Where can I find an Embedded Developer?

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary

Translate This Thread From English to

Threaded View
Howdy All,

I am trying to build a prototype for a provisional patent.
http://www.ideaone.us/current.asp . Where can I find an EE and/or
embedded developers for small jobs?

I am wanting to build an USB FM receiver. I anticipate that will
utilize the Audio Class. I am also try to avoid FM receiver chips (i.e.
TEA5757) to keep production costs as low as possible.

Thanks!


Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?
You came to the right place, but in all honesty, a canned FM chip is
probably the lowest cost option for you, that would also do a decent
job. You need a high amount of gain and a discriminator (usu coil based
for low cost, but can be PLL based for tight space requirements, albeit
for a higher price). Filtering in general is hard to do in tight
spaces, but it's needed if you want to receive a weaker station -
having almost no filtering would possibly work for very strong local
stations).
  Do you want a speaker in that device, or do you play it through the
soundcard? I'm guessing the soundcard, to keep it cheap.
  You also compete with radio stations that have web feeds in a
streaming media format. This kind of thing is commonly used among your
target audience (young adults, techno-savy). But your device has value
in workplaces that might filter out streaming media.
  Your idea is very cool! But I think you want it to be cheap enough
that a station can buy thousands of them and give them out for free.
This is going to be difficult. You also have to factor in the cost of a
USB interface chip. You might also need to have software loaded on the
PC, or else you might make a live self-running program on the USB
device - this is very new technology.
  Some companies don't allow "regular" employees to access their USB
ports due to security concerns. This is another gotcha.


Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?
Thanks Eric,

You pretty much hit everything on the head. Yes, I want to use the
sound card. That is why I was leaning toward the Audio Class. Although,
a Mass Storage device with the player in the flash has alot of appeal.

Yes, I want to keep it cheap enough to where it can be bought by the
thousands. If the device costs too much (i.e. $20) I might be able to
offset the the costs with other promotional items.

Thanks for the advice on the FM chip. Do you have any recommended
chips? I have seen some priced at $3.50 in bulk
Thanks again!


Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?
Hello,


Quoted text here. Click to load it

$20 sounds way too high for a USB-FM receiver.


Quoted text here. Click to load it

This stuff requires tough negotiations. Just went trough that with a uC.
You usually need to talk with the manufacturer directly and make it
crystal clear that the design-win for them won't happen unless it's
under $x.xx at so many thousand parts a month. It does help to point out
a few competing chips. Sometimes it can feel like buying a car ;-)

Just FWIW: You will most likely need two engineers. One who can design
the radio part and another one who takes the data and does the
software/firmware part.

Another issue to contend with is noise. Where's the antenna going to be?
What kinds of in-band "birdies" will the attached computer gear generate?

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?


Quoted text here. Click to load it

What is "bulk"? IC-based FM receiver designs sell for under $5.00
_RETAIL_. The receiver IC would be about $0.75.


Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?
Hello Lewin,

Quoted text here. Click to load it

That's because they buy in super duper bulk. A few hundred thousand per
shipment or so. You really have to negotiate this stuff hard.

Specialty chips aren't always the answer. For many of my designs I ended
up going discrete. Even on some switch mode supplies where the PWM
controller chip just wouldn't come below 50c. The 20 or so parts that
replaced it were under 25c including placement and all.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?


Quoted text here. Click to load it

Depends what you call super duper... which is why I asked. I am
responsible for designs that use about 15,000 per month of receiver
chips.


Re: Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?
Did anyone mention the Silicon Lab USB FM Raido Reference Design?

http://www.silabs.com/tgwWebApp/public/web_content/products/Microcontrollers/en/USBFMRadio.htm


Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?

Quoted text here. Click to load it
http://www.silabs.com/tgwWebApp/public/web_content/products/Microcontrollers/en/USBFMRadio.htm
Quoted text here. Click to load it

It uses the Si4701 FM radio chip. Still over $3 for 10,000 last time I
looked. A tad high for my taste.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?
Quoted text here. Click to load it
http://www.silabs.com/tgwWebApp/public/web_content/products/Microcontrollers/en/USBFMRadio.htm
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I've contacted Silicon Labs. multiple times for the technical datasheet of
the chip and for a place where to buy them (in small quantities). They
haven't replied at all, so I imagine they aren't very keen on having
small-time customers.

But if you're planning on having a huge quantity made, then I'm sure they'll
be much more forthcoming towards you.

I, however, wasn't pleased with them. Going to use a Phillips TEA5767 in my
USB FM project (thesis work)

Greetings,
Antti Keskinen



Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?
Hello Antti,

Quoted text here. Click to load it

That does not sound like a good business philosophy. Not supporting the
next generation of engineers can quickly lead to falling design-in
rates. Relying on a few large customers alone usually leads to problems
down the road as can be seen with some European semiconductor
manufacturers. Excellent products but disappointing sales.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

In America the electronics manufacturers are slowly beginning to understand
the need to support the small design shops better. They are slowly
understanding that their bulk sales will be off shore but a great deal of
design work is done in  the US and elsewhere. And if they do not support us
someone else will.





Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?
Hello Nappy,
Quoted text here. Click to load it

They began to understand that early on and some like AD were always
supportive. But most EU companies do not have a clue in that respect.
Consequently my design-in rate for their stuff went from around 30% to
really close to zilch.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?
Hello Lewin,

Quoted text here. Click to load it

That qualifies as super duper. 75c would be ok, anything above a Dollar
is hard to justify. Unless you really, really don't have the space. At
those qties you could almost have an ASIC made.

Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com

Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?
Quoted text here. Click to load it

If you have some candidate chips in mind for the USB microcontroller,
check the manufacturer's websites.  Most manufacturers have some kind of
referral program to help you find consultants in your area.  There are
also ads in Inventor's Digest and on their website for designers who
take small jobs.

SHAMELESS PLUG:  We are Cypress CyPros certified USB & PSoC consultants.
  We offer a discount to independent inventors (as advertised in
Inventor's Digest).

--
Chuck Cox - SynchroSystems - Synchro.com
snipped-for-privacy@synchro.com, snipped-for-privacy@fas.harvard.edu
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Where can I find an Embedded Developer?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Provisional patent is a bad idea. Can trip you up later on when you file the
final patent.
Skip the provisional and just file the patent.




Site Timeline