Embedded Software Design Expertise

Our integrated team of experts helps you navigate the complexities of embedded software that are tailored to the specific needs of the product. This could include designing software architecture, programming, testing, and system integration to ensure that the software is optimized and upgradable for user friendly connected devices and future revision management.

Video: Meet our embedded systems design team

Trusted to design, develop, and engineer manufacture-ready products for startups and the world’s most innovative brands

What You’ll Get With Our Embedded Software Development Expertise

Our software infrastructure, process and methodology, refined with years of experience and best practices, help you expedite custom code programming to deliver reliable, robust and leading-edge software.

Custom Embedded Software Development

Embedded software development services can provide custom software development solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of the product. This includes designing software architecture, programming, testing, and integration to ensure that the software is optimized for the device’s hardware and meets the product’s functional requirements.

Embedded Sensor Integration

Embedded systems software experts help with selecting the appropriate sensors for a specific application by evaluating device requirements. We develop software interfaces for communication and interpretation of sensor data and develop calibration and integration algorithms to ensure accuracy and reliability of the data. Our expertise can provide valuable assistance in integrating sensors into new device architectures, ensuring the components are selected and integrated correctly for accurate and reliable data measurement.

Embedded Testing Validation and Debugging

We help you with debugging and testing new products by developing achievable requirements and targets then implement effective testing procedures and tools, identifying and fixing errors, integrating elements necessary to manage the reliability and performance of the product. With our in-house expertise, we streamline the debugging and testing process to ensure the product meets the customer’s needs and is of the highest quality before release to the market.

We help you develop seamless wireless connections between physical devices and applications with Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi connectivity, Cloud Connectivity, Application Programming Interface development and Over-the-Air updates to receive software updates over a wireless network.

Embedded Software Development Specializations

Wireless Connectivity

We help you develop seamless wireless connections between physical devices and apps:

  • Communication Protocols: Bluetooth BLE 5.x, WIFI, LTE/NB-IoT/Cat-M, 6LoWPAN, Contiki, IEEE 802.15.x, Thread, Mesh, Lora, ANT, Zigbee, Matter
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Connectivity: BLE is a wireless communication protocol that allows for low-power connectivity between devices.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: Wi-Fi is a popular wireless communication protocol that provides high-speed connectivity between devices.
  • Microcontroller and microprocessors platforms: STMicroelectronics STM32, ST8, STM32MPx, Espressif ESP32, Nordic NRF52/53, Microchip PIC10/12/18/PIC32, Atmel ATMega8/16/32/64, ATSAM9, Cypress PSOC, Silicon Labs EFM, NXP i.MX 6/7/8, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm Snapdragon, Raspberry PI, Nvidia Jetson, ARM Cortex, RISC-V

Sensor Selection and Integration

Providing you assistance in sensor selection, design and testing for new devices:

  • Sensor Technologies: Sensors and peripherals: IMU, MEMS accelerometers, gyroscope, magnetometer, load/force, pressure, flow, ultrasonic, biometric (fingerprint), gesture, microphone, camera, gas, photodiodes, piezoelectric, time-of-flight, UWB, RFID, NFC, GPS/GNSS, RTK, stepper/servo motor/actuators, LCD, capacitive touch sensing, GSR, EEG/EOG

  • Sensor Interface Development: Once sensors are selected, embedded software experts can develop software interfaces that enable the device’s software to communicate with the sensors.

  • Sensor Calibration: Sensor calibration is critical to ensure accurate and reliable data measurement. 

