Improved Blood Flow Monitor ASIC Technology
Improves Performance at Lower Cost
Technologies used

Mixed Signal ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    30 Computing Applications, involving DSP Methods
    331 Medical and Surgical Instrumentation
    332 Equipment
Huntleigh Diagnostics Ltd. is along established company that designs, develops, manufactures and distributes electronic medical diagnostic equipment in the healthcare market sector (Prodcom code 3310). These products are aimed at the healthcare market, including primary care suppliers. Company turnover is approximately 9 MECU and the company employs 130 people.
Huntleigh Diagnostic's product range includes a range of ultrasound handheld instruments ("Dopplex"), for cardio-vascular and foetal assessments, and a range of foetal monitors. These products combine technologies ranging from discrete analogue electronic devices to micro-controller devices and digital signal processors. No higher order device technologies are currently applied in Huntleigh's product range.
The objective of this experiment is to improve the Huntleigh Diagnostics' current range of Dopplex products. These are hand-held medical diagnostic monitors for use in measuring blood flow and monitoring foetal heartbeats. Each product consists of two parts, an ultrasonic probe and a main diagnostic unit.
The proposed ASIC is intended to replace much of the circuitry in the main unit. The application experiment resulted in the development of a mixed signal ASIC to extend product functionality and broaden market applications in the vascular field within the constraints of battery powered handheld devices at a low cost.
This will lead to greater market share.

The application experiment used ASIC technology to allow:
Reduced manufacturing costs Enhanced functionality of the product by performing fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and the extraction of the maximum frequency envelope.
Improvements in the diagnostic capabilities of the instrument.
Greater interchangeability of sensors.

The AE cost was 174 kECU. The payback period when implemented in a new product range will be approximately 1 year, and the ROI is anticipated to be 340%.
The duration of the application experiment was 21 months. The application experiment was delayed from the original 14 month time scale by the departure of the company's design engineer and the retraining of a new engineer during a critical phase of the programme of work.
The company has developed a sustainable capability in ASIC development, including the technical management of the design process and assessing its economic benefits.
The dissemination information included in this demonstrator document will be of interest to the managing directors, technical managers and decision makers in small to medium sized companies operating where pressures towards producing small, lightweight, complex Digital Signal Processing instrumentation is present. The target industry sector includes companies operating in the medical (Prodcom code 331), instrumentation (Prodcom Code 3320) or computing (Prodcom code 3002) industrial sectors.
Huntleigh Diagnostics Ltd.
35 Portmanmoor Road,
Cardiff, CF2 2HB,
United Kingdom.

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Huntleigh Diagnostics Ltd. technology provided Mixed Signal ASIC 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

Univercity of Glamorgan
Mid Glamorgan
Pontypridd CF37 1DL
United Kingdom