Samsung Smart TV screen and Tizen logo
Tizen ranks first among all operating systems for Smart TV globally

This article is about the amazing adventures of JS developers in the world of Tizen OS. It will include a step-by-step setup of the integrated environment (IDE), development of Smart TV apps, their submission to the Tizen Store — and, of course, code samples and case studies.

If you share our belief that Javascript is the best programming language working almost everywhere, from your grandma’s Smart TVs to the SpaceX ships, welcome to our guide.

So, you’re a front-end developer having a big, beautiful, 65-inch Samsung Tizen TV. And you have it for a reason because you need to design…

Technology that will change the electronics design and user interfaces with mechanical buttons

Curved printed circuit created with the use of IMEs
Image credit: TactoTek, a developer of the IMSE™ technology — In-Mold Structural Electronics

For several years now, electronics manufacturers have been discussing a breakthrough technology that will change the devices we use and the approach to their design: no more mechanical buttons and switches, reduction in thickness to 2 mm, about 70% lighter, and 30% cheaper.

We are not talking about future mass-produced devices like the double folding and rollable screens recently showcased by Samsung, but about the production technology already used in industrial and automotive electronics, home appliances, IoT, and wearable gadgets. This technology is called in-mold electronics or IME. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet written about this exciting topic on our blog…

Three devices with examples of thermomodeling of air flows inside their enclosures

A breakdown of the most effective methods of heat dissipation for mass-produced electronics

A typical electronic device consists of an enclosure or case and internal components that emit heat when they work. And that’s where the conflict comes in: manufacturers try to make their enclosures smaller (cheaper and more convenient), but a compact enclosure prevents heat dissipation. The growth of computing power exacerbates the problem: the electronics get hotter, leading to failures.

So how to ensure sufficient cooling while designing enclosures new mass-produced devices? Let’s go through the different types of heat dissipation together, considering natural convection, forced cooling with fans, and liquid cooling systems.

Natural convection cooling

Let’s start with natural convection cooling within an…

Examples of FPGA projects based on Nvidia Jetson, Zynq UltraScale+, and Xilinx KRIA

Let’s try to optimize the most time-consuming stage of electronics design based on FPGA — we mean the FPGA firmware debugging. This article will talk about the 20/80 principle for the planning FPGA design project, consider debugging tools, recall Gordon Moore and Winston Churchill (yes, they have something to do with it). Also, we will touch on debugging of complex distributed FPGA systems with external interfaces and, finally, deal with typical mistakes and best engineering practices.

First, let’s look at a usual FPGA design project:

A step-by-step guide for porting Flutter to STB with the RDK open-source platform + overview of possible challenges and tips for a successful launch and improved performance

RDK software stack or Reference Design Kit is now heavily used to develop OTT applications, voice control for set-top boxes and other advanced features for video-on-demand (VoD), so we wanted to see if Flutter could work on a set-top box. It turned out that yes, but, as is usually the case, there are nuances. Next, we will describe the process of porting and running Flutter on the Embedded Linux platforms step by step and see how this open-source SDK from Google feels on hardware with limited resources and ARM processors.

But before going directly to Flutter and its benefits, let’s…

Let’s review all the possible options for updating the firmware on Android devices, paying special attention to over-the-air updates (OTA), and looking back at its development stages.

Our fan art for Android Engineers who also like movies about Indiana Jones
Fan Art: Indiana Jones sets up a new “active section”, swapping a golden idol for a sandbag in an iconic scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

So, how can you update Android on mobile devices? While developing software for Smart TVs and Android-based set-top boxes, we’ve narrowed it down to four ways, discarding some very exotic options:

  1. Flashing the flash memory via the JTAG hardware interface (if available).
  2. Flashing the flash memory with the bootloader.
  3. Updating via Recovery Mode.
  4. OTA (over-the-air).

Let’s take a closer look at each of the options.

1. Updating Android via the JTAG interface

The option with JTAG allows you to update the device on the spot only and requires connecting the Android device to the host, for example, via the USB interface. Since we reflash a flash memory…

This is how the Promwad Company launched an AI-based app on STBs to make video content shoppable; and how digital TV operators can monetize this project.

A user places an order for a sweater found in a video stream
An AI-based app for Smart TV. Photo by Promwad STB Design Center

Where people catch ideas for new fashion outfits? It used to be fashion magazines and photos, and now it is Youtube and digital TV. Millions of people worldwide are influenced by videos when choosing new shoes and clothes. But the very process of looking for new items for a stylish look is not so simple: people have to google new products, browse through hundreds of images in online stores or walk kilometers through the shopping malls. This process has to be changed and made easier.

And that’s what happened. It all started with a Belarusian-American startup Oyper; they created a…

If you want to make a live sample of your 3D design or sketch, you will have to deal with prototyping, 3D printing, or milling.

Smartphone with an app for fishfinder, device samples, assembled and disassembled
Fishfinders with waterproof plastic enclosures and rubber-like coating. Photo by Promwad Manufacturing

A case or enclosure prototype for your new hardware product gives a clear understanding of technical feasibility of your idea. A manufactured sample is always more visual and convincing than a drawing or 3D model. It is advisable to bring it as close as possible to a serial or mass manufactured sample (so called DFM approach or design for manufacturing).

When creating an enclosure prototype, you will need to choose its manufacturing technology, prepare documentation, calculate costs, and plan delivery routes. …

Let’s consider the entire process of developing a new hardware product from the idea to the launch of mass production

Custom-designed electronic devices and printed circuit boards
Examples of hardware electronic products. Image by Promwad

When Time magazine named world-leading high-tech products, they set a high bar for hardware and software engineers developing new devices for the electronics market. The leader was iPad — an Apple tablet released in 2010 and became an icon of portable gadgets. Tesla Model S. came in second place. This electric car proved that bold design and cool batteries could compete with the titans of the automotive industry. The single-board computer Raspberry Pi closed the TOP-3, it became the basis for a vast number of DIY gadgets. The Time listing also included the Apple Watch and the Amazon Echo smart…

Do you want to create a product that will conquer the electronics market? Then take industrial designers on your team. Style and visual thinking, human psychology and ergonomics of new electronic devices are in their power.

A workplace of our industrial designer: a tablet and a computer with 3D models of a new device.

It all started with the German school of industrial design “Bauhaus” (bau — “build,” haus — “house”), which in the 1920s covered all aspects of life, combining logic and aesthetics. They laid the basics of engineering in industrial design, emphasizing that function and design determine form — the more functional the device, the more effective it is.

We use the results of industrial designers’ work every day. Various gadgets are so prevalent that we can’t imagine how we would live without our smartphone, laptop, or other electronic devices. However, the process of their industrial design remains in the shade. I…

Ivan Kuten

Ivan is a co-owner and CTO at Promwad Electronics Design House, where startups & mature companies transform their ideas into mass-manufactured devices & apps

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