Would you like a Yocto- ?

Would you like a Yocto-<insert_your_name> ?

Most of the electronics we use today are built in series of hundredths of thousands, and designed so that "one-fits-all" (or, to be more precise, one-fits-the-mass-market). People think that it is no more possible to get a device dedicated for a specific set of functions, at an affordable price, for a small serie. Let us tell you that this is wrong. We build inexpensive, customized devices for some of our customers. This is how it works.

Maybe you plan to manufacture an automated weather measurement station made of a tiny PC and some sensors, but there is one of them that you cannot interface easily.
... or maybe you are upgrading an automation system and need to replace some old dedicated boards by newer USB-driven equivalents.
... or maybe you need a sensor that we sell, but with a few modifications such as two additional input ports for instance.

You send an e-mail to support@yoctopuce.com to tell us what your project is about, and normally you should hear from us within a few hours. If what you ask is beyond what we can do with our production environment, you will get a straight "no, sorry". Indeed, it is unlikely that we can provide a fast and inexpensive solution to your problem if we have to setup a completely different development environment. For instance, we don't make ARM-based devices, we don't do FPGA, we don't do hi-resolution signal processing such as audio and video.

Just like with Santa, it's worth a try :-)
Just like with Santa, it's worth a try :-)

After a few emails to sort things out, we tell you what we believe the price of a prototype would be. If it fits within the same size as our usual sensors and uses only technology that we are using in simple sensors, it may be as low as EUR 150.-. If it is a larger board, require more expensive components or require some specific experimentation, it might go up to EUR 1'000.-.

You tell us if you want to go forward with prototyping. If yes, then we design the device, and send you
- the expected specs of the device, based on the selected components
- the exact pricing of the prototype
- an estimated volume pricing
- a 3D rendering of what the device would look like
If you like it, you pay the price of the prototyping and we go forward. If not, you can still tell us you're not interested any more. No harm done.

An important point: the price of the prototype covers the device that you will receive by post, no less, no more. We don't charge anything for the design of the prototype and for the firmware, as they remain the exclusive property of Yoctopuce. So don't expect us to send you these files, they are part of our trade secrets :-)

Some of the specs of the device
Some of the specs of the device

Internally we use milled PCB for preliminary testing, but the prototypes that we ship to customers always use a real PCB plates (green, without markings). We cannot produce such plates in-house. So when you order the prototype, we order from one of our supplier your prototype printed circuit board. It takes 10 to 15 working days to get them. If you are really in a hurry we can order expedited processing, but that will cost you more. Anyway, during this time, we will work on compiling the documentation and programming API for your device. Once we get the PCB, we can usually assemble the prototype on the same day and ship it to you the next day.

The prototype, notice the green board
The prototype, notice the green board

Then you test your prototype. If it does not work at your satisfaction, you can still tell us that you are not willing to go further.

If you like the prototype and want to go forward with production, you tell us exactly how many devices you want and we will verify the availability of and volume pricing of components from our suppliers. Based on this, we can give you the exact volume pricing, as well as any delay to take into account in case some components are not readily available in quantity.

The volume pricing will be computed in the same way as we do for our standard products. The first part of the price covers the manufacturing of the production PCBs and of the soldering stencil. We can usually fit 24 to 36 small devices per PCB plate (or 8-10 double-width devices). PCB prices become reasonable starting at minimum 10 plates. Hence our rule of thumb: you can get a custom device for the same price as if it would be a standard products for volumes of 300 and above. For larger (and more expensive) boards, that number may even go down to 100 devices.

You pick your number, and we order the soldering stencil and the PCB plates (blue PCB, nickel-gold plating with white markings). Three weeks later, our robot starts assembling your device in production. Next day, after testing individually each device, we ship them to you via TNT Express at no extra cost.


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