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Examples of Typical System Technical Engagements

This 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.

Examples of Projects

Need for Circuit Concept and Architecture for System Platform Upgrade

Requirement for a practical working prototype system design

Use of Systems Approach for System Redesign of Unit in Production

Use of Spice based tradeoffs for a new circuit design

Need for a System interface design into existing circuit

Analog Design Interface for High Speed PCB


Need for Circuit Concept and Architecture for System Platform Upgrade

Situation
Client was creating a significant upgrade to their existing, in production, system platform. The new design was to have 16 times the capacity of the existing system in the same space. They were short on senior staff help that could produce a good set of block diagrams and a practical specification for their new upgrade.

Tasks Performed
Studied the existing system in detail, including its existing Block Diagrams and Schematics. Reviewed newly released components with promise to reduce size. Met with senior company design team members and programmers to discuss potential hardware / software tradeoffs. Created a set of block diagrams and a specification. Reviewed block diagrams and specifications with the senior company members, and refined them to a final block diagram approach and specification. Also created specifications for sub-blocks that were to be incorporated in FPGAs.

Results
Client was able use the block diagrams and specification to form the basis of the upgrade design. Schematic design proceeded with five engineers and four programmers from the basis of this architecture to the completion of the new, more complex system. There were very few system changes when the design was completed.


Requirement for a practical working prototype system design

Situation
Client wanted to develop a working prototype demonstration system to show to potential investors. The client had a patent on a telephone interface system and had a very small amount of electronics skill. They had no electronic development staff.

Tasks Performed
Worked with the client to create a basic and formal Functional Specification. Worked with a firmware engineering associate to create firmware logic flow diagram for the system states. From this, formal electronic and firmware specs and block diagrams were created. These were reviewed by the client, approved by him and design was started.

Results
Used the specifications as the basis to complete the design of the working demo unit that was presented to potential investors and other interested parties.


Use of Systems Approach for System Redesign of Unit in Production

Situation
Client was redesigning an existing system to modernize the design and eliminate outdated parts. The design had to utilize as much as possible of the existing firmware and hardware to minimize redesign cost. Final design was to be more reliable and manufacturable and add a few new features. Client had no internal electronic design staff.

Tasks Performed
Reviewed the existing design thoroughly, especially with regard to the obsolete components and their possible replacements. Created specifications and block diagrams for the new modules to be created in the design. Made several design tradeoffs with regard to the new circuit designs and the substitutions for obsolete components. Reviewed these with the client and together we choose the most effective solutions for the redesign.

Results
Angotti Product Development used the results of the tradeoff studies, block diagram and specs to design the final system. The system went into volume production meeting all of its target requirements.


Use of Spice based tradeoffs for a new circuit design

Situation
Client was studying several approaches to a wide bandwidth, high power, amplifier design. They were concerned about several of the specifications, the maximum bandwidth and the stability of the new design. Client had no internal senior analog staff capable of analyzing this problem.

Tasks Performed
Created a model for the potential designs that would simulate their actual circuits as closely as possible. Ran many Spice simulations on these circuits to determine the one with the highest likelihood of meeting specs and having a high manufacturing yield in production.

Results
Client was able to determine the best circuit solution and create a new design that was finally put into successful production.


Need for a System interface design into existing circuit

Situation
Client wanted a new interface subcircuit design that would interface with the rest of their system, which was already designed. The circuit would be inserted in an existing portion of the system, and was to have as little impact on the existing design as possible while adding new system features. The digital portion of the design would be placed in a low cost FPGA. The client was short on staff with the capability to perform this analysis and design.

Tasks Performed
Created a specification and block diagram for the new circuit that defined its inputs and outputs and overall functional requirements. This design was reviewed with the client's engineers to assure that the circuit interface would work with the existing hardware, firmware and software with very few changes.

Results
The Angotti Product Development team used these specifications and block diagrams to create an FPGA design that met the requirements for the circuit. The circuit was successfully tested and put into production.

 


Analog Design Interface for High Speed PCB

Situation
Client needed someone to follow the layout of a high speed PCB design to assure that the High Speed signals would allow the various ICs to communicate with each other both between and internal to the boards.

Tasks Performed
Worked with the client to identify the critical signals on the schematics. Assistance was given to select the appropriate PC Board material. Layout rules were generated for the layout person to follow. Interfaced with the layout person to answer questions during layout, and to check on progress.

Performed checks of critical lines after layout was complete to assure that layout rules were followed correctly.

After board was fabricated, tests were run to assure the critical lines had the correct impedance. Measurements were made on the assembled board to assure that signal integrity was maintained.

Results
There were very few problems areas related to layout on the board when circuit functionality was tested. This prevented the need for a massive relayout that would have seriously extended the schedule.





Angotti Product Development
Project Management, Systems and Circuit Design Services for Electronic Product Development