ASIC full colour LED Display Driver
From discrete drivers to highly integrated ASIC for large displays, including memory and data transfer management
Technologies used

Mixed ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    34-35 Other Transport Equipment n.e.c.
This demonstrator describes the First USer Experiment (FUSE) 'Mixed Analogue/ Digital ASIC for Graphical Colour LED-Display'. The First User (FU) - Focon Engineering A/S – has its primary business in design and manufacture of information and communication systems for public transportation systems.

The objective of this Application Experiment (AE) has been twofold; the adaptation of ASIC technology in the aspect of design and manufacturing, and an improvement of Focon's standard monochrome displays based on one LED per dot to full graphical multicolour displays. The existing product is based on standard TTLs and discrete components.

Before this experiment, Focon had no experience in ASIC design methodologies and no design equipment for this area. In the area of analogue ASIC design, Focon is now able to specify and control the development process, and in the area of digital ASIC design; Focon is now able to do the design work in-house.

Regarding digital design, Focon is now able to use VHDL as a design tool, thereby enabling us to become independent of existing technologies. Using this technology, we have at the moment – besides the Mixed Analogue/Digital ASIC for Graphical Colour LED Display - designed our first FPGA, the next one is coming up.

Concerning the Mixed Analogue/ Digital ASIC, the experiment was – after a work-around for a bug in the analogue ASIC part - concluded with functional prototypes.

A multicolour demo display with the required improvements was also concluded as planned. At present, we are waiting for the multicolour LED technology to mature over the next years, to improve our opportunities of marketing the new graphic multicolour display towards which the ASIC is directed and thereby to improve our market position.

The duration of this AE has been 16 months and the cost was 160,000 Euro for the design and prototyping plus 40,000 Euro for the industrialisation of the new product.

Due to price of 3-color LED is not declining as expected, a ASIC utilising a 2-colour LED will be introduce to the market to maintain market shares.

The payback period of the 3-colour version is 6 months and for the 2-colour is 12 months of production. The ROI is 800% for the 3-colour version and 259% for the 2-colour version.

The planned Workplan was delayed by approx. 2 months, basically due to a delay in the design merge at the ASIC subcontractor, and due to the time required to find a workaround for an oscillation problem in the analogue part of the ASIC.
Focon Engineering A/S
Damvang 2
P.O. Box 269
DK-6400 Sønderborg

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Mixed ASIC technology provided Focon Engineering A/S 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
Venlighedsvej 4
DK-2970 Hoersholm