While a wide and ever-growing discipline, electronic engineering is primarily the design of electronic circuits to achieve various functions. This would involve utilising the many different electronic components to manipulate electrical current to then preform specific tasks. This could involve tasks in communications, automation, signal processing, computation and much more. Electronics is a subfield of electrical engineering. Electrical engineering typically involves the design of high-power electrical equipment such as that found within power generation. While electronics, is typically low voltage and heavily reliant on semiconductor devices such as transistors and diodes.
For many years now many consumer goods have included some form of electronic circuitry. This circuitry could be as simple as switching on a light or as complex as the circuitry that exists in modern computers. The current trend in consumer goods is the use of embedded systems. Embedded systems contain some form of computational device which interacts with various inputs and outputs in order to perform its function. Embedded systems range in complexity but in recent years many ‘smart’ devices have emerged, especially within the world of consumer goods. These ‘smart’ electronic devices communicate with other devices and networks through some form of wireless protocol such as Bluetooth or WiFi. Due to the ever-increasing connectivity and complexity within the products that we use every day, it has never been more important to invest in electronic solutions to allow your product to maintain its place in the modern world. This advent of connectivity has allowed everyday products to communicate to other devices to better the user’s experience and improve functionality. An example of this being the fitbit, which monitors things like heartrate and steps taken, to then be visualised within an app on the user’s smartphone.
Microcontrollers often act as the computational device present in embedded systems, basically act as a tiny computer to control the peripherals that may be needed to achieve the functionality of the device. While the hardware sits connected on a circuit board, the firmware is the program details how this controller interacts with all the other circuitry surrounding it. The firmware therefore is just as vital as the hardware when it comes to design. While hardware design remains one solution, achieving the functionality through firmware design becomes the final hurdle before seeing the functionality achieved.
Microcontrollers provide us with quick and efficient ways to achieve electronic functionality. Many modern microcontrollers have the processing power to achieve smart functionality. They can communicate with WiFi modules to send and receive data wirelessly through the internet while also communicating with circuitry local to the controller. A simple example of a microcontroller’s possibilities could include the controller driving a motor while receiving data over WiFi from a smart phone controlling the speed of this motor. This example is only one of the endless possibilities achieved by electronics design.
What Innovate offer
Here at innovate we excel in implementing and programming these embedded systems to fit the design specification of the customer, while also being capable of providing more traditional solutions to your electronic requirements. Innovate can provide direct consultation in whatever electronic solutions your product may require. Providing studies into the feasibility of the product while conducting research and tests to fully comprehend the challenges and opportunities that may arise while designing the device.
Once the design specification has been fully realised with the client, we can then go on to design the schematic and then the circuit board for your product. PCBs or printed circuit boards designed in house can be manufactured quickly and to a high degree of quality. The ability to design our own PCBs means we can easily house complex electronics within the physical constraints of the product. PCBs also allow designs to become much more bespoke and efficient without having to rely on pre-made boards that may not be optimised toward the customer’s specification. Here at innovate we have the means to provide quick electronic solutions to the world of product design, a world which seems to be increasingly tied with electronics.