Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can easily feel like a kid in a candy store with so many recently developed manufacturing technologies to choose from.
With key functionality in many cases commoditized, the success or failure of wearables is increasingly determined in the early stages of the PCB and mechanical integration process where requirements are translated into practical design decisions such as how functions are mapped to PCBs and PCBs are integrated into the enclosure.
As part of our ongoing activity in the area of Silicon to PCB co-design data transfer, I have recently become a member of the board for the Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2), where major industry players such as Intel, IBM, Qualcomm, TSMC, Samsung and NXP are working together on collaborative R&D and standards setting.
In the first part of this blog series, I looked at the explosion in the growth of internet connected technology and wearable devices, and started to look at what kind of design challenges this posed; not just for cutting edge niche products, but mass market general electronics goods.
Wearable technology, like smart watches, are a prime example. As many players jump into the market to fight for the next great revenue growth area, they’ve got to up their game. Managing margins and pushing physical technology capabilities, to deliver a product with the correct price and functionality to reflect their brand positioning is a product design balancing act. Get it right and the pay-off in profitability is simple to see, the same applies for failure (no hiding behind rocks here).