Best board for Prototyping - with a mass produced product in mind.

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by mysticjim, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. mysticjim

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 15, 2018
    Hello all. Awesome forum, hope it turns out to be a mine of really useful information :)

    Quick question, hope someone more knowledgeable than me can assist.

    Okay, so I have this idea for a commercial product - I am looking to design and eventually mass produce a very low cost retro games console type device. Something akin to these mini consoles that are appearing on the market. I don't want to give too much detail but we're looking at something that will emulate Playstation 1/Sega Dreamcast/N64 era games.

    I would like to prototype the device on an SBC. I have the following criteria;

    1) I will be using a Linux environment to run the emulator, so naturally I need a board that is geared toward linux.

    2) It needs to have the inherent processing power and memory to run games from the target console generation without too much degradation of performance.

    3) I need to be able to equip the board with 2 standard USB ports for plugging in wired controllers and one other USB for power (the charging socket can actually also be USB mini or micro)

    4) And this is the clincher. I intend to convert the successful prototype into a dedicated single custom PCB for mass production.

    Now, if I were purely a hobbyist making a one off device I'd probably go straight for an RPi. However, as the final aim is cheap mass production, I've seen various things warning me away from that direction. I know the Pi can easily do what I want, but as I understand it, the microprocessor on a Pi can't be obtained for these purposes - I believe I need a board where all of the components are off the shelf and can easily and accurately be reproduced on a custom PCB. I'm not certain but I believe the Rasberry Pi CM modules might fall into this catagory, but I'd hope for some advice on this, please?

    Also, are there cheaper but viable alternatives that can do what I want?
  2. Sensacell


    Jun 19, 2012
    Everything depends on how many you intend to produce.
  3. mysticjim

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 15, 2018
    Poignant question - the answer is I'm really not sure. I think and initial run of 1000 might be realistic. I'm in a bit of a catch 22 - I can't really get an accurate quote for the mass production side of things until I have an idea of the components I'll be using in the prototype.
  4. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
  5. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009