Title
Error detection and correction unit
Application of FPGA technology guarantees highest data security
Technologies used

    FPGA, VHDL

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    30 Computers and other information processing equipment
    333 Computer based Process Control
Abstract

CINDATEC develops, manufactures and distributes state-of-the-art applications using computer hard- and software for industry sectors like aircraft/spacecraft, medical equipment, engineering services etc. The company was founded in 1991 and in 1998 had 8 employees, 6 of them involved in hardware and software design.

One of CINDATEC‘s main products is a transputer-based fault-tolerant computer used for applications with high data security requirements. The technical basis of this fault-tolerant system consists of a redundant hardware and an implemented specific system software. Because of market requirements the existing product had to be improved. Characteristic features of the new system are a better fault tolerance and data security reached by the introduction of the new Error Detection And Correction unit (EDAC), the flexibility for different interfaces and a more cost effective solution.

The main objective of the project is an increase of turnover in this product area, but also additional market shares by selling the FPGA based EDAC component itself. In order to achieve this, CINDATEC introduced FPGA technology and VHDL into the company’s business. The staff involved in the AE were trained in system-oriented design and simulation, its synthesis and the implementation of the designed system into Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA). The use of this technology is optimal for the project and offers high flexibility, short development and market introduction periods and the advantages of a customer-specific ASIC solution also for a small number of pieces.

After first training activities, a very practical-oriented "Learning-by-doing”methodology was chosen. For the development process, the V-system supporting VHDL was used. The simulated design was implemented in a XILINX FPGA XC4013. The introduction of these technologies allowed the combination of fault-tolerant systems with error detecting and correcting components.

CINDATECs specialists acquired knowledge in the management of development projects using microelectronics technologies, in the field of digital VHDL based system design and its implementation in FPGAs. They are now able to replicate this in future developments.

The manufacturing costs have been reduced by 60%, which is a main driver to improving the competitive situation of CINDATEC’s EDAC. Furthermore, the component itself can be sold now separately, thus opening up a new market.

The project had a duration of 11 months, a break of two months included as opposed to the 9 months planned. The cost of the AE was 56 kECU, as planned. In addition a further 150 to 200K ECU was spent on productionising the EDAC, and will take around 1 year. The payback period is expected to be in the range of 12-18 months, and the ROI between 200 and 300% assuming a 3 year product life cycle.

A number of lessons were learnt during the AE. These included ensuring that the market for the product is monitored during the development phase. In this AE the FPGA solution will be modified to make it compatible with the PC.

Company

    CINDATEC
    Ingenieurtechnische Dienste GmbH
    Annaberger Str. 240,
    D-09125 Chemnitz


Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

FPGA and VHDL technology provided CINDATEC 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.
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Gesellschaft fur Mikroelektronikanwendung Chemnitz mbH
Matthesstrasse 53
D-09113 Chemnitz
Germany