An FPGA device for guns fire rate control
How to increase sales by reducing the rate of fire
Technologies used

    Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Machinery

FN Herstal Belgium designs, produces and sells light terrestrial weaponry. The company has 1300 employees with 2 (one engineer and one technician) involved in electronics. Before the AE, the company’s experience in microelectronic was nearly non-existent.

FN has developed a new submachine gun, the P90, specially designed for the special intervention squads, for elite troops and for brigade police. Currently this product represents around 12% of the revenue of the FN Herstal. For a best use of the P90, it was necessary to reduce the rate of fire. The FUSE project has allowed this improvement by the introduction of an electronic system based on a FPGA.

Mechanical solutions are more expensive and the reduction of the shooting pace is not sufficient. The electronics has allowed to improve the performances of the weapon and to add functions that did not exist. The project duration was 6 months with a budget of 49 kECU. The payback period of the project is estimated to 3 or 4 years, which is acceptable for this kind of specific market. The ratio between the extra turnover (due to the FPGA introduction) and the investment during the 10 years estimated lifetime of the new product is approximate 1/100. The ROI for the same period is estimated to approx. 144,88%.

The application experiment is of interest for companies that have a small department of electronics and that introduce electronics in one of their product for the first time.


    FN Herstal s.a.
    Voie de Liège, 33
    B-4400, Herstal

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

FPGA technology provided FN Herstal Belgium with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.

Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com
Faculté Polytechnique de Mons
Service d' Electronique
Boulevard Dolez, 31
B-7000 Mons