ASIC for Electronic musical keyboards.
Increased competitiveness using VHDL methodology in design.
Technologies used

Digital ASIC

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    363 Musical Instruments
KORG Italy, founded on October 1996, projects implements and produces innovative electronics musical instruments, within the segment of digital pianos and ACC Keyboards, whose sound is generated by means of digital synthesis. (prodcom code 3630: musical Instruments). KORG Italy (23 employees mainly involved in electronic design, 20500 units sold in 1998) currently produces digital pianos and ACC (accompanying) keyboards for end customers (amateurs musicians). The difference between an ACC keyboard and a digital piano consists in the keyboard being more developed from an electronic point of view (sound reproduction) while the digital piano focuses on high quality, realistic piano sound generation, and it has a weighted keyboard. The product application area is musical instruments for entertainment. All these families of instruments will be replaced, within two years, by totally new products that must be more powerful but not much more expensive than the current ones. The current technology knowledge of the company for what concerns Hardware design consists in mixed analogue/digital PCBs. The products innovation is strictly linked to the innovation of the mainboard, an analog/digital board with microprocessor, memories and peripherals devices.
Object of this A.E. is a significant innovation to the mainboard of an ACC keyboard achieved through the introduction of the gate array ASIC technology and VHDL design methodology, in order to integrate in a single chip most of the discrete electronics present in the mainboard. This modification allowed performances improvement of the pianos functionalities, introduction of new features like Stereo Hard Disk recording and playback, reduction of 'time to market, a more user friendly interface, and can also be spread out on many families of Korg's products. All these improvements, achieved through this AE, were needed to maintain and ameliorate the company market share and most of all its competitiveness, better answering to the market needs.
The AE has a duration of 21 months and, within this period the AE had a cost of 114 Keur (FUSE funding for 110 KEUR). The costs of the Experiment with foundry efforts are 129 Keur. The payback period is 18 month. The ROI is 322% over 5 years.
The application experiment is of interest for the electronic musical instruments industry.
Korg Italy S.p.A.
Via Cagiata 85
60027 Campocavallo di Osimo (AN)

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Digital ASIC technology provided Korg Italy 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.

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