you won’t be able to make a decent profit. READ MORE...


The Industrial Designer’s Role in Developing New Products

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This is a guest post by industrial designer Christian Theill.

The design of electronic devices almost always requires a multitude of professional skills: electronics, mechanics, production techniques, aesthetics, ergonomics, finance, commerce, communication, marketing and others. The conscious coordination of these disciplines is vital for the success of your project. READ MORE...


What Path Should a Techie Follow to Bring a New Product to Market?

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I’m going to start with a story about an engineer named Gary.

Like many engineers and makers, as a child Gary always loved playing with electronics and computers, so it was no surprise that he ended up with an electrical engineering degree. He spent his free time as a teenager tinkering around with circuit boards and building odd ball things like a dial joke machine. READ MORE...

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12 Tips to Save Money Getting Your Hardware Product to Market

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Developing a new electronic product is never cheap, but in this article I’m going to share with you 12 tips to significantly lower your costs.

Minimizing your costs is even more important in the early stages of development. Goal number one should be getting your product to market as quickly and cheaply as possible. READ MORE...


8 Essential Tips for Hardware Startup Success

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It’s a long, rough, expensive journey to take a hardware product from idea to market. That journey becomes even longer, rougher, and more expensive when you end up taking the wrong path.

So I want to share eight tips with you that will speed up your journey and make it a bit easier and less expensive too. These tips will help keep you on the right path to success. READ MORE...

12 Ways to Fund Your Hardware Startup

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The odds are you are going to need some sort of outside funding at some point in order to get your product to market. If you are lucky enough to get your product to market without outside funding, you will surely require it to grow your company. READ MORE...


Overview of the Various Types of Hardware Prototypes

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There are many types of prototypes that you will hear about when developing a new hardware product. Each stage of bringing your product to market has different prototype requirements.

Unfortunately, a single prototype is never sufficient for bringing a commercial product to market. No matter how advanced computer-aided-design has become any new product will require multiple prototype iterations. READ MORE...


Market (and Sell) Your Product While You Develop It

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When bringing a new product to market, most entrepreneurs follow the same, orderly sequence.

First, they focus solely on product development. After that’s complete, they focus on manufacturing. Once the manufacturing is setup, they finally start thinking about how to market and sell the product. READ MORE...

How to Validate Your New Product Idea

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Many entrepreneurs have so much confidence in their product idea, and are so sure that it will be a success, that they skip one of the most critical steps when bringing a product to market. That step is to first validate the product idea. READ MORE...


Tips for Hiring Engineers: Freelancers, Firms or In-house

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When starting a new product business, you’ll likely need to hire engineers.

Unless you happen to be a jack of all trades who can do electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and software development, or if you’re lucky enough to have a co-founder team with all of these skills, you’re going to have to bring on outside engineers. READ MORE...


Introduction to Analog to Digital Converters (ADC)

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There are many different implementations of an Analog to Digital Converter, or ADC. This article provides an overview of the main types, their characteristics and limitations.

Almost all microcontrollers have built-in ADC’s. Even the small Arduinos, based on the AVR ATMega family, have them. The last section of this article deals with some of the issues to be aware of when using such ADCs. But first we’ll review the basics of Analog-to-Digital conversion. READ MORE...


Introduction to the STM32 Blue Pill (STM32duino)

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If you are planning to use an Arduino module such as the Uno for your project, then you should consider an STM32duino instead.

Commonly referred to as the STM32 Blue Pill, this board has nearly all the capabilities of the Arduino module but with a cheaper price. READ MORE...

Charging Methods for Lithium-Ion Batteries

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The battery type of choice for most electronic equipment running on batteries is the li-ion battery.

Of the other types that were used previously, NiCad batteries for use in electronic equipment have been banned in the EU, so the overall demand for those types have dropped. READ MORE...

What’s Inside a Smartphone?

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Modern smartphones are marvels of technology, and it is really impressive how much technology is crammed into such a compact device. The product that the customer holds in their hands is certainly the result of many compromises made to satisfy many conflicting requirements. READ MORE...

