Engineering Builds: EVT, DVT, PVT

Engineering design cycle for hardware development:

  1. EVT - Engineering Validation Test
  2. DVT - Design Validation Test
  3. PVT - Production Validation Test

Product development for hardware follows a roughly, standard playbook. Across different industries and companies you’ll hear different nomenclature, but the basic structure is consistent - prototypes of the design are built in repeatedly, larger increments to converge on the final, mass production design.

In consumer hardware development, EVT, DVT, and PVT are the three critical phases in the product development lifecycle. These phases help ensure that a hardware product is thoroughly tested and validated before it is ready for mass production and distribution.

EVT (Engineering Validation Test)

  • EVT is the initial phase in hardware development, occurring after the prototype stage. During this phase, the focus is on evaluating and validating the design and engineering aspects of the hardware product.
  • Typical build quantities can range from 100 to 1000 depending on the total # of unique components, and build complexity.
  • The primary goals include identifying and fixing necessary design changes, ensuring that the hardware functions as intended, and validating the product’s form factor and aesthetics.

EVT helps in ironing out any major design issues before proceeding to the next phase.

DVT (Design Validation Test)

  • In the second phase, the DVT build acts as the single configuration of the “production-ready” design, made of components from scalable manufacturing processes (injection molding, die-casting, etc.), and following detailed, assembly instructions.
  • At the factory, typically the contract manufacturer for consumer hardware, all test stations are operational and set with the correct yields.
  • Typical build quantities can range from 250 to 1500+ depending on the total # of unique components, and build complexity.

PVT (Production Validation Test)

  • PVT is the final phase of hardware development before mass production, with the goal of verifying mass production yields and that the product can be manufactured at scale with consistent quality and performance.
  • PVT helps uncover any issues related to manufacturing, quality control, and yield rates. It also serves as a final validation step before mass production begins.
    • Depending on the complexity of the product/size of the company, PVT units near the latter half of the build are actually sold to the first customers.

If you’re looking for even more detail, Instrumental has a great guide on engineering builds.

  1. Hardware engineers speak in code: EVT, DVT, PVT decoded - Instrumental
  2. EVT DVT PVT: A guide to engineering builds - Instrumental