ASIC for Industrial Battery Chargers
ASIC technology improves functionality and reliability
Mixed Signal ASIC
|Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
Fulmen Ibérica is a 73 employee Spanish company belonging to
the CEAC group (Compagnie Européenne d'Accumulateurs), that has designed
and manufactured battery chargers since 1986 in Barcelona. The company
belongs to the industrial sector of Electric Motors, Generators and Transformers
(NACE 3110 in the standard EU classification system), and had previous
experience in general electronic design, i.e. microcontroller, high power
electronics, but had no experience in ASIC design before this project.
Fulmen, together with CMP Batteries UK, of the same group, are leaders
in the European market of battery chargers, with an annual joint turnover
with this product around 20 MEUR. Both companies will benefit from the
results of this Application Experiment. ^
Industrial battery chargers are sold to charge the batteries of vehicles
such as cleaning vehicles for supermarkets, forklifts for warehouses,
luggage transport vehicles in airports, etc. Typical customers are the
providers of these services or the manufacturers of the vehicles, which
sell the chargers with their product.
The use of complex electronics in this equipment has become necessary
to respond to market needs, in order to provide more functions to the
customers and to improve a charger's ability to predict a more exact full
battery charge. The chargers were built using off-the-shelf standard components.
Performance could be improved by using faster or more powerful hardware
using specific and/or general-purpose concurrent processing units. The
integration of these processing units in a mixed-signal ASIC that includes
an 8-bit microprocessor core, RAM memory and analogue blocks gave to the
company several commercial advantages. First, a significant reduction
in size and cost - the control board with the ASIC is 7 EUR cheaper than
the existing one - and at the same time increasing its reliability and
the EMC performance. But the ASIC also provides extra functions, and therefore
sales appeal, to the simpler ranges of chargers at a lower cost. This
is an important competitive advantage to gain difficult markets.
The Application Experiment has taken 20 months to complete, with a total
cost from start to working prototypes of 112 KEUR, plus additional 60
KEUR for industrialisation. It is expected that the total investment of
172 KEUR will be recovered after app. 15 months. The Return On Investment
after three years would be around 250%, equivalent to an annual average
return of 37%.
Fulmen Iberica, S.A.
C/ Miquel Torelló i Pagès 34-36
E-08750 Molins de Rei
|You can also benefit from microelectronics
Mixed Signal ASIC technology provided Fulmen Iberica, 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.
||Guiding Technology Transfer Node
|For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
C/Marques De Urquijo 26, 1 C, Izq.