OPTRONICS EYT specialises in Opto-Electronics applications including Lasers and Fibre Optics. The company produces and sells Fibre Optic and Talk sets, Fibre Optic Video Links, Fibre Optic Laser Diodes/LED transmitters and Fibre Optic Photodiode receivers. The objective of this experiment was to produce a modular and cost-effective device by integrating the company's two separate units (video-talk sets) in a single unit. The new product, which is a modular unit and uses a digital ASIC which was developed within this AE, is able to perform a large number of functions such as Talk (call party), View (on demand), enable CW (Continuous Wave) operation of Light source for calibration and measurements. The new system features major improvements such as: point to point full symmetrical operation, real time full duplex video teleconference, in/out full duplex Video Transmission at 2.048Mbps, data transmission up to 19.2kbps, easy interface (hands-free transmission and reception of digitally compressed MPEG-I video signal, ringing by special tone to detect incoming calls, etc.), light indication of operation by LEDs, multi-party operation with electrical connection. The ASIC acts as a multiplexer/demultiplexer of audio, video and data signals (no MPEG compression/decompression algorithm is included).
INTRACOM's Centre of Microelectronics (CEM) acted as a subcontractor to OPTRONICS EYT and, therefore, assisted in design/testing of the ASIC and also provided training services on the ASIC design/testing methodology and use of CAD tools. The ASIC design methodology was based on VHDL approach and the prototypes were fabricated by EUROPRACTICE MPW runs based on 0.8 micron CMOS technology by AMS. Extensive know-how transfer was achieved by OPTRONICS EYT in ASIC design methodology and use of CAD tools which will be used for replication of results in future products. Furthermore, it is foreseen that the company's market share in its market territory will reach 25% (from below 9% currently) by direct sales of new systems plus a 20% by OEM sub-module production of this device, because the same ASIC that was developed in this experiment may also be used in intercom and local network links. The project started on 1/8/1996 and finished by the end of November 1997. This application experiment was completed in 16 months. The total funding was 100 KECUs and the claimed effort 27 person-months approximately. Pay-back period is expected to be in 9,6 months, while the Return-Of-Investment is estimated to be 7,5 times the initial investment in a 4-year period of time.
Target audience for dissemination of results concerns companies specializing in Telecommunications (telegraph and telephone apparatus and equipment, radio and television receivers, wide band transmission), medical applications (instruments and appliances for monitoring/checking of patients), Control Applications, Home Safety Systems etc. Specifically the results of this AE will be interesting for small-sized Companies with less than 30 employees. From our experience, these SMEs are afraid of the high cost of the adoption of microelectronics technologies for the upgrade of their products, they are not aware of the procedures for the selection of the appropriate subcontractor and have no awareness of EUROPRACTICE services.