Electrical Engineering

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Electrical Engineering

Product Design Experts is a developer of embedded systems. We develop hardware solutions for medical devices, industry, telecommunications, consumer markets and more. We have well over 100 years combined development experience. We use an extensive design process and then produce working prototypes for your examination and testing. Once the product has completed the design/prototyping phases we work with contract manufactures helping to make sure your product is produced with quality and at a reasonable cost. We sample production runs to insure that the selection of contract manufacturer is yielding consistent quality.
No hardware embedded systems job is too small or large, whether it is a small or large board, a million quantity product run or a single prototype design such as proof of concept we can bring your inventions to life.
Embedded systems are defined as systems that focus on only a few dedicated tasks that they are specifically designed for. The difference between embedded and regular computerized systems is that computerized systems are generalized and do many things, but embedded systems dedicate themselves to only a few specific tasks and are controlled by microcontrollers or digital signal processors.

Microcontrollers and Digital Signal Processors are small processors that are generally inexpensive and intended for industrial or consumer products. Product Design Experts has experience with processors from Atmel, Microchip, Intel, AMD, Texas Instruments and many other vendors. Here are some examples of embedded systems you might recognize:

MP3 Players
Traffic control systems
Factory controllers
DVD Players
Refrigerator/Air-conditioning Controls
Digital Wrist Watches
Remote Controls
Home Automation

These systems can be portable or stationary since design engineers can optimize them so that they are smaller. Portable ones (like the MP3 players) are small and compact so they can be taken places. The factory controllers though stationary often consist of many smaller embedded systems networked together with protocols such as SCADA, RS-485, and Ethernet or even wireless networking 802.11.

Another thing about factory controllers is that while they do multiple things they are still considered embedded systems. This is because it is made up of many embedded systems each doing their own tasks. Because of this some embedded systems are more complex and large scale than others. Selecting a provider such as Product Design Experts who has experience at all levels and skills in many technologies make us highly qualified to provide both small and large scale custom embedded development efforts. There are different categories in which embedded systems are used other than entertainment and industrial. We have been involved in development for:

Consumer electronics
Transportation systems
Medical equipment
Safety Systems
Hand held Devices

Embedded systems may be isolated from hacking therefore they can be more reliable and well suited to the tasks they are dedicated to. They can also deal with cut electrical and communication systems; they can be designed to be invulnerable to higher temperatures than normal. All these facts and more can allow Product Design Experts to create a system which adds to the total reliability factor.

Here is a list of embedded system characteristics:

Does specific tasks
Most have real time performance constraints that must be met for usability and safety
A few have low or no performance restraints, allowing simplified systems and a reduced cost.
Program instructions are coded into firmware not hardware meaning it may not have a hardrive
Often they run with very little memory
They do not have to be standalone devices
Most consist of small computerized parts that do serve a generalized role to help get the task done
Because of these unique characteristics designers, developers and programmers of embedded systems need specific training and experience.
At Product Design Experts our engineers have a vast amount of experience bringing embedded solutions to market.

A common computer system has on average Gigabytes of main memory (Billions of characters) whereas a embedded system can have thousands of characters of main memory or less. Therefore a programmer who is formally trained in computer application programming can create software being less concerned with the amount of memory his software requires. On the other hand the developer of a embedded system has to use and share memory under much more constraint.

Embedded developers often even need to shift development languages from higher level languages like C/C++ to lower level languages such as assembly code.Our expertise in assembly code allows us to create the most powerful, efficient and fast embedded systems firmware possible. An emerging area in embedded systems development is flexible software defined hardware systems such as the following:

PLC - Programmable Logic Controllers
FPGA - Field Programmable Gate Arrays
CPLD - Complex Programmable Logic Devices
PSOC - Programmable Systems on Chip

Product Design Experts has done development in these flexible systems using Xilinx and Altera. The advantage of developing using flexible programmable hardware is that designs can be upgraded in the field by changing the software definition for the hardware configuration.