Title
Powerful PC cards
Manufacturing time and costs reduced by 40% using FPGA
Technologies used

    FPGA

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    30 Computers and other information processing equipment
Abstract

BEDE Technology Ltd is a small U.K. manufacturer of Data Acquisition & Control Cards for PC compatible computers. These products are printed circuit boards which plug into the ISA bus of PC compatibles and are used to interface computers with external devices such as sensors and actuators. The current range of PC cards is widely used in process control and monitoring systems.

This experiment, with a budget of 40kECUs and seven months duration (September 1996-March 1997), was to apply FPGA technology and VHDL design techniques to improve the current range of PC based data acquisition cards. A prototype multifunction card was successfully designed, manufactured and tested. This prototype consisted of an ISA bus PCB with a FPGA to implement the digital logic and an add-on daughter board to perform the analogue interface.

A top-down VHDL design methodology was adopted throughout as this gave the greatest design flexibility, provided vendor independence and the ability to migrate to ASIC technology if required at a later date. It also reduced the development time and costs with a payback secured within 10 months of the project completion and ROI expected to be minimum of 5-fold.

Company

    48 Cuthbert Court
    BEDE Industrial Estate
    Jarrow
    Tyne and Wear
    NE32 3EG
    United Kingdom


Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

FPGA technology provided BEDE Technology Ltd 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
Bolton Institute of Higher Education
Technology Development Unit
Deane Road
BL3 5AB Bolton
United Kingdom