Custom Integrated Full Logic Cassette Player
Mixed ASIC technology reduces production cost increasing product functionalities
Technologies used

Mixed Signal ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    323 Sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus
So.ge.mi S.p.a. , ( 140 employees, 1998 turnover: 14 KEUR), is one of the fourteen companies that form one group operating in car components or electronic household markets. The company began its activities in 1986 and became one of the most important suppliers of car-stereo and hi-fi producers for automotive industries in the world, manufacturing also other components for automotive applications (industrial sector: car industry components and subsystems, code 3430). SO.GE.MI. S.p.A. began its activities in 1986, accumulating an advanced know-how and experience in the mechanical field.

The objective of the project was to reduce drastically cost and increase performance and reliability of cassette tape deck introducing a new electronic technology into the existing product, replacing many mechanical components with an advanced electronic chip. The chosen technology is a mixed signal ASIC Gate Array. The duration planned was 18 months; the project has been completed in 21 months.
Starting date 1st of July ,1997
End date 31 of March, 1999
The cost of application experiment is 180 KEURO
The A.E. will allow the possibility to realise a device by which the end user can do all the operations setting digital signal by remote control, instead of operating mechanical levers with manual actuators. SO.GE.MI. target was to realise, through one electronic device, many of the functions now performed with complex mechanisms. The new electronically driven car radio cassette player is a compact light unit completely controlled by an ASIC integrated electronic chip ,which performs all the logic functions, integrating also the power section for central motors. A foundry, with a special process (Allegro) was selected to assure these results. The unit does not contain levers, springs or other mechanical actuators. All the functions activated by the customer are performed by one Brushless motor and one dc motor controlled and driven by a high level integrated electronic chip.

The new product is for the higher quality end of the market, therefore it doesn't replace the actual one, that is for the low end of the market, and these old tape deck mechanisms will maintain production.

The utilisation of the mixed signal ASIC electronic chip in combination with the brushless motor has eliminated about 40% of mechanical components (gears and levers) compared to the actual system.

In order to reduce potential risks coming out from the use of the completely new technology, the F.U. has realised some prototypes based on the FPGA technology. The above prototypes were presented and approved by Customers.

The ROI of the whole tape deck product is estimated as 678%. The payback period, referring to the whole industrialisation of the product, is estimated in 2.5 years (industrialisation cost about 1MEUR).

Confidence with the new technology has considerably increased. Sogemi engineers have been in subcontractors premises and foundry factories to analyse and better understand the new microelectronic technology, so they are now ready to use these concept in other future products. The knowledge of new technology has grown very rapidly and now it is part of SO.GE.MI. know how . The lesson learned during the AE was:
The need for exact definition, at the beginning of the project, of product specification (functionality, environmental , reliability, etc) and for exact assignment of responsibilities.
The need for implementation of many design review meetings during the AE due to changed targets and to the arising problems.
The need for change of specification during the AE due to changed targets.
The need for better control of sub-contractors delays and for check of deliveries according to specification.

SO.GE.MI. S.p.A.
Via F. Crispi, 2
Osimo Stazione,
Ancona- ITALY

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Mixed Signal ASIC technology provided SO.GE.MI. S.p.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.

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