Electronic System Development Explained

In this blog we are going to explain what electronic system development (ESD) is, making it easier to understand and gauge why it may be necessary for the development of your idea. At theCADlab we want you to fully immerse yourself in the experience of bringing your product to life and so having a basic understanding of our processes is a great place to start.

Think of ESD as the spark that lights a match. If the right materials were not within the head of that match it would never light, and that is what ESD is to a product. The right materials brought together in the right way.

What is Electronic System Development?

ESD is the design and development of electronic embedded systems and electronic hardware including software and hardware design, mechatronics design and integration with mechanical and software systems.

Many products and services require electronic functionality such as user interfacing, sensing, actuation, and automation. ESD is the process used to implement and integrate the functionality and is common in most engineering industries; product development, remote sensing, IoT, industrial automation and more.

In a nutshell, ESD is vital in bringing your idea to life. Whether it’s at the abstraction level, a place to hide certain subsystems in a design in either software or hardware or on the surface, ESD will likely play a part. 

What are the Stages of Electronic System Development?

ESD can be broken down into 7 steps; preliminary production design, schematic diagram, printed circuit board (PCB) layout, final bill of materials (BOM), prototype, test and program, and certification.

Preliminary Product Design

When you come to theCADlab with an idea we will first create a preliminary design to ensure you are happy with the look and proposed functionality of your product.

Schematic Diagram

This phase is all about detail. The diagram will allow us to view every component within your product and how each fits and works together.

PCB layout

We then design the physical PCB that connects all the electronic components together. 


Although we will have already outlined what is needed to build your product, a final BOM is required to ensure all is in order before the production of the prototype. 


The fun part. This is where we watch your idea, once scribbled on the back of a napkin, be born.

Test & Program

When your prototype is complete it’s time to test and program it to ensure it’s fit for purpose. Now is a good time to make any alterations.


Depending on your product, it is important to get it certified for use.

Electronic System Development Services

TheCADlab provides a full suite of electronic design possibilities for clients. We can design anything from a simple blinking LED to a fully integrated embedded system with software, phone/desktop applications, user interfaces, data collection, industrial automation, mechatronic actuation systems, robotics and more.

Have a question? You can read more about what we do on our blog or get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.