A PCM matrix interface
ASIC contribution to company’s prestige for low quantities
Technologies used

    Digital ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    332 Instruments and appliances for measuring, checking, testing etc.
    323 Television and radio receivers, sound or video recording, etc.
    322 Telegraph and telephone apparatus and equipment, etc.

UPTEK S.A Systems Innovations, designs, manufactures and markets telecommunications equipment and defence electronic equipment for a broad range of customers. The company, prior to FUSE, was using CMOS / LSI IC devices, Programmable Microcontrollers, and discrete components in its range of products. This mix of components, although allowed the company to produce highly reliable products, it limited its application in the very demanding telephone switching market, especially to customers with demands for high reliability, low maintenance cost and small device area.

The product which was improved was a Digital PCM switching telephone system and specifically its PCM Matrix part. The prior product was housed in EUROCARD-size PCB cards that were plugged into a EUROCARD 19-inch Main Frame. The Frame (Subrack) had 16 slots, each slot accommodating a single card. Thus, for a 128-line system, 2 Main Frames were needed plus another 2 Auxiliary Main Frames. Each Main Frame had a dedicated Back Plane, differing from Frame to Frame.

The objective of this experiment was to incorporate a digital ASIC into the current product replacing around 200 commercial ICs for 2048 subscriber line interconnection and, therefore, design, develop, manufacture and test a new upgraded product, in order to meet the evolving market demands. The market demands for this AE were basically coming from the defence sector, where low product volume and weight, low power consumption, increased reliability, fail safe redundancy and copy protection are very important factors, rather than impressive cost reductions. Another contributing factor to the choice of an ASIC instead of a gate programmable array (FPGA), was the prestige and company’s image associated with the use of an ASIC in the high reliability defence sector, and the intense competition from companies with such advanced solutions. The extra development cost and the higher cost per unit of the ASIC solution were offset by the lowering of product cost due to the extreme hardware savings, by the increased product reliability and the resulting service cost savings, and by the application in a fail-safe conscious market.

This new ASIC, being a very powerful interface / switching element with redundancy capabilities, allowed the company to examine its application to other, unrelated to telephony markets / products. This new ASIC is also expected to increase the company’s penetration in its primary and associated markets, thus promoting sales and increasing employment.

The total original budget of the application experiment was 109 KECU, and the duration was 12 months. The Pay-back Period is estimated to be 10,5 months, while the Return-Of-Investment is estimated to be 3,83 times the initial FUSE investment for a three-year period of time after the introduction of the new product in the market.


    Company Street Address: 103 Kefallinias st.
    Athens 112 51
    PO Box 25014
    Athens 100-26

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Digital ASIC technology provided UPTEK S.A SYSTEMS INNOVATIONS 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
P O Box 68
GR-19´002 Peania Attika