ASIC-based electronic publishing product
A digital ASIC performing "on the fly” decompression of data for image setters
Technologies used

 Digital ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    30 Computers and other Information Processing equipment
    334 Photographic equipment

UNIBRAIN S.A. is a Greek company with main business activities in the following areas:

  • Design, development and production of hardware/software systems based on the IEEE-1394 high speed standard.
  • Design, development and production of the PainterNT product, a PCI controller for the Windows-NT environment that drives Image-Setters, high resolution printing devices used in the pre-press industry.
  • Design and Development of Software Pre-Press applications.
  • Representation and Distribution of Pre-Press Publishing products (Hardware & Software) in Greece.
  • Promotion and Sales of all the company’s products.

Our customers belong to the international electronic publishing market and many of them are the leading manufacturers of Image-Setters in the Graphics Art industry.
The objective of this FUSE AE was the functional and performance improvement of the PainterNT product by developing a digital ASIC, in order to incorporate decompression capability for the huge amount of data that transfers between the host PC and the imaging devices. Up to now all of our products were commercial IC and microprocessor based and we had never involved at the past with an ASIC development. The new product, incorporating the efficient decompression ASIC and the new PCI controller has reduced the number of discrete components and has given significant functional and performance improvements.
The FUSE AE had a total budget of 100KECUs, started on February 1, 1997 and was successfully completed on November 30, 1998. The pay-back period for the new Painter-NT was estimated to be approximately one month. The estimated FUSE Return-On-Investment is approximately 2150% for a five-year period.
The most important benefits of this new product, are functional and also economical. The new product is the most competitive in the market and gave our company the possibility to sign important commercial agreements with two of the biggest companies that construct image-setters.
Despite the economical benefits, the company has acquired significant technological knowledge and learned important lessons regarding the project management. Amongst the others, the lesson of producing a good specification and a proper amount of effort in simulation and design at the start prior to manufacture, should be emphasised.

152 31 ATHENS

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Digital ASIC technology provided UNIBRAIN S.A. 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
P O Box 68
GR-19´002 Peania Attika