There is good news and bad news for embedded developers about development kits and for the companies who provide them if a global research study being carried out by Parnell's element14 developer community is true.
According to Richard Curtin, Global Director of Strategic Alliance at element14, the good news is that initial findings indicate that development kits were used in almost half of electronics designs last year, good news for the companies providing them.
But the bad news is is that the global survey, which sampled the views of 2,000 designers of electronics prototypes, found that that while development kits are used in 45% of designs, only half of these are being taken through to the full production process.
“There is no doubt that development kits are playing a critical role in the design process, from simple testing right through to full prototypes. What’s clear from our initial research is that there are barriers that are stopping designs making it through to production,” said Curtin. “There’s a role for the distributor to play in helping engineers overcome the challenges that they’re facing, whether that’s in the design for manufacture or in the technical challenges that arise when you move away from the development boards.
“That’s why we’re calling for engineers to take part in our research and help us identify just what the biggest barriers to production are.”
This research marked the first phase of a comprehensive study that element14 is carrying out into the development kit market. The survey also identified that development kits are mostly being used within projects around sensing, wireless and communications, with the growth areas for the market in 2014-2015 identified by engineers as being within lighting control, sensing and wireless.
element14 is now launching the second phase of its research, looking at the dilemmas faced by the users of development kits, the critical features needed and the challenges that are stopping designs being taken through to final production.
He said engineers and development kit users can participate by visiting the element14 Community and completing the short questionnaire. The results will be published later in the year.