ISDN digital pair gain system
Mixed ASIC based redesign, reduces production cost more than 12%
Technologies used

 Mixed ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    322 Telecommunication equipment
IPM DATACOM is a company with 83 employees, an annual turnover of 15000KECU, founded in 1986 and involved principally in design, production and selling of instruments and apparatus, for telecommunications (industrial sector 3220). IPM DATACOM is a part of IPM GROUP, an international holding with more than 1200 employees, nine production plants, five research laboratories and a worldwide commercial network. IPM DATACOM has a wide experience in design and production of Data, Voice and Networking application devices. Technology knowledge of personnel involved in electronics is limited to the use of commercial components (discrete and chips) and FPGA.

The turnover of IPM DATACOM is based principally on the following product lines and services: Data transmission systems (12%), Digital Network Terminals (23%), Pair Gain Systems (55%), Maintenance and assistance services (10%). The world market for these four product lines is extremely large (160MECU), and the overall market share of IPM DATACOM is very low (close to 5%).

Referring to the Pair Gain Systems, the domestic market share is more than 60% and there is practically only one competitor. The company’s core product is a Digital Pair Gain System (DPGS). This product, based on use of commercial discrete electronic components (discrete components, chips, processors), is the object of Application Experiment. PGS is an ISDN subscriber line interface with ADPCM speech compression, that allows an economically increase in the capacity of the existing two-wire subscriber lines, up to three on a single pair (Four Channel Pair Gain). PGS are aimed especially to Telephone Companies, but also to private market, including various organisations (Borders, Companies, Agencies, and Trade Organisations).

The objective of the Application Experiment is to improve the existing PGS product, by introducing ASIC Standard Cell technology. IPM DATACOM forecast is to increase market share, starting sales in Countries were, due to the dimension of the Market of Pair Gain Systems, the prices are so low that it is impossible to compete with the existing product, without sacrificing the quality. The use of a mixed-signal ASIC provides commercial advantages through reducing product size, more reliability and testability and, in particular, cost reduction. The ASIC solution is also the best Intellectual Property protection especially when the product has to be manufactured in foreign countries.

The cost of the ASIC and prototype development were 110kECU and it was completed in 12 months. The company invested an additional 200kECU to improve other parts of the system. The product cost has been reduced in total by about 12%, half the cost reduction resulted from the ASIC introduction. The expected rate of return (ROI) related to costs covered by FUSE is 5181% in three years, and the payback period is anticipated to be less than six months. In order to maximise the benefits of the experiment the new design capability of our R&D department will allow the transfer of Standard Cell technology to other redesigned products.
Via Roma, 231
I-80027 Frattamaggiore (NA)

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Mixed ASIC technology provided IPM DATACOM srl 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
Consorzio Roma Ricerche
Via Orazio Raimondo 8
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