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6 Keys to Establishing a Great working relationship with an External Design Firm

Choosing Arira as a design partner has proven to be a key tool for many technology companies, both large and small. But how do you know if outsourcing your design is the right move for you?

Below are some excerpts from an excellent article that author Jim Douglas wrote where he lays out some key points for establishing a successful working relationship with an external design firm.

1. Clearly define your requirements.

Since time-to-market is critical for companies developing new technologies, clearly defined requirements are crucial. Decide whether you want a design firm to augment your current project team, take on a specific portion of the project, or take responsibility for the entire design.

2. Determine if you have a business model fit.

It’s important to determine whether the firms on your short list have a business model that suits both your short and long-term needs. The ideal partner will have experience operating under different models and be flexible enough to adopt a model that meets your specific requirements. Common models you will encounter include:

  • Scoped time and materials. Supplier provides estimate of man-hours required to complete the project and a rate per hour. After agreeing on scope and rate, supplier works until the project is completed. Changes to the original statement of work will be documented and agreed on via an engineering change order and billed at the same hourly rate.
  • Fixed price. Supplier defines scope of work and fixed price to deliver the project. Changes to the original statement of work will be documented and agreed on via an engineering change order. Payment for engineering changes can either be fixed priced or time and materials (as defined by the original contract or by subsequent negotiations.)

3. Determine adaptability.

Product-development projects rarely, if ever, proceed without changes or unforeseen circumstances. Your requirements will likely be modified midstream based on incremental market intelligence or availability of required components. You may miss your partner’s deadlines and they will, inevitably, not execute to perfection. Make sure you understand how your partner manages engineering changes and establish an escalation path that can be exercised if necessary.

4. Understand design infrastructure.

In addition to solid design expertise, one of the key advantages a potential design partnership should provide is a robust design infrastructure. The expense and time associated with building and maintaining a strong design infrastructure shouldn’t be underestimated. Also, the firm should also interface efficiently with other organizations (internal and external) in your supply chain. Make sure you understand how they function in this area.

5. Plan ahead and be ready to commit.

One of the key advantages of working with a design partner is the speed with which you can build a project team. Priority conflicts can sometimes lead to months-long delays when you attempt to form a project team with internal resources. However, don’t expect the companies on your short list to be at their best if you haven’t made decisions. They may not be able to start immediately, hold resources open indefinitely while you contemplate whether you are going to engage, or maintain a fixed delivery schedule if you delay the start. You should plan your time carefully and be mentally committed to an efficient evaluation process. When you reach agreement on these issues with prospective firms, the process can move efficiently.

6. Get references and check them.

Look for demonstrated expertise in the areas of interest to you. Ask for references from current or former customers. Then call each reference and ask for a detailed critique of the firm’s performance. Ask specific questions about your particular concerns. The strategic outsourcing of design services can help you meet your objectives and give you a competitive advantage. However, a well-planned approach – including careful analysis of contract resources, documented project planning, and continuous coordination throughout the life of a project – is essential.

If you have a new design or an existing electronic design that needs to be modified, we can help. We welcome the opportunity to be a key part of your technology, and your success.

By : admin /January 31, 2016

Lessons from Linley

Micron’s Ryan Baxter blogs on his recent trip to the Linley Data Center Conference.

“Though I left Boise the morning of February 5 at 0-dark-hundred to catch a puddle-jumper down to SFO, my morning fatigue soon waned as I found myself standing under bright lights at a Hyatt Regency podium a little after 10 a.m. addressing a room full of engineers and system architects.

This was my second appearance at the annual Linley Data Center Conference which was held in Santa Clara, CA February 5-6.  One of several conferences put on by the well-respected research group, this event covers system design for data-center servers and networking, so I am definitely in my element with this crowd.  I was the last of three speakers on a panel entitled Server Technology following presentations by Applied Micro Circuits and Freescale.  My talk, called “Developing Scalable and Resilient Memory Systems with Hybrid Memory Cube,” which you can view below, focused on HMC adoption, comparative technologies today, and the status of the HMC Consortium.      Read more here

By : admin /February 27, 2014

Arira Design Announces Availability of its HMC Evaluation & Development Board

Customers can use the Arira HMC Evaluation & Development Board to get a jumpstart designing Hybrid Memory Cube technology into their next product platform.

