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What is a Technical Designer?

Kanzi Training

By Tero Sarkkinen

Our customers often ask about the secret behind our success in squeezing outstanding performance out of limiting target hardware. For instance, in our work to create a flashy and fluid digital instrument cluster for a car, the underlying hardware can roughly have the same performance as iPhone 3.

To give a reasonable reply, we need to take a couple of steps back. Our services are often required when an incumbent team gets stuck trying to implement a UI design on embedded target hardware. The frustration can be palpable: the team implemented the design they were given and it only runs at 5-10 FPS on the target hardware. Clearly, that can not go into production.

That’s where we enter the picture: Our technical designers analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the target hardware. Next, they analyze the design and then determine the optimal way to implement it. This way, we can typically deliver 40 – 60 FPS, even on ancient-seeming and low-performance SoCs. Anyone involved will know that old hardware remains a constant in automotive HMI projects to this day.

The secret behind Basemark’s success is that we employ some of the world’s absolute top talent in technical design. “Technical designer” can come off as a somewhat nebulous job title. That’s because technical designers are a very rare breed indeed. Their hard-to-find talent bridges a gap between real-time 3D graphics design and software engineering.

But the fact of the matter is that technical designers are masters of optimization. Part of their job is to build and maintain know-how applicable to specific target hardware. Their skills require deep technological understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the target SoC.

In addition to being knowledgeable in all aspects of real-time 3D production, technical designers are also equipped with e.g. shader programming skills. This combination of artistry and programming allows technical designers to produce complex and visually impressive special effects and designs, optimized for butter-smooth framerates on the hardware you’re obliged to ship.

At Basemark, we love technical challenges. If you have a project where you don’t seem to get enough graphics performance, please get in touch. We’re here to help.

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