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Going from prototype to production question.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Jonas, Sep 8, 2011.

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  1. Jonas


    Sep 8, 2011

    I have been working on a simple device that I would like to turn into a product for mass production. My experience with electronics so far has been in the realm of simple prototyping using bread boards or printed circuits. I have a prototype circuit that uses several 555 timers for an oscillator. The finished circuit area for the product needs to be less than 2 inches square. What are my options for shrinking, for lack of a better word, my circuit down. I have thought about using a single surface mounted microcontroller but I would like to keep the cost of the circuit down as much as possible. Can someone with experience in taking prototype circuits to production please provide me with what the process entails and what my option are. Thanks.

  2. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    I don't fill the bill for your tech advice specialist, but I have an idea or two.
    Are you already using surface mount 555's? That'll cut down space.
    Are you using both sides of the PCB? That'll save space too.
    How about using a LM556, that's an IC with TWO 555 timers on it?
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    1) Double sided board with surface mount components on both sides.

    2) multi-layer PCB if traces are using too much realestate.

    3) Small components (such as 0402 and smaller) and BGA or COB.

    4) if you really have to, multiple stacked PCBs with interconnects.
  4. BobK


    Jan 5, 2010
    Depending on how you are using the several 555s, a small (6, 8 or 14 pin) microcontroller could possibly replace all of the 555's and need fewer external components. I would think the cost would be at least a wash since you can get microcontrollers for less than a dollar. Can you tell us how each 555 is used?

  5. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Good point. You can also get microcontollers in packages with as few as 6 pins. Depending on the complexity, maybe that is all that is required!
  6. Externet


    Aug 24, 2009
    National Semiconductor LM556 are available also on package M14A for surface mount.
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