Embedded Systems Technology:

Tap into our deep expertise across the entire technology stack of embedded design, including:

  • Wired Communication: Ethernet, RS422, RS485, USB 3.x, Modbus ASCII/RTU, CAN
  • Application Layer Protocols: HTTP, COAP, MQTT, Websocket, REST, XML-RPC, TCP/IP/UDP
  • Coding Languages: C/C++, Python, Java, Javascript, Typescript, Angular, React
  • Cloud Infrastructure: AWS IOT/Lambda, Azure, Google
  • AI Machine/Deep Learning: TensorFlow/Lite/Keras, PyTorch, Scikit-learn, Yolo, OpenCV, Sensors MLC (sensors machine learning core)
  • Operating Systems:  bare-metal/state machines, FreeRTOS, Zephyr, Linux, Android, Arduino, Thread, VxWorks, QNX, CMSIS-RTOS


Power Management Development:

Power management is an essential aspect of embedded systems design, as devices often operate on battery power. We help optimize your new product’s power by:

  • Low-Power Components: Choose hardware components that are designed for low power consumption, minimizing energy drain and enhancing overall device efficiency.

  • Sleep and Idle Modes: Utilize sleep and idle modes to temporarily disable non-essential functions when they are not in use, conserving battery lie

  • Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS): Employ DVFS techniques to adjust voltage and clock frequency of the device’s components based on workload, matching power usage to processing needs.


What Clients Say About Working With Design 1st

George Tsintzouras

Director of Product, Christie Digital

Immediately understood what was needed

When we wanted to transition our older generation projector models to a more modern look and feel, Design 1st was a valuable asset. Given the depth of their design and engineering experience, Design 1st immediately understood what was needed. They worked with our internal engineering team through the process to provide us with compatible solutions to meet our needs.

Stephen Rayment

VP Engineering, Ericsson

Our trusted engineering partner for six years

Design 1st has been our trusted industrial design and mechanical engineering partner for over six years and they have proven themselves to be valuable, competent and committed to our success. They add value because they understand the tradeoffs between user value and cost, the need to balance both the business and product objectives, along with excellent knowledge of materials and manufacturing / tooling options.

Mike Tettenborn

VP Engineering, Caframo

Right balance of art and engineering

We selected Design 1st because their designers and engineers demonstrated the right creativity and technical understanding. With their CAD and modelling tools they were able to address the numerous design challenges encountered with this type of product. The end result was an easy-to-install, powerful marine hatch fan – unlike any on the market.

Kurt Francis

Co-Founder, CTO, Molecule

Deepest bench of technical talent

I did a lot of due diligence on product development companies and Design 1st had the deepest bench for technical capability. They worked on such a broad range of products with successful commercialization. Design 1st’s early efforts in prototype development helped us move from a powder substrate into a commercially product for testing.

John Lupton

Director of Engineering, GeoSight

Got up and running fast

The whole design was my idea and I had patents on them. The team’s main work was to solve the functionality issue of a piece of my design. On top of that, they helped identify one of our manufacturers.

Didi Horn


Exceeded Our Expectations

The Design 1st team exceeded our expectations and helped us deliver an exceptional product to the market. As a startup, we were working within a budget but expected the highest quality product. Design 1st identified the risks up front, had the vast network of partners to find the right components, and customized it to meet our unique needs.

Portfolio of Projects

Across every industry, our team excels at developing technically complex projects.

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heatstone feature image mel
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Joylux vsulpt final design
travelway food cube final product; lunchbox

Fully Certified and Award-Winning

Our company and staff are professional engineers with multiple industry certifications.

A Tailored Team of Electronic Design Experts

When you work with Design 1st, you’re accessing a tailored, cross-functional team of specialists customized for your specific project. As your project evolves, so too does the team working on it, so you get only the most expert people providing input every step of the way.

Embedded Systems

Seamless integration of electronics into physical devices.

Embedded Design Team

Mechanical Engineering

Find creative mechanical solutions to technical challenges.

Mechanical Design Team

Industrial Design

Transform your product concept into a refined manufacture-ready design.

Industrial Design Team

Electronics Engineering

Add power, secure connectivity, and interaction control to your products.

Electronic Design Team

Transfer to Manufacturing

Move your product into volume manufacturing.

Manufacture Transfer Team

Design Strategy

Set your new product up for success with a well-laid plan.

