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  1. #1

    Systems Prototyping

    Hey all,

    I have a fantastic idea for a product I would like to sell. I've got most of the details sorted out but now need a working prototype before I can patent it. The details I can release are:

    - It needs a chip to store a set of instructions
    - It needs an interface of somesort (ie. USB)

    Does anyone know of companies that will prototype computer components, etc.?
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  2. #2
    Have you used Wiring? wiring.org.co
    You have a USB interface and it can store a pretty significant amount of data. I have used it to monitor temperatures, start fans on alerts, display data on LCD, it's pretty nice.

  3. #3
    I'm having a hard time navigating their site. Is this a schematic to build a circuit board that has memory on it and and USB port?

    Let me know.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    951
    Are you looking to program the instruction set yourself? Comfortable with using a PIC programmer?

    I'd first check out Digikey. They are huge, and have almost anything you can imagine for electronics.

    In terms of an IC with USB, I'd look at Microchip and their product line. More specifically the PIC18 series.

    Of course all this is dependent on your requirements like RAM, I/O ports, clock speed, etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    765
    I take it your an electrical engineer and know a thing or two about components, microprocessors, I/O interfacing ?

    Prototyping doesn't come cheap if your looking at a manufacturer, my advice is to build it yourself using what ever you get use that is close to production components. (thats where an engineering degree comes in handy)
    Then if you have the money and something that works, manufacturers will work with you in making a production prototype.

    That Wiring looks cool by the way, I actually have a project (which i've been sat on for ages) that would suit it perfectly....

    You can patent an idea if you can clearly proove it works and is unique in its own way.
    SOA/SaaS/Cloud & Hosting Technology Evangelist
    Note: Any opinions expressed are my own and not of anyone else or my companies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    188
    I would contact a local University, especially a larger one with a Computer Engineering Dept.

  7. #7
    No, I'm not an electrical engineer, just a man with a vision I'm not oppose to paying quality money for a quality prototype. I might take the suggestion of finding a university student (or students) to develop the project for me.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,025
    You could always try rentacoder.com for your project. I have a small device that some guys are working on right now from there and you get the added pleasure of having people bid on your project. I would look into patenting the concept first and then making sure you enforce the NDA's on rentacoder before you got started.
    Matt Armour
    OpenReaction

  9. #9
    I can't patent it without a working prototype, so I'll definately be enforcing the NDAs.
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