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How to Add Audio Features to Your Embedded Product

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Embedded applications often need to reproduce sound. Whether you need simple prompts, chimes, rings or music clips, having the ability to reproduce pre-recorded audio can greatly enhance the UI (User Interface) of many embedded applications. READ MORE...


A Practical Guide to Using an Oscilloscope

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An oscilloscope, frequently referred to in the trade as a scope, is an essential diagnostic tool used in any serious electronic circuit design activities.

A scope provides a time-stamped, running clip of a signal at the point of measurement. The signal in this case is simply an input voltage. READ MORE...

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Introduction to Embedded Firmware Development

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An embedded system is a stand alone, intelligent system dedicated to running a set of tasks, or an application, from the moment it is powered on.

This is in contrast to the way an application is started on a desktop or similar device, where the user does not have to specifically load anything. READ MORE...

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Wireless Sensor Communications Network – IoT Case Study

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Given the explosion of Internet-of-Things (IoT) capable products, I wanted to go into more detail on how to add wireless sensors to your new product.

This article describes a simple system, and a communication protocol, that can be used to implement a two-way, low-speed, polled star network. While not suitable for all applications, there is a surprising range of applications where this setup could be used. READ MORE...


Electronic Lab Setup – Tools and Equipment Requirements

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If you are a maker or engineer planning to develop your own electronic product, then you’re going to need a way to test, program, and debug the electronics. In this article we will discuss how you can construct your very own lab setup for testing out all your product concepts. READ MORE...

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Introduction to the Ultra High-Performance STM32H7 32-bit Microcontroller

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The STM32H7 is the most powerful member of the popular STM32 family of 32-bit microcontrollers based on ARM Cortex-M cores, and offered by ST Microelectronics.

This microcontroller can be clocked at speeds up to 480 MHz with a benchmark performance greater than 1,000 DMIPS. This is one of the fastest, most powerful microcontrollers currently available on the market. READ MORE...


Introduction to the ESP32 WiFi / Bluetooth Wireless Microcontroller

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The ESP32 is a very versatile System On a Chip (SoC) that can be used as a general purpose microcontroller with quite an extensive set of peripherals, including wireless capabilities.

Manufactured by Shanghai based Espressif Systems, the ESP32 costs less than $5. It’s quite popular with the maker community, but is also a good low-cost solution for mass production. READ MORE...

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Introduction to Developing Wearable Technology Devices

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Developing a wearable electronic product involves juggling design constraints and compromises in ways that are quite a bit different from a conventional non-wearable design.

In this article, I’m defining a wearable product as a body-worn device, with its own power source, that doesn’t restrict the movement of the wearer. Examples would be a pair of smart glasses, or a smart watch. READ MORE...


Using Arduino as an Embedded Development Platform

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An Arduino, or more specifically an Arduino architecture, can be successfully used in some embedded designs. This can provide a less technically complex path to market for many makers.

However, the proliferation of Arduino and Arduino-compatible boards, each with its own name, can lead to confusion as to what Arduino is, and which version you should choose for your particular project. READ MORE...

Advanced Guide on Interfacing with a Video Display

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The purpose of this article is to provide an understanding of what is needed to successfully provide a suitable display for your product. The focus will be on mainstream, or relatively recent, graphical video display systems, with historical references to offer continuity when appropriate. READ MORE...

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Comparison of Memory Types Available for Your Product

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Every electronic system that has some kind of microcontroller, or microprocessor, needs to have some memory attached to it.

This memory holds the program that the processor executes. It also holds the data that the program requires, or produces. This data may come from sensors, or is some intermediate result of the running program, or is simply to be saved or displayed. In an ideal world, there should be only one kind of memory. READ MORE...

How to Select the Best Display for Your Project

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If your new electronic product requires a display, then it is essential that you select the right type of display.

Your choice of a display directly impacts your product’s user experience simply by being one of its most visible aspects. A display is also likely to be one of the most expensive components in your product, and also one of the most power hungry. READ MORE...

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Introduction to Battery Chargers (Part 2 of 2)

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In this second part on battery chargers we’re going to be looking at the BQ24092 and the BQ24703 chargers from Texas Instruments.

If you are not familiar with lithium battery chargers I highly recommend you first read part 1 where I explain some of the fundamental concepts. READ MORE...