Electrical System Design: An In-Depth Overview

Created: April/2020


Definition: In the consumer electronics sector, Electrical System Design primarily concentrates on electronics board-level digital systems, such as compute motherboards or, more succinctly, main logic boards. Therefore, our focus will be on digital system design, a comprehensive process that encompasses the creation of a digital computing system. This system usually includes both hardware and software components. The aim is to formulate a system architecture that proficiently integrates various subsystems—such as data processing, data storage, power management, human-to-machine interface, peripheral devices, and communication interfaces—to meet specific product requirements.

Problem Statement: As consumer electronic devices become increasingly digitized and multifunctional—featuring capabilities like audio playback, motion sensing, and wireless connectivity—the complexity of hardware system design has soared. This requires a profound understanding of interdisciplinary domains to make that major leap in consumer electronics.


Electronics board-level digital system design is not limited to consumer electronics; it finds applications across a wide range of industries such as military, automotive, and healthcare. While the foundational design principles remain consistent, each sector has its own set of demands related to reliability, certifications, and product life cycles. This page narrows its focus to digital system design specifically within the context of consumer electronics. 

Example of building blocks on an embedded system

Sections Overview

To arm aspiring eletrical system design engineers with the necessary skills, this page delves into typical designs encountered in modern smart devices. We dissect various system components and analyze how they interact, providing a comprehensive understanding of system design principles.

Encompasses all Computing Systems

Technologies and Components Choices

The Art of Digital System Design:

Digital system design goes beyond the simple assembly of hardware and software; it's an art form that requires strategic optimization. The essence of this art can be distilled into a few key aspects:

By concentrating on these core elements—partitioning, component selection, iterative testing, and validation—you can craft a digital system that is both effective and optimized, epitomizing the art of digital system design.

System Modules

EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility)

Ensures that electronic devices operate without causing or suffering from electromagnetic interference. 

Sensor System

Incorporates various sensors like accelerometers, gyroscopes, and temperature sensors for data collection. 

Power System

Focuses on power management and distribution across the device. 

Wireless System

Includes technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee for wireless data transf 


For high-speed, wired network connections. 

Digital System

The core computing and data processing unit of the device. 

Audio System

Low Power Design and Optimization Strategies

The principles of optimization power while minimizing user experience impact.


By exploring these various facets of system design, electronic system designers can gain a holistic understanding that equips them for the complexities of today's consumer electronics landscape.