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Hardware development

Hardware and software — are the two main components of any computational system. Not so long ago, these elements were distinctly separate from each other. While previously it was merely about manufacturing a product and putting it on distributor’s shelves, now purchasing electronics is only the beginning of a complicated process.

Today’s market has no shortage of technological innovations from giant developer-corporations and the competition rate is extremely high. The general public has a wide range of electronic products to choose from, so aside from solely technical characteristics, people now tend to pay closer attention to aspects such as user-friendliness and other arbitrary factors. Naturally, the question arises: what is more important — is it hardware or software development? What is the difference between the two and which model will be optimal for a successful high-end product?

What Exactly is Hardware Development?

Hardwareis a compound, kind of a cover-all notion that encompasses various electronic and mechanical elements of a computational device (so it’s everything excluding information that such a system stores and processes). Coordination between different nodes and blocks is usually conducted by the hardware interface.

Hardware development has to have four essential interconnected stages:

  1. Schematic diagram and prototyping of the manufactured product;
  2. Process of development and construction;
  3. Ultimate testing of the product;
  4. Supply-chain management for all the necessary equipment and raw material.

Paying a substantial amount of attention to design in hardware development allows to preemptively get rid of any problems that may arise in the initial stages of manufacturing, prevent the deferred release and significant financial costs entailed by it. Implementing such changes in the later stage of development almost always means huge unnecessary losses.

What Is More Important: Hardware or Software?

Tech enthusiasts often analyze and compare the advantages and drawbacks of these two integral aspects of any modern electronic device. However, it is obvious that both counterparts are dependent on each other.

Take for example three domains of human interaction with computing devices, the efficiency of which is evidently determined by both the hardware and software: computer games, graphical editing programs, and the latest technologies such as programs for face and gesture recognition and so on. Video games, as well as photo and video editing software, is constantly updated thanks to ever-increasing productivity and technological effectiveness of the hardware it is running on.

The importance of high-quality technical aspects of the machinery is hard to overestimate. However good and up-to-date is your software, any malfunctioning on the hardware side will hamstring all the effort of programmers at the root.

But today, the inherent difference between hardware and software seems to blend and becomes increasingly less pronounced. Manufacturers now often use standardized protocols that grant engineers easy access to the hardware compound of a device. If implementing Wi-Fi on a PC was previously a pain, now this procedure requires much less time, effort, and finance to be done!

The most important benefits of hard- and software symbiosis can be seen when an innovation designed for a specific technology is successfully realized in a completely unrelated domain, in a technological field no one would assume it would operate in. For example, when automobile manufacturers use pieces of technology that were initially developed for mobile phones and personal computers. This shift in paradigm presumably foreshadows the emergence of a new technological ecosystem that will be capable of revolutionizing smart-technologies, complex user interfaces, as well as overall visual experience we currently have with our modern devices.

Hardware Design 

The design of hardware — is a crucial element guaranteeing the market success of an electronic product after it is ready on the inside. The demand for compact devices that can be taken somewhere for a trip together with all the other necessaries or simply put into a pocket requires development companies to constantly work on shrinking the hardware components. People want their gadgets to be reliable, efficient, and mobile — which implicitly pushes the boundaries of progress.

Challenges of Hardware Product Management

The companies often face various challenges before they can put a new electronic product on the shelves. The following are some of the most common issues that may occur:

  1. Last-minute design changes. Slight adjustments or substantial changes in the final product just before its release leads to production delays, financial over expenditure, also problems with reputation, and so on. The situation can escalate quickly and blow the success of the project or even lead to the complete cancellation of the market release.
  2. Neglecting quality standards. A simple misunderstanding or intentionally ignoring normative such as European CE (certification mark), ISO (International Standard Organization), and others can equally lead to productional failure and the products may just not make it to the customers. To avoid that problem and preemptively eliminate the risks take the compliance requirements into consideration in the earlier stages of manufacturing.
  3. Leveling the risks. Creating a successful high-quality product for sale is a hard task on its own, and especially so for those who decide not to pay attention to potential risks on the way. Here is an avoidable scenario: clients are satisfied with the quality of your product, however, they can’t afford it due to excessive spendings during the production, so they lean to more accessible brands despite liking the result of your work. We can’t forget about the risk of normative failure — make sure that your technologies meet the requirements of all the necessary agencies on the governmental and international levels. You can use assessment tools such as FMEA to elude those mistakes, as well as analyze the consequences.

Similarities between Hardware and Software development

Hardwaredevelopment has to do with electronic or electromechanical devices. Those primarily work on embeddedsoftware and cover a wide range of machinery including mobile phones, personal computers, medical equipment, integral circuits like ASIC, and others. Softwaredevelopment, on the other hand, has to do with the programs that sparkle life into the machinery with “soft” stuffing invisible to the eye.

What does hardware and softwaredevelopment have in common?

  • Functional requirements (the ones oriented to an end-user) and nonfunctional (the ones that don’t concern an end-user);
  • Organizational complexity: both cases have high-density branching in their structures — general functions split and divide into various categories multiple times.

Differences between Hardware and Software Development

Specifics of copying and corrections. The program part is the working element of a device that can be easily duplicated onto another electronic device and adjusted in its code; the machine part can’t be manipulated so easily. Making changes in software is much cheaper and takes way less effort than tweaking the process of hardware development.

System update. Program services are typically updated several times after its initial release when developers decide to add some new functions or correct the working principles of a program. While machine products are physical in nature and can’t be “tuned” that simple after they are made. They are also constant in the structure and their capabilities are mostly fixated, unlike softwaredevelopment.

The difference in the basic principles of price alteration. The cost of development for softwareproducts is relatively constant and doesn’t change much during the course of the production. Whereas the hardware development expenditures can rapidly increase even in the final stages.

Specifics of testing. Software is usually tested by thousands of its functions repetitions, requiring quite some time to get it done. Whereas hardwaredevelopment implies a much smaller number of tests and less time. Yet another aspect is that software is tested by the so-called Quality Assurance (QA) engineers, and machinery testing is done primarily by the same specialists who made the product, so it takes less effort as well.

Conclusions

As the distinction between hardware and software development becomes more and more transparent, solely machine technologies still play a big role in innovations and electronics of all sorts. Programs will be animating the “hard” parts, while upgraded circuits will accompany the “soft” insides of our gadgets on our common way to future technological progress. 

Specialists from Sirin Software concentrate on hardware resources, paying close attention to integrative systems and IoT-solutions. Experienced engineers will take your project, thoroughly analyze it, and then extend the idea with consideration of all the technical aspects.

Follow the link to turn your personal hardware solution into reality right now!

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