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What Service Does the Embedded Hardware Engineer Offer?

“What does the embedded hardware engineer do?” is a common question I get from people from outside industry as someone who works in the embedded sector. I therefore wrote this piece to respond to that query.

What service does the embedded hardware engineers do? The primary responsibilities of the embedded hardware engineer include component selection, PCB design, hardware testing, creation of specialized testing tools, and design of other associated hardware such as product casing and test benches, and a small amount of production software programming.

In the parts that follow, we’ll look more closely at the aforementioned activities, and then we’ll consider other topics related to an embedded hardware engineer.

Activities of the Embedded Hardware Engineer

Embedded Hardware

Let’s examine the above-mentioned activities in this subsection.

Choosing Components

This is usually the first thing done when beginning a brand-new project. The first step is to choose a microcontroller which will satisfy the project’s requirements. Then, based on a project’s needs, the necessary sensors are included in the list of parts. The circuitry of the power supply, ports such as HDMI, USB, and Ethernet, as well as the supporting circuitry must all be added after these primary components have been decided upon before the component listing is complete.

Development boards were typically utilized in combination with breadboards to create and test circuits after hardware has been chosen.

This circuit is afterwards transferred to PCBs. Additionally, the Software team is handed the development boards so they can get to work as Circuit board design and fabrication are typically time-consuming.

Designing PCBs

Designing PCBs is the following phase. All supporting circuitry, including the power supply, is designed in this step, and passive parts like capacitors, inductors, and resistors are included on the list. To simplify the process a bit, instructions for the circuitry are often accessible from the manufacturer’s datasheets and websites. The PCB design (not schematic) presents the biggest difficulty in this case. (For readers unfamiliar with the term “schematic,” it simply refers to the circuit diagram.)

PCB designing tools like KiCAD or Eagle are used to create the Circuit design. Once the PCB design is complete, several PCB manufacturers typically get an order. The time it takes to produce and deliver product to you can range from a few days to few weeks, depending upon the manufacturer. At this time, the required components are also bought online so they are prepared to begin assembly when the PCB does.

Setting up the board

Here is where well-known instruments like microscopes, multimeters, and soldering stations are employed. The first iteration of a hardware is created by soldering the components onto the Circuit board using the aforementioned techniques. This job requires good hand-eye coordination as well as some patience. With practice and time, you will definitely get better.

Designing and Handling Hardware Tests

FULL PCB MANUFACTURING Quote

The board is now put through some tests using JTAG in order to check for short and open circuits before being given to a software team. At this stage, software engineers will typically be also involved, and they will likely get some tests prepared to ensure that the hardware performs as intended. The board is then prepared to be given to a software team immediately these tests are finished.

Creating Additional Related Hardware Required For Manufacturing And Testing

The first step is ensuring the necessary adjustments based on test findings, the schematic, as well as the PCB designs now that the original development circuit boards are prepared and have been given to the software team. Typically, some changes will be required and the PCB designs and schematic will be more refined.

Additional gear, such as test benches as well as use case simulator, will be required in addition to the device for the software testing. Since these are internal tools that are not provided to end users, there is no need for miniaturization, which facilitates the design process for such tools.

Custom hardware might also be required so as to manufacture the device in large quantities, and this hardware is currently being built and tested. Additionally, some manufacturing software might well be required, which is also included.

These are regular tasks performed by embedded hardware engineers. Let’s examine the abilities required for the embedded hardware engineers to carry out the aforementioned tasks in the following part of this article.

What are the Skills Needed to be an Embedded Hardware Engineer?

embedded-components-in-pcb

The embedded hardware engineer has to possess the necessary knowledge regarding:

  • Reading schematics and datasheets
  • Electronics fundamentals
  • Circuit analysis and design
  • PCB design
  • Circuit debugging
  • Electrical engineering
  • JTAG for testing and production
  • Effective utilization of tools such as Oscilloscopes, Spectroscopes, and Multimeters
  • Soldering
  • Microcontroller architectures

These are merely the fundamentals; additional expertise, like as understanding of networking as well as radio engineering, may be required and learned according to the device being designed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What services does the embedded software engineer offer?

Software created by embedded software engineers operates on a variety of devices with specialized hardware, including Xbox controllers, monitors for blood pressure, smartwatches, bluetooth headphones, and microwave ovens. You can read a different piece about this that I wrote about at this website.

What do engineers who design PCBs do?

These professionals create high-performance Circuit boards with several layers in order to miniaturize products while maintaining their functionality. The PCB’s performance can be impacted by a variety of external conditions, including electromagnetic interference and temperature, the PCB designers’ job involves the offering of solutions to related problems, as well as design circuit boards which provides high performance.

Why work as a radio engineer?

These professionals are responsible for designing all the RF components of the device. They engage in impedance matching, resonant circuits, RF amplification, as well as filter design.

Conclusion

By now, you should understand what the embedded hardware engineer does. Their primary responsibilities include component selection, PCB design, hardware testing, creation of specialized testing tools, and design of other associated hardware such as product casing and test benches. Any questions? Please reach out!

 

 

 

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