San Jose, CA, January 3, 2014:  Arira Platforms, a division of Arira Design, has announced the upcoming release of its Hybrid Memory Cube Evaluation & Development Board, the industry’s first evaluation kit to support the development of products based on Micron’s Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) Technology, Arira’s evaluation kit will allow electronics developers to get a jumpstart designing Hybrid Memory Cube technology into their next platform innovations. (more…)

By : admin /January 08, 2014

A Deeper Look Inside HMC Technology

Arira is playing a key part in developing HMC Technology by designing the Hybrid Memory Controller Card (HMCC).  Our HMCC allows developers to get HMC based designs to market quicker and with greater reliability than anything else currently on the market.

By : admin /December 13, 2013

Micron Hybrid Memory Cube Engineering Samples Start to Ship

Semiconductor company Micron Technology, Inc. has announced that it has started shipping 2GB Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) engineering samples to its lead customers. The firm says that HMC “represents a dramatic step forward in memory technology”. Initially it is envisaged that this tech will be employed in enterprise and corporations within data packet processing, data packet buffering and processor accelerator systems. However, within three to five years this HMC technology is expected to filter down to consumer applications.

To read the full article, click here

Arira is playing a key part in developing HMC Technology by designing the Hybrid Memory Controller Card (HMCC).  Our HMCC allows developers to get HMC based designs to market quicker and with greater reliability than anything else currently on the market.

By : admin /October 08, 2013

Matterport Unveils $5.6 Million Funding to 3D Capture Everything, Even the Kitchen Sink

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Matterport, the leader in rapid 3D scanning of spaces and objects, announced today that it raised a $5.6 million Series A financing round to create immersive experiences with interior spaces, starting with your home. Lux Capital led this latest investment round, with participation from Felicis Ventures, Red Swan Ventures, Greylock, Qualcomm Ventures, as well as a number of prominent Silicon Valley angels.

“We welcome the participation of these investors,” said Matt Bell, inventor of the camera and Matterport co-founder. “Together we are transcending limitations of the physical world by allowing people to communicate in 3D.”

read more…

By : admin /April 08, 2013

Aurora Networks to acquire Harmonic optical business for $46 million

Acquisition expands Aurora Networks’ installed base and cable market penetration

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aurora Networks, Inc., the number one optical access solution provider for cable operators, announced today the acquisition of the assets of Harmonic’s optical transmission equipment business. The acquisition will increase Aurora Networks’ market share lead in the optical transport market by significantly increasing its installed base for next-generation service-providing products and creating long-term strategic growth opportunities.

read more…

By : admin /April 08, 2013

Dropcam Now Processing More Uploaded Video Than YouTube Says CEO Greg Duffy

From TechCrunch

We sat down with Greg Duffy, CEO of Dropcam, to talk about his company’s move into online DVR services connected with their cool little HD webcams. The big news? Dropcam cameras now upload more video per day than YouTube.

Duffy noted that the company is working towards more intelligent content sensing so their cameras and online DVR service will be able to pick out faces and figures in the scene and be a bit more intelligent with notifications and motion sensing.

There wasn’t any new Dropcam hardware to speak of this CES but the service is definitely more interesting these days simply because a cloud-backed DVR could be a lifesaver for businesses and personal users alike.

read more…


By : admin /April 08, 2013

Arira joins the Hybrid Memory Consortium


Arira Design has joined the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium (HMCC)

 The HMCC is a working group made up of industry leaders that build, design-in or enable Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) memory technology.  The goal of the consortium is to facilitate HMC integration into a wide variety of systems, platforms and applications by defining an adoptable industry-wide interface that enables developers, manufacturers and enablers to leverage this revolutionary technology.  Hybrid Memory Cube is a revolutionary innovation in DRAM memory architecture that sets a new standard for memory performance, power consumption and cost.

Arira has made a major contribution toward the technology by designing the Hybrid Memory Cube Controller board. Find out more about our board here  (PLATFORMS LINK)

Click to learn more about the HMC Consortium


By : admin /April 03, 2013
  • About Us

    Arira was founded in 2003 by three experienced design engineers who wanted to build a company focused on designing and building electronic systems within extremely tight schedules, giving clients access to both knowledge of design as well as connecting them to a first rate project management team. Drawing on skill sets from the Networking, Telecom, Storage Networks and Handheld Devices markets, Arira has grown into a highly regarded electronic design services firm. Our focus continues to be on system design services, prototyping, and project management.
  • Our Solutions

    Arira provides superior quality design and development for a variety of electronic products and industries. Arira's extensive experience in complex designs and proven methodologies are ideally suited for the following markets: Telecommunications Systems: Data Networking; Storage Area Networking; High Performance Computing; Handheld / Mobile Devices; Consumer Electronics; Peripheral Cards