What can transform a basic sensor into an intelligent one?

The majority of sensors convert a physical change into an electrical one. Understanding what this change means is a task for a higher level control system. What if the sensor can be made more sophisticated? How about conditioning the data and making the sensor response more linear? Calibrating the data to counter the effects of temperature for example? What if the sensor could filter unimportant events and only communicate changes that were relevant to the wider system?

With capabilities such as these we could say that the sensor is exhibiting a form of ‘intelligence’ and presenting information rather than raw data.

How can we get all of this extra functionality into a miniature device and for reasonable cost?

Swindon Silicon Systems is a global leader in the design, test and supply of complex custom mixed signal ASIC, System on Chip (SoC) and System in Package (SiP) silicon solutions.

We provide a full turnkey (FtK) service offering that ensures the correct solution for your application combining technical innovation and excellence with high performance and low cost custom devices. Swindon delivers a solution that will give you the competitive edge, both technically and commercially.

Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)

The Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) is a custom chip which has been designed specifically for a customer’s individual application. This ensures that the ASIC solution is unique to any other offering on the market in terms of performance and differentiates the customer’s product from the competition. Our clients’ system knowledge combined with Swindon’s mixed signal ASIC expertise ensures a multi-disciplined team of experts work together to provide product excellence.

Having a customised ASIC designed, manufactured and designed by SWINDON also means that crucial intellectual property (IP) is protected within the device and prevents any reverse engineering.

The ASIC design derives from the customer’s system requirements or specifications. Swindon vastly experienced engineers will use these requirements to design a fully integrated mixed signal ASIC that will provide a customised solution that will be tested and calibrated in house here at Swindon, and delivered globally to a site of the customer’s choosing. Lifelong product support is assured and the days of obsolescence will be left behind. Best possible system integration, which means creating a higher functionality whilst simultaneously reducing the complexity at system level, is the target of the work. System knowledge combined with expertise and the optimal choice of possible integration strategies are prerequisites for success.

System on Chip (SoC)

A System on Chip (SoC) in the mixed signal ASIC domain is an integrated circuit (IC) that combines all the required analog and digital functions along with an embedded microprocessor, such as an ARM core or an 8051, depending upon the processing power required. This means the SoC is a complete electronic substrate system that may contain analogue, digital, mixed-signal and radio frequency functions with the added advantage of a powerful processor as its core.

Because a SoC includes both the hardware and software, it predominantly uses less power, has better performance, requires less space and is more reliable than multi-chip systems.

An SoC is specifically designed to incorporate the required electronic circuits of numerous system sub blocks onto a single integrated circuit. Instead of a system that assembles several chips and components onto a circuit board, the SoC is the next level of integration where all required system functions are designed into one IC where appropriate.

An SoC usually contains various components such as:

  • Software and programming.
  • Voltage regulators and power management circuits.
  • Timing sources such as phase lock loop control systems or oscillators.
  • A microprocessor, microcontroller or digital signal processor such as an ARM Cortex or 8051.
  • Communications interfaces such as SPI, I2C, CAN and LIN for example.
  • Analog interfaces such as digital-to-analog converters and analogue-to-digital converters.
  • RF Circuitry.
  • Amplifiers.
  • RAM and ROM memory.

Swindon develops SoCs utilizing ARM Cortex and 8051 micros for all Automotive and Industrial applications.

 

System in Package (SiP)

A System in Package (SiP) is typically an ASIC / SoC in bare die form, integrated with another IC, usually a
microelectromechanical sensor (MEMS) all in a single package. The ASIC / SoC provides the signal processing and sensor interface while the MEMS is the sensing element. Swindon are experts in the design and supply of ASICs and SoCs combining MEMS and Hall Effect sensors. We currently deliver high volume, custom SiP solutions that are designed, tested and calibrated in house here in Swindon’s test laboratories.

Both the IC and the MEMS elements of the SiP are 100% wafer probed, production tested and individually calibrated to provide our customers with unrivalled performance, cost and manufacturing efficiency at final system manufacture.

The package includes active and passive components integrated in a cavity plastic overmoulded package with an aperture for atmospheric access to the MEMS pressure sensor.

Swindon Silicon Systems

Swindon Silicon Systems is a leader in the design and supply of mixed signal ASICs / SoCs, SiPs and MEMS sensor and sensor interface solutions for all automotive and industrial applications. We provide a unique full turnkey solution for ASIC design, test and supply and our team provides you with the full spectrum of ASIC / SoC / SiP services. All work is carried out in-house by highly qualified and experienced in-house personnel, resulting in higher performance, smaller size and lower costs.

We are global leaders in low pressure sensor applications providing bespoke solutions combining innovative ASIC expertise with integrated MEMS in a System in Package (SiP) solution.

By partnering with Swindon you will have access to our world class ASIC design and supply services, delivering you a solution that will give you the competitive edge, both technically and commercially.

Custom IC Builder

 IC Builder is a new way for designers to visualise what their mixed signal ASIC and MEMS solution may look like for their application.

Click by click,  progressively add the functions required for your intelligent sensing application and see what your resulting package could look like. 

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