Mixed Signal ASIC and top-down design approach allow to realise a cost effective "virtual set of instruments" for navigation assistance of ships and leisure boats
Technologies used

Mixed Signal ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    332 Instruments & Appliances for measuring,checking,testing etc
    35 Pleasure and sporting boats

The First User San Giorgio SEIN is a specialist in electromechanical and electronic naval instrumentation with over 40 years of experience in the market and about 20 employees. Its catalogue includes more than 50 types of different instruments which are mounted on leisure, sport and professional boats and big ship bridges and several OEM customers.

San Giorgio SEIN produces also instrumentation for data logging of the various engines and navigation parameters. The data loggers can be connected to a host for integrated boat control and navigation systems or can output the measured values and some messages on remote displays.

With this Application Experiment (AE), San Giorgio SEIN wants to keep and possibly to increase its market share which is currently around 5% at European level and 15% at domestic level.

The instruments and sensors produced by SEIN before FUSE were mainly based on analogue and digital data processing and electromechanical signalling (analogue meters). The total actual production of San Giorgio SEIN instruments exceeds 30000 units per year.

The functionality of many of the instruments is quite similar, therefore it is possible to design just one complex configurable digital circuit able to implement different types of indicators, in order to obtain a new set of advanced naval instruments by designing just one proprietary circuit. Furthermore, using just one circuit to implement several instruments, some of which are now implemented through advanced microcontrollers, will result in a more advanced and fashionable instrument therefore also the profit margin will increase significantly.
Given the complexity of the digital circuit to be designed and the high estimated production volume (30.000 units/year), the selected technology for the application experiment is a standard-cell configurable ASIC with an A/D converter on board, capable of communicating via UART interface and of driving LCD's, traditional analogue meters and air-core meters. The circuit complexity is about 15.000 equivalent gates.
Cost and duration of the application experiment are 15 months and 96 KEUR.

Actually the total production of instruments having similar characteristics is 7000 units/year. Considering the unique features that will be introduced using a complex digital circuit (check control, alarm control, programmed maintenance service), the market share of San Giorgio SEIN will increase not only in Europe, where San Giorgio already is a market leader, but also world-wide, Another goal of the innovation is to improve the external looking of the instrument a feature that is key for competition since seems quite appreciated in other manufacturers products. The number of instruments, which will be produced, should grow from 7000 units/year to at least 30.000 units/year, which means an increment by 300% of San Giorgio SEIN overall instrument production.

Considering a projected lifetime of the products of 8 years, the resulting payback period is 24 months and the projected increase in profitability is about 600K EUR, which means more than 6 times return of investment.

San Giorgio S.E.I.N S.n.c.
Via A. Pedullà, 59
16141 Genova - Italy

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Mixed Signal ASIC technology provided San Giorgio S.E.I.N S.n.c. 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.
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