Title
Improved Data Logging System
Frequency and Time Interval Measurement Using FPGA Technology
Technologies used

FPGA

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    30 Computers and Other Information Processing Equipment
    332 Instruments and Appliances for Measuring, Checking, Testing etc
Abstract
Pi Logic Limited was formed in 1978, and now employs 3 people with a slaes revenue of 207 KECU. It designs, manufacturers and sells board level and complete signal conditioning and data logging equipment. Most are destined for automotive and avionics industries.

The FUSE application experiment was carried out on Pi Logic's microcontroller based Chartlogger, an 8 to 32 channel "universal input" data logger and chart recorder capable of recording analogue signals from most sensors. The product is based on discrete analogue devices and microcontroller technology. This technology meant that the product could not record event frequency, interval, and other parameters without the addition of costly, dedicated, discrete logic devices to selected channels for this purpose.

The improvements realised to the Chartlogger product include:

True universal analogue or event input capability for the any sized Chartlogger.
A dramatic reduction in size over previous efforts.
E-mail field upgrade ability for new signals or applications.

This improvement has been achieved whilst delivering a reduced component inventory, reduced manufacturing and test costs compared to previous discrete solutions, and will result in increased sales resulting from the improved performance and price level of the product.

The total cost of the FUSE application experiment to the prototype stage was 36 KECU with a planned activity duration of 6 months from the 1st November 1997. Industrialisation costs were low (5 KECU). The actual application experiment required a 12 month period, including a 6 month period of stoppage due to the need to respond to urgent orders and customer requirements.

Payback will be within 2 years from release of the enhanced Chartlogger in 1999. The return on investment (ROI) is anticipated to be approximately 260% over the product's life.

The lessons learned by the company included experiences in assessing comments from vendors and customers as to device and CAD tool suitability, CAD system management, and design entry mechanisms.

Pi Logic's experiences of incorporating FPGA technology into its products should be of interest to the company directors, technical directors and engineers of companies using large discrete digital designs that are costly, bulky and difficult to test. The targeted industry sectors for this application

experiment are Prodcom code 3002 (computers and other information processing equipment) and 3320 (instruments and appliances for measuring, checking, testing etc).
Company
Pi Logic Limited
Gelli Dogin
Cwmfelin Boeth
Whitland
Carmarthenshire SA34 ORU

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

FPGA technology provided Pi Logic Limited 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