Interleaved Sampling Chip for ultrasonic tightening control reduces manufacturing cost by over 90%.
ASIC for ultrasonic tightening-control allows penetration in the cost-sensitive car-manufacturing market .
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    333 Measurement equipment
SDT International S.A./N.V. develops, manufactures and commercialises measurement equipment for preventive maintenance and quality control, for all industrial sectors. Since close to 20 years, SDT specialises in ultrasonic signal treatment. All products in its portfolio are in-house developments.

The existing product is an ultrasound-based control and measurement equipment, to control the operation of automatic screw tightening machines. It is using advanced technology, multi-layer boards with high-speed circuits, advance RISC and DSP applications, surface-mount technology.

The newly adopted mixed signal ASIC technology is replacing 620 ECU worth of advanced discrete, mainly analog components, by a 64 mm2 0.7Ám CMOS circuit, costing 37 ECU in volume series of 200-450 units per year.

The project started 1st May 1996, and lasted for 32 months. The project has been on hold for 14 months, because of reasons not related to the development. The total development cost was 250 kECU, 113.8 kECU of that for the development of the ASIC, which is the part funded by FUSE.

The cost reduction will allow targeting new market niches. The forecasted return on investment will be 632 kECU over a period of 4 years, an internal rate of return of 66% per year, over the same period, and a return-on-investment of 225% over 4 years.

Lessons learned are that the approach to implement analog systems using integrated circuit technology is completely different from the approach using discrete components. The production of test-structures using multi-project wafer services can be done at low cost. Significant results can come out of these tests, allowing significant saving in cost and lead-time to working prototypes, by avoiding iterations at the end of the development.
SDT International AS / NV
Boulevard de l'HumanitÚ, 415
1190 Bruxelles

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

ASIC technology provided SDT International AS / NV 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
Bart De Mey
Imec, Kapeldreef 75,
B-3001 Leuven, Belgium