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
User Interface: Includes the display, keypad or touchscreen interface, and other physical elements like buttons that facilitate user interaction.
Compute Processor: The central unit that manages tasks and processes data.
Memory and Storage: Stores operating system, device drivers, apps, secure elements, and user data.
Connectivity Module: Manages wireless communication like cellular, WiFi, and Bluetooth and wire communication such as Ethernet and USB
Power Management and Delivery: Manages battery and power distribution.
Sensors: Various sensors like GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, etc.
Audio Module: Manages audio input/output, like microphone and speakers.
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
Combination of Hardware and Software Components: A digital system is not just about hardware or software; it's about the synergy between the two.
Partitioning Design: Breaking down the system into manageable components is crucial for both development and maintenance.
Technologies and Components Choices
Programmable Components: Includes CPLDs (Complex Programmable Logic Devices) and FPGAs (Field-Programmable Gate Arrays).
Processors: The brain of the system, capable of executing software instructions.
Memories: Storage components like DRAM and flash memory.
Interfaces to Analog World: Components like A/D (Analog to Digital) and D/A (Digital to Analog) converters, special transducers like speaker drivers.
Input/Output Devices: Buttons, pressure sensors, touch screens, etc.
Communication Links: Both wired and wireless methods for the system to interact with its environment like Ethernet connectivity or WiFi/Bluetto radios.
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:
Partitioning the Design: This involves breaking down the system into modules that serve specific functionalities. It's vital for both managing complexity and ensuring each part works efficiently.
Component Selection: This initial step entails choosing the right components for these modules, such as processors, data storage, and power management systems.
Iterative Testing and Refinement: After the system is designed, it undergoes cycles of testing and refinement to meet performance specifications.
System Validation: The final step is to ensure the system meets all constraints, like performance, cost, and power.
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.
EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility)
Ensures that electronic devices operate without causing or suffering from electromagnetic interference.
Incorporates various sensors like accelerometers, gyroscopes, and temperature sensors for data collection.
Focuses on power management and distribution across the device.
Includes technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee for wireless data transf
For high-speed, wired network connections.
The core computing and data processing unit of the device.
Low Power Design and Optimization Strategies
The principles of optimization power while minimizing user experience impact.
Definition: Electrical System design refers to the process of creating a digital computing system, focusing on an architecture that integrates various subsystems like data processing, storage, power management, and interfaces to meet product requirements.
Scope: The article zeroes in on board-level digital systems in consumer electronics, covering both hardware and software components.
Complexity: Highlights the challenges posed by the multifunctional nature of modern consumer electronics, such as audio features and wireless connectivity.
Art of Design:
Partitioning: Emphasizes the importance of dividing the system into functional modules.
Component Selection: Describes the need to choose appropriate hardware and software elements for these modules.
Iterative Testing: Stresses the role of ongoing testing to meet performance specs.
System Validation: Underlines the final step of ensuring all system constraints are met.
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.