Product Design & Development

LGO interns interested in making something new can do an internship in product design and development. Projects in this category allow students to combine their engineering and MBA knowledge in a unique way to solve problems related to design, product implementation, and new supply chain systems.

Next-generation Product Development: Rugged Field Computing

Jeremy Giese (LGO ’14)

Company: Dell Inc.
Location: Austin, TX

Problem: Dell thinks “field service” is a new, customer-focused opportunity where the company could make a strong entrance. Dell asked Jeremy to explore potential future offerings in the rugged field computing market and develop a high-fidelity product prototype that Dell could bring to market in less than three years.

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Brainstorming and discovery phase for field computing products

Approach: Jeremy began with an extensive market study. He identified competitive products and researched user needs. Then Jeremy and his colleagues at Dell used his research to brainstorm product opportunities. Using their best product concept, the team designed a user interface and specified product features. They benchmarked the design against competitors, then utilized Dell’s technological advances into a 3D CAD design. At the end of the project, Jeremy delivered a detailed color, material and finish product prototype and a prototyped software wireframe for mobile and database software for the devise. Jeremy conducted a user interface and experience analysis and created a financial model for further product development.

Impact: After Jeremy’s project, Dell had a detailed analysis of a large customer group that was underserved and a proposed path into a brand-new product category. The company was in a unique position to capture market share with a first-mover advantage.

Opportunities from Intellectual Property Portfolios: From Patent to Product Idea

Sarah Cooper-Davis (LGO ’14)

Company: Sanofi
Location: Cambridge, MA

Problem: Companies and research institutes maintain large intellectual property (IP) portfolios, which require significant investments to maintain. Sanofi wanted to investigate how value from such portfolios could be extracted by defining a process to extract new product ideas from existing IP.

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Standard vs. IP2PI product development

Approach: The value creation can take multiple forms. Traditionally, IP protects existing products or excludes competitors from entering a given market. Sarah wanted to redefine the value, creating a process to move from intellectual property (IP) to product ideas (PI), or the IP2PI process. The IP2PI process starts with intellectual property consists of three steps:

  • Understand the IP and key technologies included therein
  • Identify market opportunities and technology applications
  • Evaluate product ideas based on market needs

Impact: Sarah’s process generated ideas that could begin the product development processes. Often when a product idea developed, it led to additional intellectual property, which can result in additional patent opportunities incurring fees and adding to the monetary burden of a given portfolio. This is a standard situation for any new product development process, but with the careful selection of ideas and process management, the product opportunities outweigh the additional IP costs.

Stealth Dicing to Enable Ultra-Thin Stacked Memory Die Assembly

Weng-Hong Teh (LGO ’15)

Company: SanDisk
Location: Shanghai, China

Problem: Memory packaging needs to be increasingly smaller, heterogeneous, and higher performing, while better dissipating heat. To address these challenges, one method assembles and stacks ultra-thin, high performance memory die. However, ultra-thin dies typically are usually more sensitive, resulting in more defects and decreased quality.

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The basic mechanism for stealth dicing

Approach: Weng Hong developed subsurface infrared (1.34 µm) nanosecond pulsed laser die singulation technology (stealth dicing) for next-generation 2-D NAND memory products. His project was the first comprehensive experimental study of stealth dicing technology, encompassing process physics and simulation, characterization, optimization, and integration.

The project successfully demonstrated defect-free eight-die (8D) stacks of 25µm thick non-functional memory dies and 46µm thick functional memory dies (64GB) for the first time. SanDisk has used his innovation to make production-worthy retail 64GB micro-SD memory cards. They can go to market after product quality and reliability testing.

Impact: The work is expected to save SanDisk millions of dollars. The company immediately began using the technology in production of memory products. Weng Hong won the Best Thesis Award in his graduating class.