Jaquard Machine Control: Mixed Signal ASIC reduces costs and improves reliability and performance
Technologies used

Mixed signal ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Manufacture of machinery for textile
GROSSE Webereimaschinen GmbH develops, manufactures and sells Jacquard machines, Jacquard-CAD-systems, Jacquard card punching systems, Jacquard card reader and other products which are necessary to produce jacquard textiles.

The main markets of the company are Europe, the United States of America, Brazil, near and far east. The machines are delivered to weaving mills (end users) or weaving machine manu-facturers (system integrators).

Today a GROSSE electronic Jacquard machine includes up to 13.440 control elements, which controls a defined number of warp ends. The selection of the lifting elements follows through special solenoids. The Jacquard machine works in speed areas up to 1000 rpm, sporadically up to 1200 rpm. The machine includes a large number of so-called MAP-3 control boards. On every MAP-3 board there are 32 solenoids mounted. The actual MAP-3 board also integrates electronic possibilities such as data transmission and solenoid control as well as some diag-nostic features. This board is realised with a double-sided PCB and standard logic integrated circuits.

The rationale for the innovation was to increase the market share of the company. Because of the competition and a concentration process going on in the market, this can only be accom-plished by reducing the price of the product.

Further objectives of the AE were:
an increase of reliability due to the reduction of the number of components
an improvement of the control performance
doubling the data transmission rate in combination with a better error correction and detection
a reduction of the board size
a simplification of the power supply (1 supply voltage instead of 2)
an extension of the solenoid diagnosis with individual detection

These requirements could be solved through the development of a new mixed-signal ASIC (MTSA) for the next generation of an electronic control boards (MAP-4) inside the electronic Jacquard machines. Two ASIC integrate the complete electronic of the MAP-4 board. By means of a custom designed mixed signal ASIC, it was possible to obtain a product with extended features. This will result in an increased market share.

GROSSE had no previous experience either with custom ASIC or any form of programmable logic device. Moreover, a custom project is intrinsically risky and associated with high NRE costs. The FUSE funding option was therefore considered of special interest, not only because it minimised the financial risk but also it promised an easier access to the required technologies.

The cost of the ASIC development, i.e. the FUSE project, was 153,19 k. The project started in January 1998 and was completed in 21 months. Due to the circumstances that the necessary MPW run was shifted to a later date the first prototypes were delivered 3 months later than scheduled. This, in combination with a necessary re-design and re-layout of the analogue part of the ASIC, resulted in a total delay of 6 months compared with the original scheduled plan-ning. The payback period of the AE (only FUSE) is 17 months with an ROI of 346% over the estimated product life time of 5 years.

The results of the experiment were satisfactory; a set of 20 ASIC prototypes was successfully manufactured and tested. A little bit problematic is the circumstance that the size of the ASIC needs more than the double area than calculated at the begin of the AE.

GROSSE is now working to complete the design mechanically and electronically of the MAP-4-board. Additionally the necessary computer interface boards will be developed. The first prototypes of the new machine electronic will be tested in the 2nd quarter of the year 2000; the delivery start is planned mid or end or 3rd quarter of the year 2000.
GROSSE Webereimaschinen GmbH
Rapsweg 9
89233 Neu-Ulm

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Mixed signal ASIC technology provided GROSSE Webereimaschinen GmbH 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
Research Institute for Integrated Circuits
Altenberger Strasse 69
A-4040 Linz