IoT products are lovely and sometimes frustrating products. Design teams need to be multifunctional to design these products successfully. They need to get the hardware, embedded software, web platform and/or app, and mechanical enclosure perfect if they want to see market success. Problems in any of these areas mean your new product will be substandard and, eventually, competitive products will win market share.
So what does it take to ensure these products are designed successfully? IoT PCB design isn’t just about the hardware. It’s also about user experience and form factor. This means any IoT PCB design team needs to work across disciplines, and everyone needs a view of each other’s deliverables. Cloud platforms and on-premises networking platforms help make this type of collaboration possible.
If you’ve bought an IoT product recently, such as smart appliances or a home security system, you’ve probably had to download an app to your phone and create an account on the company’s website. These products can also have interesting enclosures that require exacting design specifications. These different aspects of an IoT product mean an IoT PCB design team needs to be multifunctional and need to collaborate for successful design. Your IoT design team will include people from the following disciplines:
Recent IoT projects we’ve worked on required collaboration between myself (as lead engineer/manager), the PCB layout engineer, the embedded developer, the client’s mechanical designer, and the client’s software development team. These types of projects can get very complex when so many people are working on the same goal, and keeping everyone on the same page takes collaboration tools that can support all the different file types required to create a new platform.
Anyone that’s worked as part of a software team is probably familiar with Slack, Jira, and other collaboration and chat tools for sharing code, tracking task progress, and entering tickets for outstanding development issues. The collaboration tools you use should enable some important tasks as part of IoT PCB design and development:
As more companies go remote, even in the realm of hardware development, design teams will need cloud-based or on-premises systems that integrate with their design software. The current class of remote collaboration tools can’t provide the accessibility needed to instantly import design data into ECAD and MCAD programs while also providing version control, component management, and user access control. It’s time for hardware teams to use a new platform that unifies PCB designers with mechanical designers and, soon enough, embedded developers.
Altium 365 is the only platform that integrates Altium Designer with apps like Altium Concord Pro and the Altium Viewer, making collaboration easy for multifunctional teams. Engineers from all disciplines can see each other’s design data and instantly import it into Altium Designer or view it through an Altium Concord Pro web instance. The version control, commenting, and access control features let your team create a GitHub-style platform for hardware development. This is an ideal way for IoT PCB design teams to collaborate on complex projects.
Altium Concord Pro on Altium 365 is bringing an unprecedented amount of integration to the electronics industry until now relegated to the world of software development, allowing designers to work from home and reach unprecedented levels of efficiency.
We have only scratched the surface of what is possible to do with Altium Concord Pro on Altium 365. You can check the product page for a more in-depth feature description or one of the On-Demand Webinars.