At DE Design Works, we are no stranger to receiving a proof of concept design utilizing boards like Raspberry Pi and turning it into a production model.
What Is Raspberry Pi?
Raspberry Pi is an inexpensive and customizable credit card sized computer that can be used for a plethora of electronic projects.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation created this little computer in the 1980s to promote basic computer science in schools.
It eventually became popular with a variety of hobbyists, inventors, and engineers who wanted a low-cost open hardware that runs on the Linux system.
Customizing A Board To Your Application Needs
First things first: Raspberry Pi is often overloaded for the application that you wish to use it for and has modules you may never need. At DE Design Works, we can design a simplified board that better meets your needs.
Additionally, depending on the application, Raspberry Pi may not pass all compliance testing. We can help you tailor and customize your proof of concept into a custom proprietary board that can pass even the most rigorous testing requirements.
We would design a board with the same or enhanced functionality that is proprietary to you. This will allow you to better hit cost targets since Raspberry Pi is often more than what is needed for a given application.
For example, a project could use a Raspberry Pi board that is both Wi-Fi and Ethernet capable but only needs to use Wi-Fi. If you kept the Ethernet, you would have to absorb cost of Ethernet even if is going to use it.
Customizing board to keep Wi-Fi and omit Ethernet would keep your costs down by removing the unneeded function.
It is important to remember that Raspberry Pis are not exclusive for you: These boards are one-size-fits-all, so they aren’t optimized for any particular purpose.
Each application must be viewed separately and isolated, so a board should be designed specifically for that project’s unique purpose.
Developing The Proprietary Board
DE Design can take your proof of concept and generate a schematic that would be owned by you, the customer.
We would generate Gerber files that would also be owned by you that can be given to the contract manufacturer of your choice. We can also develop software for the board that would be custom to your application.
There are many different formats and programs that are used to do the layout of the board’s blueprints. The Gerber file would be a universal output used by your contract manufacturer to produce the board in quantity.
As such, you are not tied to Raspberry Pi and can use those files to produce a more cost-effective and functionally-specific piece of hardware.
Creating Proven Concepts
While there can be benefits to using off-the-shelf electronics (especially for hobbyists) during your proof-of-concept development, we recommend consulting with our engineers first – you might be surprised how cost-effective and time-saving a customized solution can be.
When DE creates proof of concepts for customers, they typically closely resemble what will go to market in terms of feasibility, performance, form factor, and cost.
Knowing these in advance goes a long way in helping customers determine the right steps to successful market introduction.