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
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.
|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.