Fluorescent Lamo Driver
Mixed signal ASIC as controller for fluorescent lamps with reduced costs,
increased luminance efficiency, load-adaptive power control and EMI
Mixed Signal ASIC
|Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
||Lighting Equipment and Electric Lamps
GIMAX S.r.l. is an Italian Company that, with 10 employees
of which 2 are electronic engineers, has been realising since 1990 products
for illumination and equipment for electric distribution in the industrial
sector of Light Equipment and Electric Lamps (NACE PRODCOM 3150). The
Company's lines of product are: electric power panels for electricity
distribution, fixed and portable lighting systems and electronic ballast
for fluorescent lamps supply. Its products are utilised both for civilian
and military applications (building sites and shipyards, factories, military
plants, cinema production).
The Company main expertise is in developing ballast for fluorescent lamps
and its customers are both End Users and OEM.
GIMAX markets its product in Italy with a representative network and in
other European Countries by means of distributors with a current turnover
of 2,230 Keuro.
All its electronic products are designed utilising analogue standard components
on PCB and SMD technology. A continuous innovation is applied on the products
with particular attention to the features of safety and conformity with
the rules in force (EMI and IEC).
The objective of the Application Experiment was the realisation of a mixed
ASIC prototype to be used in a new ballast board in order to increase
the competitiveness of this Company's product by means of an increase
in the product reliability and quality, as well of a reduction of costs.
The mixed ASIC is composed mainly by power drivers (more than 80% of the
area), analogue-to-digital converter (about 15% of area) and digital control
logic (less than 5%).
The new board, utilising an innovative ASIC component, was designed to
obtain technical benefits and functionality as: increased luminance efficiency,
load-adaptive power control, reduced electromagnetic interference, and
finally to obtain a product with reduction of 20% of surface and 20% of
count of components.
Other than increased functional capabilities of the product, the objectives
of the AE was a 36% total (components and manufacturing) cost reduction
of the ballast board. This reduction has been achieved thanks to a quasi
total removal of discrete components (having integrated the digital and
analogue parts inside the ASIC) and partially thanks to the minor manufacturing
Reason to reduce the product's cost was mainly due to the reduced capability
of GIMAX to penetrate the market and to the foreseen increased competition.
It is estimated that the benefit of reducing cost will allow GIMAX to
increase its Italian market share from the present 15% up to 17% in four
This project has been developed with an actual cost of 114.5 KEuro and
an actual duration of 17 months.
The economic AE benefits are calculated in the period 2000-2003 on the
basis of the increased market penetration due to the better performance
and the 36% cost reduction of the product. The total investment for the
realisation of the new product is expected to be recovered within 13 months
and the Return of Investment (ROI) is estimated in 327%. The industrialisation
phase requires a cost of 97 Keuro.
Thanks to the Application Experiment a lot of experience has been gained
by GIMAX, mainly concerning an improvement of its capabilities in the
functional design of complex analogue-digital application specific integrated
circuit. Technical as well as managerial know-how and ability to manage
the development of other future microelectronic projects increased consistently.
Inside GIMAX, a team has been set up to manage the development phases
of the microelectronic design, as well as the interfacing with the silicon
foundry. In this way the notable initial investments will be exploited
also in the future
Via dell'Acqua, 2
55042 Forte dei Marmi (LU)
|You can also benefit from microelectronics
Mixed Signal ASIC technology provided GIMAX S.r.l. 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.
Via del Ferrone, 5