What Is Electronics System Design?

Electronic systems allow different components or parts, like circuit board assembly, to interconnect and gather the information associated with each part. When these parts process the information with the aid of input devices, electronic systems produce a desired outcome (based on the function of the components). Since the role of electronic devices varies based on where they are used, understanding the process of designing, testing (with PCB prototype boards), and establishing electronic systems is crucial for effective usage. Today, we will discuss the details of electronics system design to help you. Let’s get started.

Electronics System Design: Understanding the Basics

Electronics system design is the process of designing and developing a circuit board assembly (and systems) to achieve specific outcomes. Each part of an electronic system has a unique function. When designing an electronic system, understanding the functionality of each component is crucial to achieving the desired goals. The PCB prototype board of the designed system is thoroughly tested to evaluate any flaws and improvements. 

The design process involves choosing circuit board assembly, integrating multiple electronic components into PCB design (transistors, capacitors, resistors, microcontrollers, sensors, etc.), and developing them into a cohesive, functional system.

How Does it Help?

Electronics system design enables electronics engineers to break down complex information into blocks of simple procedures to build a circuit board assembly. By using robust PCB design techniques and integrating unique components, engineers establish sub-systems in complex circuits to achieve and measure efficiency. Since the PCB design process can be tricky (based on technicalities and functionality of components), engineers rely on block-diagram representation for foolproof development.

The Basic Principles of Electronics System Design

Regardless of the type of electronic system and PCB design used in it, you need input and output channels to stimulate the system’s operation. Since input signals act as triggers to operate the system, they are referred to as the cause. On the other hand, output channels (devices) take the information from the system and produce the desired outcome. Therefore, output devices are referred to as the effect of the cause. Based on the plan of action of an electronic system, they operate on the basic principle of cause-and-effect relationships.

For your ease, we have added a few examples of electronic systems highlighting the above principle.

Stereo Systems

A stereo system is a classic example of electronic systems with a circuit board assembly. The microphone (of a stereo system) acts as the input device, responsible for causing the sound waves to convert into electrical signals. These converted signals enter the amplifier for amplification (the process of increasing the amplitude of the converted signals). Once done, a loudspeaker (output device) takes the amplifier’s effect and produces sound waves audible to everyone in the room.

Please note that the circuit board assembly of stereo systems relies on multiple components and robust PCB design for efficient outcomes. Moreover, PCB prototype boards for such systems are tested before going into mass production. 


Calculators rely on electronic system design to operate. They consist of a circuit board assembly with multiple (integrated) components. When we use a calculator, we input numbers using the buttons and then select a function (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc.) to generate the results. Here, the buttons containing numbers act as the input channels, creating signals in the system to record information. Once we choose an operation, the system takes the recorded information and performs the task to deliver an outcome. The display screen acts as an output medium to show results.

Although calculators look simple, they rely on PCB design when developing the circuit board assembly. The PCB design allows the smooth operation of a calculator when used. Like other electronic systems, PCB prototype boards in calculators are tested before mass production. 

The Key Steps of Electronics System Design

When designing electronic systems, engineers opt for a strategic approach to minimize errors. Firstly, they develop raw plans for analyzing the project’s objectives. Based on the requirements, engineers make different design plans and develop PCB prototype boards with the goal of achieving enhanced efficiency. For your ease, we have added the core steps of a typical electronics system design process below.

Requirement Analysis

The first step in the process is to thoroughly understand the system’s requirements and achievable outcomes. Engineers analyze the specific information and brainstorm on PCB design ideas and the circuit board assembly. The brainstorming activity allows them to establish the objectives of an electronic system.

Circuit Design

With the help of established objectives, electronics engineers focus on the circuit board assembly design by picking the appropriate components. While valid, this process can take some time due to the technicalities of components involved in the process.

PCB Design

PCB design is one of the most crucial steps in electronics system design. When engineers establish the ground for circuit board development, they focus on developing a platform for mounting and interconnecting multiple components.

Selection of Components

Engineers make component selections based on the requirements of a system. In this phase, they narrow down to specifics, including the performance of components, power requirements, component size, costs, and other factors. The specifications enable them to achieve the desired system design and minimize the possibility of flaws in PCB prototype boards. 

Simulation and Testing

Electronics engineers use robust software to test the efficiency of different components. They rely on different methods to test the basic functionality of components before developing the final product. The simulation and testing phase is crucial to determine the efficiency of an electronics system design.

Firmware and Software Development

Some electronic systems include microcontrollers and programmable logic to operate. When working on such systems, engineers work on firmware and software development to integrate multiple components of the system.


With all parts of the electronics system assembled, engineers focus on PCB prototype boards to test the functionality of the final product. The prototype board allows them to evaluate flaws and make necessary modifications before developing the final product. Moreover, the prototyping process involves multiple personnel to check and validate the electronics system design.

System Manufacture

After thoroughly testing the electronics system design (with PCB prototype boards), engineers proceed to product manufacture and develop large quantities for commercial use. Despite prototyping and testing, electronics engineers thoroughly test each product in mass manufacturing to ensure quality assurance protocols.

Final Thoughts

Electronics system design is a complex process involving HDI PCB design, component integration, and PCB prototype boards for testing. However, electronics engineers can break the complex process into simple blocks of procedures for efficient outcomes. The above details highlight the basic concept, examples, and steps of procedure in the electronics system design. Feel free to seek an expert’s practical assistance when building complex circuit designs.

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