Design Strategy Team

Frequently Asked Questions

Embedded software serves as the essential link between hardware components and the functionalities of high-tech devices. It encompasses the tailored code and programming that enable devices to execute specific tasks and deliver desired outcomes. This software is deeply intertwined with the overall product design, collaborating closely with the hardware to create a harmonious and effective system.

In the realm of product development for high-tech devices, embedded software plays a pivotal role. It transforms the raw capabilities of hardware components such as microcontrollers, sensors, and communication modules into meaningful actions, ensuring that the device operates optimally. Whether it’s the responsive touch interface on a smartphone, the precision of medical equipment, or the automated functions in a smart home device, embedded software provides the intelligence that powers these interactions.

The synergy between embedded software and hardware design is paramount. The hardware establishes the foundation upon which the software operates, while the embedded software harnesses the hardware’s potential to deliver seamless user experiences. This collaborative approach results in devices that not only meet technical specifications but also provide the intended utility and convenience. Ultimately, embedded software’s role in high-tech device development is to bridge the gap between hardware capabilities and user expectations, shaping the innovative products that define the modern technological landscape.

No, embedded software and firmware are related concepts in product development for new high-tech devices, but they have distinct roles.

Embedded Software: Embedded software refers to specialized code crafted to control electronic components within a device. It empowers devices to perform functions and interact with users or other systems. Embedded software’s complexity can vary, handling tasks like data processing, user interfaces, and component communication.

Firmware: Firmware, on the other hand, specifically pertains to software permanently programmed into a device’s non-volatile memory. It’s responsible for initializing hardware during startup and managing basic operations. Firmware offers low-level control, overseeing tasks like booting, power management, and hardware communication.

Understanding these distinctions is crucial when developing new high-tech devices. Both embedded software and firmware contribute to a device’s functionality, with embedded software focusing on user interactions and higher-level functions, while firmware manages low-level hardware control and initialization. This knowledge fosters a cohesive software-hardware system, delivering a seamless user experience.

Embedded systems are the unsung heroes behind a wide variety of devices we encounter daily. These systems are like the behind-the-scenes magicians that blend software and hardware seamlessly to supercharge the functionality and user experience of all sorts of gadgets. Here are a few examples that highlight how crucial embedded systems are for different device categories:

Consumer Electronics: Think of smartphones, smart TVs, and wearables. Embedded systems make these devices tick by enabling touch interactions, wireless connections, and impressive multimedia capabilities. They’re the reason you can smoothly scroll through your favorite apps and enjoy seamless streaming.

Automotive: Cars nowadays are rolling with embedded systems that handle everything from engine performance to entertainment systems. These systems help optimize fuel efficiency, ensure safety features work like a charm, and even power those fancy infotainment screens.

Medical Devices: Imagine MRI machines, pacemakers, and infusion pumps. Embedded systems make these medical devices smart and reliable, ensuring accurate readings, timely drug delivery, and, most importantly, patient safety.

Industrial Automation: Robots in factories, precision manufacturing equipment, and those intricate systems that control production lines? Embedded systems are the brains behind them, making sure everything works in perfect harmony, improving efficiency, and maintaining quality.

Smart Home Devices: From smart thermostats that know when to adjust the temperature, to security cameras that keep an eye out, and voice-activated assistants that respond to your every command—embedded systems drive these devices, making your home smarter and life more convenient.

These examples show how embedded systems are the secret sauce that turns ordinary devices into extraordinary ones. They seamlessly blend code and hardware to create devices that can perform complex tasks, connect to networks, and offer advanced features that have become integral to our modern lifestyles.

NDA’s ensure confidentiality for both parties during conversations. We provide a mutual NDA where the terms apply to both parties. If your organization has an NDA that requires our signature, we handle this through email.
Our process has been refined over hundreds of projects. It is based on rapid iterations that produce concrete ideas and tangible prototypes that can be viewed, assessed, tested, and refined.

The Measures Taken To Ensure Your Embedded Systems Devices Succeed

Design 1st integrates our knowledge and expertise with yours to bring your product idea to life.