Article: Designing for a Budget
The real challenge in Embedded Design is not only to attain functionality required, but also to meet the cost at which it should be attained. This article talks about some aspects of meeting the budget.
Know your Minimum Production Quantity
When designing for a budget it is very important to know how many systems are to be manufactured in a given cycle. Cost of components reduces greatly with increase in numbers.
Reduce the number of Of-The Shelf Modules
Expensive design contains many Off-The-Shelf Modules. To reduce production costs it is always better to design most of the modules yourself. Yes design cost goes up, but production cost comes down. In the longer run this reduces cost.
Choose the right Components
It is amazing to see how much the cost of a component drops if one or two features are reduced.Evaluate your requirement carefully and choose components which give you features as close to your requirement as possible. Too many features is a bad thing.
Component Packages and size
Component packages affect the cost of production. A BGA package for e.g. is costly to assemble compared to TQFP. Balance your requirement for size with assembly cost to optimize your system.
Software vs Hardware Modules
If a functionality can be realized using software, go for it. Again it is a one time cost and will reduce the cost of production.
Spend Money on Good Quality Design
Good Design will always save you money in the long run. Spend money for quality design and it will be recovered within a few cycles of production. The one time cost of design will give you good savings later.
BUDGET IS ALL ABOUT DISCIPLINE