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Whiteboards & Block Diagrams


  • A rough design concept
  • Design building blocks (optional)
  • Keystone components


  • Whiteboard

Next Step:

As you begin choosing your keystone components you will get pushed into white-boarding and block diagramming your design.

This will feel like a very natural progression between part searching and schematic capture. You will likely find a couple parts that you want to use, but there will be a gap between them. They won’t speak the same language. Or will need different kinds of power. Or will get programmed differently. And this is where block diagraming them, or simply sketching them on paper, comes in.

Your goal is just to get a feel for how all of the parts you are using connect at the highest level. How many different power supplies do you need? Which parts talk LVDS, or HGMII, or I2C? Where do you need signal converters? Where do you need connectors? Are there any parts that come as a pair with other parts? How much power will you need? How hot will all these chips get?

You obviously don’t need to answer all of these questions right now - but you do need to start thinking about them. You need to get a feel for how it all fits into space and how big the final product needs to be. As you start to answer some of these questions you can start sketching your product both logically and physically. Your goal should be a block diagram that, at the highest level, shows the connections between your most important parts, and gives you a starting point for your schematic.

Once your block diagram begins to solidify, your keystone components stop rapidly changing, and your design concept has gelled you are ready to graduate from the whiteboard and move on to schematic capture.

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