Cost saving of 40% achieved through use of FPGA in LED Video Display
FPGA and ASIC application for information systems and large video displays
Technologies used

FPGA, Digital ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    31 Display systems (panels incorporating light emitting diodes)
    323 Television, sound, video
Lasertechnik und Elektronik develops, manufactures and distributes several types of large video display systems which are used for different applications, e.g. adver-tisement, fair presentations or sports events. The company is managed by two engineers and was founded in 1995.

The video product family of L&E covers different types of displays, such as indoor and outdoor displays. The offered units have screen sizes between 1m² and 90m².

Basic components of these units are coloured light emitting diodes (LEDs) which are combined to image dots. In the existing solution, a special electronics consisting of standard ICs was used which was no longer state-of the-art (high costs, not optimised system structure). For instance, between 80 and 960 ICs had to be applied for one display unit.

In order to reach an improved competitive position and to increase the company's market share in the large video display system market, it was necessary to introduce new microelectronics technologies into L&E's business. So the AE was carried out to overcome the know-how and management barriers, which prevented the company to use advanced FPGA and ASIC technologies before.

The technical realisation of the Application Experiment was divided into two steps: a FPGA based system design followed by the implementation of the verified solution into an ASIC. The technical objective of the first part was to convert and optimise the standard CMOS logic and to implement the new design into a FPGA. This was important, because the existing solution was based on a asynchronous principle that had to be changed to a synchronous one in order to be able to implement the designed system into an ASIC.

Lasertechnik und Elektronik acquired experience in the management of FPGA/ASIC projects and the use of FPGA design tools and methodologies. The specialists got best practice knowledge in the application and test of XILINX components and became familiar with ASIC design methodologies at logic level and test strategies of complex systems with FPGA and ASICs as well.

The initial barriers to introduce the new technologies were overcome. The result is the improved video display characterised by an essentially improved functionality and performance, which will cause a significant increase of turnover and profit. Additionally, the acquired know-how can be used to develop new products in the future.

The Application Experiment was started in April 1996 and ran for 18 months, including an extension of 5 months. The total project costs until the prototype stage were 79 k€. The increased sales will enable the company to recover the FUSE investment in 24 months with an ROI over five years of product life of 170%.
Lasertechnik & Elektronik Neuhäuser
Pienestraße 20
D-39387 Oschersleben

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

FPGA, Digital ASIC technology provided Lasertechnik & Elektronik Neuhäuser 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
Gesellschaft fur Mikroelektronikanwendung Chemnitz mbH
Matthesstrasse 53
D-09113 Chemnitz