The different engineering validation stages in a nutshell: EVT, DVT, PVT

by | Dec 6, 2019

The hardware product development journey can be long and challenging, but most difficulties come when you are not sure about what path you are supposed to take. There is a bunch of information out there about the product development process when it comes to hardware, however, this process varies wildly with no clear path. Considering that your design is done, there are a few important steps for validating your freshly engineered product which is unique to hardware product validation - EVT, DVT & PVT.

  Examples of industries that use EVT, DVT & PVT as a standard
  • Semiconductor companies before launching a new chip
  • Mobile phones
  • Medical devices
  Validation test programs are implemented for products involving a mix of electronic and mechanical production. For example, semiconductor companies follow the validation testing process to ensure high-performance microprocessors. For mobile phones, these tests ensure the physical structure of the design along with external factors like heating and the end-user expectations.

Similarly, for more complex products such as medical devices, the validation testing could be a longer affair.

EVT (Engineering Validation Test) and its process stage:

Engineering Validation and Testing (EVT) - This is to validate the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) itself whether all of its components and functionality are working as expected.

EVT is performed on the earliest prototypes to ensure that the basic version complies with the design specifications and development goals.

Although, EVT lays the foundation for the verification testing approach for engineering products of all types including IoT. The objective of EVT is to detect issues in the design and ensure that all features mentioned in the PRD (Product Requirement Document) are fully functional. Since making changes at the engineering phase costs the least, enterprises should utilize these tests and refine the prototypes.

The most common types of EVT include Functional Testing, Conformance Testing, Power Measurement and Electromagnetic Interference pre-scan. If the first working sample doesn’t qualify on the design metrics then the overall product suffers.


DVT (Design Validation Test) and its process:

Design Validation Testing (DVT) - Testing whether the product as a whole will withstand environmental stresses. Also checks if the product is following the rules and regulations with proper certifications.

After validating the basic unit for the design, a sample of the finalized production unit is created in the DVT phase. This is a more detailed and intensified testing procedure where end-to-end specifications of the product, interface standards and diagnostic commands are validated.

The objective of the DVT is to evaluate the design standards with the actual components and materials to be used in mass production. Furthermore, the sample unit is tested for external factors such as climate. The most common types of DVT include Usability Testing, Climate Testing, Environmental Testing, Mechanical Testing, Performance Testing and Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF).

PVT (Product Validation Testing) and its process:

Production Validation and Testing (PVT) - This validates the production line process and is the time to optimize this process so it can be cheaper and quicker.

PVT is the last phase before mass production begins. If the sample qualifies for all tests here, it is internally certified to be taken to markets. Here, the design is frozen and the entire assembly line is validated. This involves creating a simulation of the line and evaluating the end-to-end assembly process in producing the units as per the finalized specifications.

The objective of the PVT is to validate the production yields at different rates and verify if the production process is fully operational. Accordingly, if needed, the line is optimized as per the finished goods’ standards. The common types of PVT done are Prospective Validation, Retrospective Validation, Concurrent Validation and Revalidation.


Timeline to keep in mind for these stages:

Though all the validation test process takes time of its own, we must understand that these steps are important in testing the quality and design of the product to be taken into the market. Enough time should be invested in carrying out these steps for achieving a quality product.

Usually, the Validation phases can take anywhere between 1 week to 6 months based on the scale and type of the product in the discussion. For IoT, different components of the hardware could require their exclusive validation programs before 1 major validation exercise for the market-ready product.

For an average IoT product, the EVT could be commenced in 3 weeks. The DVT phase could take up to 6 weeks and another 8 weeks for PVT.

For more tightly regulated IoT product systems, these phases can be a bit more complicated and thus increasing the time per phase by an additional 2 to 3 weeks.



Designing is purely a digital representation of the product idea. For successful maturity of the product from POC to mass production, validation tests at every phase and for every component are required to minimize the risks. If ignored then the defects in the design are discovered when it's too late to make any changes. Therefore, enterprises must invest a sufficient amount of time and resources to ensure detailing and accuracy.
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