Examples of Typical Project Level Service
section describes some typical projects that we have been involved with
in the past. The examples include the background, what was done to
assist the project and the results.
needed a PCB Designed quickly but had insufficient Design Personnel
Company needed a PCB designed quickly but had
insufficient Design Personnel for all projects presently scheduled.
Generated System Tester Functional Specification,
assembled outside team, created Plan and Estimate to Complete. Designed
a PCB with 16 DSPs and an FPGA to interface to a Motherboard. Created
Schematics, BOMs, FPGA Spec and FPGA Design. Interfaced with outside
layout house, Tested and Debugged Circuit. updated Final Documentation.
All work except the final test was performed out of house.
Working Printed Circuit Board and complete
documentation on a rapid schedule. Worked with in house Firmware
programmers to create functional test system.
Technical Electronic Design Person Leaves on Short Notice
A key technical electronic design person left the
company on short notice. Several attempts were made to hire an employee
in a short time frame, but they were not effective. The design was a
Motherboard PCB that was just entering final schematic capture phase.
Design was seriously behind schedule, and client had great concerns
about project completion.
Acted as lead engineer and coordinated the Design
completion with another engineer and internal client personnel. This
included schematic capture, final BOM generation, interface with
outside PCB layout house. Responsible for completion of Fab and
Assembly of PCB, Debug, Test and Test Documentation. Created Acceptance
Test Procedures, Theory of Operations, and all design documentation.
Completed design and documentation sufficient for
client to generate additional prototypes and demonstrate the product
successfully at a critical trade show.
was expanding its engineering capacity quickly
Company was expanding its engineering capacity quickly
in a tight labor market. Limited supply of engineers with correct
skills were available. It had an important and very complex new design
in the process of being architected. Final goal was the creation of a
new system level product. The specification of the design underwent
numerous changes in market conditions and customer requirements.
Analyzed existing products that were much less complex
than new product. Investigated ways to improve upgrade design to meet
the needs of the new product. Created an overall Hardware Block Diagram
and architecture for the system, working with other experts at the
company. This included both software and firmware engineers. The final
system required very wide system throughput and a very large amount of
data flow. Each constituent PCB contained a very large number of DSPs
and Microcontrollers working together and interfacing to external
circuits. They also included multiple FPGAs to create the required
interfaces. Also, included participation in Multiple Design Reviews
with upper management and other project team members.
Created a workable system architecture that was later
implemented into a final PCB design.
Help Needed on FPGA Design
An associate had a large number of projects underway
for his clients. He needed some immediate help on a large FPGA design.
We started with a functional specification. The PC card that used the
FPGA was going to be completed in a short time, and the FPGA was
critical to its operation.
Refined the specification. Created Block Diagram, and
split the design between myself and my associate. Create about 50% of
the FPGA circuit design, including simulation. We jointly Debugged and
Tested the FPGA code when the PCB was completed. We also made design
modifications to improve the circuit performance. Created final
documentation for the client. Conducted two training classes to pass
the design on to the client's employee so they could maintain the
A working circuit that is operating in a functioning in
just received a large contract to deliver a prototype very quickly
Client just received a large contract to deliver a
prototype unit of a large system very quickly. They had only a very
limited in-house staff, with a narrow expertise that did not include
microcontroller based designs and related systems experience. They also
lacked software expertise and sufficient hardware technician support.
Created the Functional Specification and Block Diagrams
for the electronic portion of the system from their overall
specification. Located Embedded Controller Firmware and Software
Engineer, and Technician help. Quickly created and designed a
simulation breadboard to allow firmware debug to get started quickly.
Then performed electronic design of the electronic controller card,
including BOMs. Interfaced the design through PCB layout, assembly,
debug and test. Got prototype up and running the real firmware very
quickly. Developed test procedures and fixtures to test the multiple
boards that would be generated in the future. Updated and released all
A complete prototype was produced for the client in
record time. The firmware and software were debugged to make the
for a detailed circuit analysis of a mass produced electronic assembly
The client had a need for a detailed circuit analysis
of a mass produced electronic assembly. They lacked adequate in-house
staff with the required skills.
Defined and refined the circuit to be analyzed.
Researched semiconductor models. Captured Model Circuits. Ran Analysis
in Spice. Created report and presented to design review. After circuit
is implemented made measurements to assure compliance of analysis with
simulation. Run further analyses using variation in parameters. Produce
final report and review of this analysis for manufacturing variations.
Much greater confidence that the circuit would work
very effectively in volume production. Design entered volume production.
design needed for a sophisticated electronic driver circuit
Mechanical Engineering firm needed a turnkey design for
a sophisticated electronic driver circuit to be designed for one of
their customers. Their customer wanted a prototype design to be tested
and integrated into a new large system.
Generated Specification, Block Diagram and Plan to
perform the design. Implemented the design, including schematics and
BOMs. Interfaced with Purchasing, Fab and Assembly houses to get
prototype units built. Debugged and tested the prototypes and assisted
the customer with integrating the units into their system.
Design was completed on a rapid schedule and delivered
to the ultimate customer. The unit worked very well when integrated
into their new system.