The Beginner’s Guide to Designing with the dsPIC33 Microcontroller

Technical Difficulty Rating: 7 out of 10

This is a guest post by Roberto Weiser of

If you are designing an electronic product, chances are that it will have a microcontroller (MCU) embedded into it.

In order to control, process, easily change parameters of the design on demand and keep the design tidy and relatively low complexity, it is unpractical to approach a solution using purely discrete analogue and digital components.

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Datasheet Review: High-Performance STM32 Cortex-M4 Microcontroller

Technical Difficulty Rating: 7 out of 10

A few weeks ago I did a datasheet review for an entry-level 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 microcontroller from ST Microelectronics (part # STM32F030). This time I’m going to be reviewing a significantly more advanced microcontroller from the same STM32 line.

The microcontroller I’ll be discussing is the STM32F4, or more specifically the STM32F469, which is based on the higher performance ARM Cortex-M4 processor architecture.

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FAQ: Which Should I Develop First: Electronics, Enclosure, or Software?

Developing the electronics, enclosure and software simultaneously is the ideal situation. Their development has to be staggered a bit, but there can be considerable overlap between these different parts of your product development.

The one limitation is when you’re really restricted on how much capital you have for development. If you’re developing the electronics, enclosure and the software all at one time, that can be a really significant drain on your finances.

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12 Ways to Select the Best Product Idea to Bring to Market

Technical Difficulty Rating: 3 out of 10

There are many steps required to bring a product to market, but ultimately, it all starts with the product idea itself. If you have the wrong product idea, then all the other steps, no matter how well you perform them, won’t really matter.

I always say execution is where the true value is, but it still has to start with the product idea. It’s really critical that you select the very best product idea to bring to market.

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FAQ: Should I Manufacture My Product in China?

For the majority of products, the simple answer is yes, at least eventually. But there are a lot of pros and cons to manufacturing in China which you need to fully understand in order to make the right decision.

The biggest advantage of manufacturing in China is of course lower costs. One of the main reasons that costs are lower in China is the low cost of labor.

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Datasheet Review: Entry-Level STM32 Cortex-M0 Microcontroller (Blog + Video)

Technical Difficulty Rating: 7 out of 10

The STM32 line of 32-bit microcontrollers from ST Microelectronics is one of the most popular choices for use in commercial products.

The STM32 line is quite expansive with numerous combinations of performance, peripherals, power, memory, and packages available. In this article and video I’ll be reviewing the datasheet for one of their entry-level models: the STM32F030.

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FAQ: Can an Arduino or Raspberry Pi Be Used in a Commercial Product?

Arduino and Raspberry Pi are open-source development boards. This means that all details of their designs are publicly available to you.

For example, you can download for free the mechanical drawings, schematic diagram, BOM, PCB layout, software, etc. for both an Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

You are allowed to copy the design and use it as a starting point for your own custom design, but the resulting new design must also be classified as open source (Creative Commons CC-BY-SA).

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Top 10 Mistakes Made on Product Development

Above image: Bridge in Minnesota which collapsed during rush hour traffic due to a design flaw.

Technical Difficulty Rating: 5 out of 10

There are a few mistakes that I frequently see when it comes to the development of electronic hardware products. Some of these mistakes are with the electronics design, some are with the enclosure design, and some of the mistakes are more general in nature.

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