Designing Hardware is Hard

We often work with inexperienced teams at startup companies, and we try to advise them about not only the product design work that we do, but the manufacturing as well. The process of transferring designs to manufacturing is not simple, just like the process of designing a product is not simple. There are many things [...]

March 1st, 2017|Categories: Design Tips, V2017|

Tips to successfully manage product development without a technical background

Managing product development is difficult. Especially when you don't have a technology background and you are doing it for the first time. We have worked with many such business owners to help them develop hardware and software products. Throughout the years we have also discovered there's a lot of inaccurate advice out there. This article [...]

December 15th, 2016|Categories: Design Tips, Management, Project Management, V2016|

The Challenge of Mobile Phone and IoT Antennas Featured in Design News Sept 13, 2015

We are excited to be featured in Design News.  Our technical editor, Larry Burgess discusses choosing the right antenna for an IoT application. Read the full article at

September 24th, 2015|Categories: Design Tips, IoT, News|Tags: |

Design Checklist for Wearable Devices

Here is a great checklist for wearable devices. When we do a design we check all of these things and more. Often we need to use our engineering judgment on the tradeoff between size, cost, testability, and manufacturability of the board. Power What size battery? What is the appropriate battery lifetime? How often do various [...]

July 21st, 2015|Categories: Checklist, Design Tips, V2015, Wearable Devices|Tags: , |

Common Errors Transferring Products to Test

by Dan Orlando & Walt Maclay 1. Recognizing the need for testing Many people don’t realize how important testing is to the product manufacturing process.  After manufacturing, each board should be tested to ensure only good products are shipped.  Despite excellent quality control at the best contract manufacturers, there can be errors in PCB fabrication, PCB assembly, flaws [...]

April 11th, 2015|Categories: Design Tips, Project Management, Test Systems, V2015|

Why the Last 10% takes 90% of the Time

Any engineering manager will recognize the 90/10 rule of project management, where the first 90% is completed in 10% of the time, but the last 10% is the most agonizing and will take 90% of the time. Like an iceberg where typically only one-tenth of its volume is above water, a lot of what is going on [...]

April 11th, 2015|Categories: Design Tips, Project Management, V2015|Tags: |

How to Get Your Product Made: Idea to Product

So you have a product idea. It can be quite a challenge to go from idea to product. Here are some tips on how to navigate through the process of designing your product, finding a manufacturer, as well as how to optimize your relationship with your manufacturer so that you and your customers are happy. Step 1: [...]

October 4th, 2014|Categories: Design Tips, Project Management, V2014|Tags: |

Best Wireless Options for Communicating with Small Devices from your Smart Phone

Overview The proliferation of clever apps for almost anything along with the availability of small, inexpensive radio modules and SOC’s (System on a Chip) is enabling and even driving the Internet of Things (IoT).  This article deals with applications that require direct communication between the user’s mobile phone and  small devices that are a reasonable distance [...]

September 27th, 2014|Categories: Design Tips, Ultra Low Power, V2014, Wireless|Tags: , |

Mitigating Risk of Obsolete Electronic Components

When evaluating components for inclusion in a system, if you limit your analysis to performance and cost, you may discover later in the design process or even after you are in volume manufacturing that the part is now obsolete. This can expose you to long lead times, higher prices, and ultimately the need to design [...]

January 15th, 2014|Categories: Design Tips, Management, Project Management, V2014|

Agile Product Development for Hardware

Agile product development techniques are transforming the way we develop software. But many people ask  "Can use agile product development for hardware?" We say "yes!" The Annuvia project was broken into four phases or sprints, of about one month each, to mitigate risk and cost: Sprint 1. Feasibility: A high level technical assessment was preformed, [...]

January 21st, 2013|Categories: Design Tips, Recent Projects, Trends, V2013|Tags: |