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Product Design using PXA270 Reference Design - Loyalty Card Terminal with Linux

Business Need

Whether it is a startup or an established business house, product along with the underlying business concept contributes most towards the success, as compared to other factor like customer segment, product cost, geography etc. Moreover if it is a debut product launch it proves to be a decisive factor i.e. make or break that too When product happens to be a cost-sensitive consumer device that will be manufactured by a contractor outside the United States, choosing a design partner can quickly turn into a bet-the-company decision.

That scenario was crucial for our customer, a Florida based startup preparing its first hardware Information Exchange Unit, a loyalty card reading terminal intended to realize the concept of bringing all the mom and pop stores under one umbrella, a single point Loyalty program.
 

Solution

In this case, for a cost effective solution, e-con system (Chennai, India) proved the right fit. Its work force of approximately 50 people in offshore development centre at Chennai having broad and deep expertise in Embedded Linux, Hardware Design, OS Porting, Firmware Development etc was matching to the skill set as required by the customer. Most importantly the customer was not interested in a fresh hardware design and was keener to have something ready made and go about customizing it. The PXA270 reference platform had most of the features the customer wanted but a few additions like a different LCD panel and IRDA. PXA270 reference design was customized based on the customer specific requirements and hence a fast solution.
 

Target Device & Application: Information Exchange Unit (IEU)

 
1   Customers while entering into the stores swipes Magnetic card or uses IR beam from Mobile/PDA to register with IEU unit, which is connected to internet with Wireless or Wired Connection and post information on frequent intervals
2   Transactions recorded on the POS also will be posted to web server.
3   Information from the IEU and the POS can be synchronized locally or on an internet server.
4   Information from World Wide Web is available for all the participating stake holders, in complete Supply chain incl. the manufacturing house, distributors, retailers.
5   Customers can be rewarded based on their Loyalty to brands, shops and companies.
 
End to end Product design
 
e-con was supposed to design the IEU unit with multiple connectivity options and behave as a stand alone unit, capable of connecting to Internet/local server as well as to the local PC/POS system using Wireless or Wired Connection

Constraints/Challenges:

 
  • Time to Market :
  •  
    • Limited time of 3 and a ½ month for delivery of 50 prototypes
    • Production and shipment of 1000 Boards by end of 6th Month
  • Manufacturing coordination
  • Industrial Design Coordination
  • Stable and Scalable Design, able to cater to futuristic requirements
 

Accomplishments:

Since October 06 e-con has taken Customer from product concept through board prototypes with a challenge to design the board as per the available case design (an off the shelf chosen plastic case) and have successfully shipped first 600 units in a record time of 6 months that included manufacturing coordination as well.
e-con completed the design, well ahead of time and successfully shipped 1000 boards in a specified 6 Months time frame, further
 
  • 3000 pcs to be shipped in next 6 Months.
  • Complete industrial Design Coordination
  • Manufacturing Coordination