Development board

Development board manufacturing and application guide

Development boards are circuit boards used for embedded system development, comprising a series of hardware components including central processing units, memory, input devices, output devices, data pathways/buses, and external resource interfaces. Typically, developers of embedded systems customize development boards according to their development needs, or users can design them on their own. Development boards serve as a means for beginners to understand and learn about both the hardware and software of systems. Additionally, some development boards provide basic integrated development environments, software source code, and hardware schematics. Common types of development boards include 51, ARM, FPGA, and DSP development boards.

The role of development boards:

Development boards serve as integrated platforms that facilitate embedded system development while reducing the barriers and risks associated with it. They play the following roles:

  1. Prototyping and validation: Development boards allow developers to quickly build prototypes of embedded systems and perform joint software and hardware debugging and testing to validate the functionality and performance of the system. They also simulate real-world environments, reducing uncertainties and risks during the development process.

  2. Application development: Development boards provide different hardware platforms and software support for various application needs, making it convenient for developers to create applications. They typically offer abundant peripheral interfaces and software libraries, enabling quick implementation of various application functions.

  3. Education and training: Development boards are also used for education and training, helping students and beginners understand the principles and development methods of embedded systems. They often have low costs and are easy to use, making them suitable for practical learning and experimentation.

  4. Enhancing learning efficiency: In terms of learning, development boards can effectively improve learning efficiency and shorten the development process.

Advantages of development boards:

  1. Rapid prototyping: Development boards assist developers in quickly designing prototypes and validating their designs efficiently.
  2. Easy portability: Development boards are highly versatile and can be easily ported to other hardware platforms.
  3. Abundant peripherals: Development boards typically offer a rich array of peripherals and interfaces, catering to diverse application scenarios.
  4. Cost-saving: Compared to designing and manufacturing hardware prototypes from scratch, using development boards can save on development costs.
  5. Default system and software support: Many development boards come with default system and software support, reducing the workload for developers.
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Components of a Development Board

A development board is a complex assembly of multiple electronic components, each of which serves a specific purpose. The primary elements can be divided into several categories:

This component is the development board’s brain, running software programs and controlling other peripherals.

It includes both volatile (RAM) and non-volatile (Flash, EEPROM) storage for program code storage and execution.

Input/ Output (I/O) Interfaces
These make it possible for the board to communicate with other devices or parts. Examples include digital I/O, analog inputs, and communication interfaces such as USB, UART, and SPI.

Manufacturing Process of Development Circuit Boards

  1. Determine the requirements and functionalities of the development board: Before making a development board, it’s essential to clarify its requirements and functionalities, including the needed interfaces, operating frequency, processor type, etc. Only with a clear understanding of the board’s functions and requirements can the subsequent design and manufacturing proceed.

  2. Design the circuit schematic: Once the requirements and functionalities of the development board are determined, the circuit schematic needs to be designed. When designing the schematic, considerations must include the connection methods between various circuit modules, specific parameters of circuit modules, etc. Professional circuit design software like Altium Designer, Protel, etc., is typically used for this process.

  3. PCB layout design: After completing the circuit schematic design, the PCB layout design follows. PCB layout design involves arranging components and traces from the circuit schematic onto the actual circuit board. Factors to consider during layout design include the board’s dimensions, distances between components, trace routing, etc. Professional PCB design software like PADS, Altium Designer, etc., is used for this process.

  4. PCB board fabrication: Once the PCB layout design is completed, the designed PCB board needs to be fabricated. PCB board fabrication usually involves techniques like photolithography, etching, etc., and the process needs to be conducted in a clean laboratory environment. The fabricated PCB board needs to undergo quality testing to ensure there are no issues like copper leaks, short circuits, etc.

  5. Component soldering: After the PCB board fabrication, various components need to be soldered onto the PCB board. Soldering requires attention to factors like temperature, duration, etc., to ensure soldering quality. After soldering, testing is conducted to ensure good joint quality.

  6. Software programming: Once the hardware is completed, software programming is required. Software programming typically involves using programming languages like C, assembly language, etc., to write programs controlling various modules of the development board. The written programs need testing to ensure correctness and stability.

  7. Debugging and testing: After software programming, debugging and testing are conducted. This process involves using professional testing instruments and tools like oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, etc., to ensure the normal operation of the development board’s modules.

  8. Encapsulation and production: After completing debugging and testing, the development board can be encapsulated and put into production. Encapsulation involves placing the development board into a casing to protect it from external environmental influences. Production involves mass manufacturing of the development board to meet market demand.


Development circuit boards play a crucial role in the electronics manufacturing field, offering excellent solutions to challenges in electronic design. If you need development circuit boards, please contact us.